Canada’s women’s sitting volleyball team is headed back to the Paralympics.
The world No. 2 squad topped Germany 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-23) in the semifinals of the World Cup on Friday in Cairo.
The victory secured the lone Paralympic berth up for grabs at the tournament for Canada, which will face China in Saturday’s final at 11 a.m. ET.
China and its semifinal opponent Brazil were already qualified for Paris 2024, leaving Canada’s match as a straight-up Paralympic qualifier.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Qualified?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Qualified</a> 🇨🇦 wins its semi over Germany & earns a Paris 2024 Paralympic spot as the highest ranked team not yet qualified! 💪<br><br>Le Canada remporte sa demi-finale contre l’Allemagne. Le Canada obtient une place paralympique en tant qu’équipe la mieux classée non encore qualifiée! <a href=”https://t.co/npC5BjWJj6″>pic.twitter.com/npC5BjWJj6</a>
The Canadians took full advantage. Now, they’ll have an opportunity to complete their ascendancy to the top of the podium.
“We worked so hard to get to this game and we fought for every point out there on court today. I’m so proud of every athlete and staff member on this team,” said team captain Danielle Ellis.
Canada’s women’s sitting volleyball team first qualified for the Paralympics in 2016, placing seventh. It returned for the Tokyo Games in 2021, missing out on a medal with a fourth-place finish. Canada finally reached the podium at last year’s world championship, where it secured silver.
Now, it’ll go for gold.
Head coach Nicole Ban said she “couldn’t be more proud” of her team.
“We’ve been talking about this moment since world championships one year ago. We’ve been focused on the process, on believing in this group, and trusting each other despite adversity. We accomplished our goal of qualifying and we have one more game that lies ahead,” Ban said.
France, Italy and top-ranked United States have also qualified for the Paralympics in Paris next summer, with two more spots up for grabs after the World Cup.
Those will be determined at the 2023 ParaVolley Africa Championships (date to be determined) and another qualifying tourney in April in Dali, China.
- Julie Kozun (Melfort, Sask.)
- Danielle Ellis (White Rock, B.C.)
- Jennifer Oakes (Calgary)
- Angelena Dolezar (St. Albert, Alta.)
- Anne Fergusson (Carleton Place, Ont.)
- Jolan Wong (Vermilion, Alta.)
- Sarah Melenka (Vegreville, Alta.)
- Jayme Lepp (Vancouver)
- Heidi Peters (Neerlandia, Alta.)
- Katelyn Wright (Edmonton)
- Felicia Voss-Shafiq (Burnaby, B.C.)
- Jennifer McCreesh (Smithers, B.C.)
- Allison Lang (Edmonton)