Pressure is on Canadian volleyballers

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

OSAKA, Japan - Team Canada is running out of time to find the winner's circle.

With just two matches to go the 2010 FIVB World Women's Volleyball Championship, Canada literally finds itself in must-win territory in order to keep their dream of advancing to the second round alive.

Canada's latest setback came on Sunday at the hands of Russia, the seventh-ranked team and defending world champions, by scores of 25-13, 25-16 and 25-21.

Building on the strength of a strong third set is what Canada is targeting to do when they play against 2-1 Turkey on Monday night at 11 p.m. CT.

"I think we're right on track and right on schedule for what we wanted," said Team Canada captain Tammy Mahon. "Every game, we want to improve and adapt quicker to each team. We want to leave this tournament by putting a team stamp on this, saying here's Canada and here's what we're about and every game we're really working on that."

Knowing they need to win is something to embrace, rather than viewing it as additional pressure.

"Do-or-die situations have usually been a motivating factor for myself and I think our team can pull through and beat these last two teams," said Team Canada middle Marisa Field. "Knowing that it's all on the line and knowing what we need to do to push through to the second round, it's exciting and I think we're up for the challenge."

Canada has a pretty good idea of one improvement that needs to be made.

"With teams at this level, that are this good, we really need to start our matches off better," said Field.

"We gain a lot of momentum but sometimes it doesn't start until the second set. We can't waste any time and we need to get on that right from the very first point and we need to take it to them. Then we'll have a better shot of pulling out some wins here."

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


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