Volleyballers drop heartbreaker

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

OSAKA, JAPAN - With the exception of a connecting flight through Japan's largest city, Canada's road at the 2010 FIVB World Women's Championship won’t continue on to Tokyo.

Canada’s hopes of moving on to the second round of competition were dashed in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night as they fell in five grueling sets to Turkey before a crowd of 770 spectators at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium.

“Tactically, we were doing everything that we wanted to do in the first two sets,” said Team Canada head coach Arnd Ludwig.

Canada kicked the habit of starting slow, winning their first set of the tournament in the first by a convincing 25-19 score and then followed that up with another sound 25-20 triumph in the second.

Everything seemed to being going Canada’s way but in the third set their overall play dipped just enough to give Turkey life.

The snowball effect picked up steam and Canada proved to have no answer.

“In the first two sets, we played the way we had been wanting and waiting to play all tournament,” said Team Canada outside hitter Sarah Pavan, who led the offence with 17 points. “After the second set, Turkey responded and I congratulate them for the way that they did. Unfortunately, we didn’t elevate our performance to match theirs and at this level, if you’re not going to elevate for the entire game, you’re going to get the result that we did.

“We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”

Canada falls to 0-4 in Pool D play, while Turkey punched its ticket to the second round as they improved to 3-1.

Team Canada outside hitter Tiffany Dodds had 11 points, while captain Tammy Mahon chipped in with seven points, including three service aces.

“They reacted and started playing better, but they still made a ton of errors,” said Mahon. “There were chances for us to capitalize, but we sort of joined the party there with the errors and we started making our own.

“As soon as we started doing that, we got tentative. I literally felt us pull back. If we wanted to have a chance of moving on, we had to win that game but I don’t think any of us were thinking about that going into the third set. I don’t think we were over-thinking at all, they’re a world-class team and they just stepped it up.”

Canada meets the Dominican Republic on Tuesday night at 11 p.m. CT in the final game of the first round.

“Now we just have to go and get this out of our heads and get ready to face the Dominicans,” said Ludwig.


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