“We don’t back down against these guys.”
Those words were head coach Shannon Winzer’s attempt to keep her Canadian women’s volleyball players motivated late in a challenging first set on Monday against the world No. 1 United States.
They worked as the Canadians put forth a strong effort in the 81-minute game but couldn’t upend the reigning Olympic champions, who prevailed 25-19, 26-24, 25-15 at the FIVB world championship in Arnhem, Netherlands.
The 2014 world champion Americans improved to 2-0 and sit atop Pool C while Canada is fifth (0-2). Kazakhstan is also 0-2 and plays Canada on Thursday in Lodz, Poland (CBCSports.ca, CBC Gem, 7 a.m. ET).
The teams are divided into four pools of six teams each for the preliminary stage. The top four in each pool advance to the second stage, where they are divided again into two groups.
The 16 remaining clubs play four matches against opponents they didn’t face during the preliminary stage, with the top from each group moving to the quarter-finals.