It’s official: Canada is a volleyball nation.

Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of a premature pronouncement. But the opening weekend of Rio 2016 has certainly been an encouraging one for Canadian volleyball, both indoors and outdoors.

Nicholas Hoag, Rio 2016. Aug. 7, 2016. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Nicholas Hoag, Rio 2016. Aug. 7, 2016. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

On Sunday, in their first Olympic match since 1992, the men’s team made a powerful statement in notching a straight-sets victory (25-23, 25-17, 25-23) over the United States, the reigning FIVB Volleyball World Cup champions.

RELATED: Canada beats USA in straight sets

“We knew that we were the underdog in this pool and in this match,” said team captain Fred Winters. “But it’s the Olympic Games, and I think our team is highly motivated and it showed on the court today.”

Things get even tougher from here, as Canada’s next match is against the No. 1-ranked Brazil on Tuesday. But head coach Glenn Hoag believes his team is ready to put up a valiant effort against the host nation.

Gavin Schmitt celebrates against the United States in the Rio 2016 volleyball opener on August 7, 2016.

Gavin Schmitt celebrates against the United States in the Rio 2016 volleyball opener on August 7, 2016.

“The message now is to stay focused,” he said. “We need to go out and execute—but fight, always fight.”

RELATED: Pavan & Bansley win opener

Earlier on Sunday, Canada’s top-ranked beach volleyball duo of Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley also won their Olympic opener in straight sets (21-15, 21-17) over Jantine van der Vlist and Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands.

“To come out with a win is exactly what we wanted,” said Bansley. “We had a lot of nerves and a lot of excitement, so it feels good to get that under our belt.”

Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan, Rio 2016. Aug. 7, 2016. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan, Rio 2016. Aug. 7, 2016. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Pavan and Bansley aren’t the only Canadians competing in the sands of Copacabana Beach. For the first time, Canada was able to send the maximum allotment of four beach volleyball teams to the Games.

RELATED: Canada to see maximum beach action

The first of those teams to see action at these Games was the pair of Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter, who put up a tough fight in a two-set loss to the top-ranked Brazilian duo on Saturday.

Canada’s other two beach teams—Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk and Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas—made their Olympic debuts on Sunday night, with the men’s team losing while the women pulled out a three set victory.

Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas celebrate the first win at the Rio 2016 beach volleyball tournament / Photo via FIVB

Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas celebrate the first win at the Rio 2016 beach volleyball tournament / Photo via FIVB

In fact, 19 of the 20 Canadian volleyball players in Rio (eight on the beach, 12 on the court) are first-time Olympians, with Binstock being the only exception (he competed at London 2012).

RELATED: Broder & Valjas win Olympic debut

Experienced or not, these athletes are showing the nation what Canadian volleyball is all about. The words of wisdom offered by Hoag might be a bit of a clue as to where the players’ confidence is coming from.

“No matter what,” he said, “go out there and be proud of what you did, win or lose.”