With the year coming to a close, Olympic.ca will look back at 16 of the most memorable Team Canada stories of 2016. As a new “16 of ‘16” story is revealed daily, you can find the entire series here.

Whether its indoor or beach volleyball the facts speak for themselves, everything was timed just right for Rio 2016.

Here’s a look at why 2016 will go down as one of the most successful years in Volleyball Canada history.

Canada's volleyball team celebrates round robin win against Mexico at Rio 2016 on Saturday, August 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Canada’s volleyball team celebrates round robin win against Mexico at Rio 2016 on Saturday, August 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

 

For the first time in 24 years, a Canadian men’s volleyball squad was competing at the Olympics, along with an unprecedented contingent of four Canadian beach volleyball pairs. In fact, there were just as many Canadian volleyball players who jetted off to Rio 2016 as there were at the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games combined.

Gavin Schmitt will represent Team Canada in his home town this weekend (Photo: FIVB).

Gavin Schmitt celebrates a point scored against the Japanese team at the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo on June 5, 2016. (Photo: FIVB).

 

The stars were aligned for the indoor program in June when, after a long and arduous journey spanning over two decades, Volleyball Canada’s men captured one of four remaining spots available at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Gordon Perrin goes up for a spike in a men's quarterfinal match against Russia at Rio 2016 on, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Gordon Perrin goes up for a spike in a men’s quarterfinal match against Russia at Rio 2016 on, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

 

Related: Canada wins FIVB World League Title

What ensued would help write the Canadian men’s volleyball team’s fairy tale story. Following the advice of 1984 Olympian Glenn Hoag and led by scorers Gavin Schmitt and Gord Perrin, the Canadian squad performed so well in the World League that they were promoted to Division 1, in addition to finishing a very respectable fifth place at the Olympic tournament in Rio.

Canada wins 2016 Volleyball World League, July 10 / Photo via FIVB

Canada wins 2016 Volleyball World League, July 10 / Photo via FIVB

Due to the FIVB rankings of the Canadian beach volleyball teams and a win at the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament, the nation was able to qualify the maximum of four pairs in Rio, a first for Canada. Only three other countries have achieved this feat: Brazil, the Netherlands and the United States.

Kristina Valjas and Sarah Pavan in action at the Rio 2016 beach volleyball tournament / Photo via FIVB

Canadians Kristina Valjas and Sarah Pavan face off in quarterfinals at Rio 2016 / Photo via FIVB

Related: Eight beach nominees to give Canada maximum visibility in Rio

On Brazilian soil, three of the Canadian teams reached the single-elimination tournament, and fans were treated to an all-Canadian match, with Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan defeating Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas in the 16-team round robin event. By making it to the quarter finals, Sarah and Heather equalled the best Olympic beach volleyball performance in our country’s history with their fifth place finish at the Copacabana tournament.

Saxton and Schalk during the FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto. photo/ Thomas Skrlj

Saxton and Schalk during the FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto. photo/ Thomas Skrlj

The dream season for Canadian beach volleyball players came to an end a few weeks later in Toronto at the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals, where Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk reached the bronze medal game.

After Volleyball Canada’s incredible 2016, fans can expect more excitement in the new year, as the men head into Division 1 of the World League and new duos hit the court in beach.