Team Canada set for some key quarterfinals

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games steam ahead towards their finish, Team Canada will be competing in the quarterfinals in a few different tournaments.

Here is a quick primer on how they got there and the opponents they’ll be facing.

Women’s Water Polo – Canada vs United States (Tuesday at 1 a.m. ET)

Canada’s women’s water polo team will face a tough test in the quarterfinals when they take on the two-time reigning Olympic champion United States.

Canada finished fourth in Group A with a 1-3 record but, despite posting three losses, have a respectable +9 goal differential. The United States won Group B with a 3-1 record with their only loss coming against Hungary.

Kyra Christmas and Monika Eggens lead Canada in action shot goals with four each.

Women’s Beach Volleyball – Canada (Bansley/Wilkerson) vs Latvia (Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET)

Canadian beach volleyball players Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson celebrate
Canadian beach volleyball players Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson celebrate against Ana Gallay and Fernanda Pereyra during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. Photo by Darren Calabrese/COC

Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson haven’t had the easiest of rides to the quarterfinals. After finishing 1-2 in the preliminary round and placing third in their group, the duo had to face Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil of the United States in the Round of 16 — the world’s third-ranked team.

Bansley and Wilkerson, 16th in the world rankings, would earn a hard fought and dramatic 2-1 (22-24, 21-18, 15-13) upset win over the Americans, securing a spot in the quarterfinals. The duo trailed by as many as six points in the second set before rebounding.

Women’s Beach Volleyball – Canada (Pavan/Humana-Paredes) vs Australia (Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET)

Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes defeated Spain’s Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan 2-0 (21-13, 21-13) in the Round of 16 to earn a quarterfinal spot.

The duo finished the preliminary round with a 3-0 record, winning their group. With a 2-0 win in the Round of 16, Pavan and Humana-Paredes have yet to lose a set in Tokyo.

In the quarterfinals, the Canadians will take on Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy, who are 18th in the world rankings. Pavan and Humana-Paredes are the top ranked team remaining in Tokyo.

The two will take on Latvia’s Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka — ranked 15th in the world — in the quarterfinals.

Men’s Volleyball – Canada vs ROC (Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET)

Men's volleyball team celebrates
Canada celebrates against the Islamic Republic of Iran in Men’s Volleyball during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Photo par Stephen Hosier/COC

Canada had an up-and-down performance in pool play. They built a two-set lead in their opener against Italy, only to fall in a five-set heartbreaker. That deflation carried over into a subsequent loss to Japan.

It was “desperation time” against Iran, but the team stepped up with a straight-sets win, and then cruised to victory against Venezuela. The momentum shifted again in their Pool A finale, with a straight-sets loss to Poland.

A fourth-place finish in Pool A earned Canada a quarterfinal match against the Pool B winners from the ROC. The ROC team won four of five matches in pool play, including an impressive straight-sets win over No. 1-ranked Brazil.

Canada will need a well-rounded performance to prevail, and will be relying on veterans like Gord Perrin and Nick Hoag, as well as Olympic newcomers such as Sharone Vernon-Evans and Lucas Van Berkel.