For the first time in the program's history, the Canadian 18U Youth Girls National Team competed at the FIVB 18U Girls World Championships. The tournament held in Egypt saw 20 countries compete over nine days from Sept. 5 - 14. In the end, Canada placed 14th, a solid effort for the girls at this level of competition.
The team was stacked with Ontario players, the province accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the squad along with the staff.
Canada started strong in Pool Play, defeating South Korea 3-1 and Mexico 3-2 before falling short to Italy, the U.S.A., Brazil and Bulgaria later on in the competition. The team bounced back with a victory over Thailand but were defeated 3-2 against South Korea in their final match.
"For Canada to qualify for the World Championships for the first time in 31 years at the age category was a feat in and of itself," said Jimmy El-Turk, Assistant Coach. "For these athletes to compete against the best in the world was a great measuring stick for us as an aspiring successful volleyball country and as a coach, it was an experience of a lifetime to compete at that level and see what some of the top teams in the world are doing and how we can bring those principles back to Canada to get closer to a podium finish."
Eight of the girls had played on the international stage prior to the World Championships, helping the team secure their appearance earlier in summer 2019.
"Egypt was an incredible experience both on and off the court. We saw improvement with every match played. Although our last match was not the outcome we wanted, we saw an incredible battle between two evenly matched teams," stated Assistant Coach, Dale Melnick. "Our kids from Ontario should be very proud of what they did. We represented our province and our country really well. It was a tremendous experience for us all."