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Canada falls to Poland in men's volleyball with quarter-final ticket intact

·2 min read
Poland's Mateusz Bieniek, right, hits the ball past Canadian Graham Vigrass, centre left, in the men's preliminary round pool A volleyball match that resulted in Poland winning 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-16) over Canada on Sunday in Tokyo. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)
Poland's Mateusz Bieniek, right, hits the ball past Canadian Graham Vigrass, centre left, in the men's preliminary round pool A volleyball match that resulted in Poland winning 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-16) over Canada on Sunday in Tokyo. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)

Canada's men's volleyball team's quarter-final ticket is safe despite taking a 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-16) loss to Poland in its final preliminary round match on Sunday in Tokyo.

The loss puts Canada at 2-3, awaiting the result of Iran and Japan's match to determine seeding.

Only the top four teams from each pool make it to the quarter-finals, and Poland's (4-1) win guarantees its spot as the top seed coming out of pool A.

Italy (3-1) has also clinched a quarter-final spot ahead of its matchup on Sunday against winless Venezuela (0-4).

WATCH | Canada drops final preliminary round match to Poland in men's volleyball:

Due to Japan and Iran both having 2-2 records heading into their final preliminary round match against each other, the winner will advance, while the loser will share the same record as Canada and have to await its fate on a tiebreaker.

With records being unable to determine who will make it in between Canada and the loser of Japan and Iran's match, ranking points are the next step in determining who advances.

Canada currently has seven points, due to its 3-0 wins against Iran and Venezuela resulting in six total points, and the Canadians' 3-2 loss to Italy giving them one more point. 3-0 and 3-1 wins result in three points for the winner and none for the loser. 3-2 wins allow the winner to pick up two points, while the loser gets one.

As of now, Japan has six points. If Japan loses 3-2, that would create a tie in record and ranking points, which the tiebreaker would then have to be determined by set ratios. Canada has lost nine sets and won nine sets, while Japan in that scenario would be at nine won sets and 10 lost sets, giving Canada the edge. If Japan loses 3-0 or 3-1, Canada also has the edge.

If Iran loses, Canada advances due to only having five ranking points going into its match against Japan. One point from a 3-2 loss to the Japanese would not suffice to get ahead of Canada.

Canada unable to tone down Poland's momentum

Coming into the match against Poland, Canada had picked up two wins in a row, handily defeating Iran and Venezuela while never surrendering so much as one set to either country.

Poland had a whole different level of momentum going into the match, having won three straight following an opening loss to Italy.

The Canadians were only able to come close in the second set, with Poland outscoring Canada by 10 and nine points respectively in the first and third sets.

Canada was led by Nicholas Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., who scored a team-high nine points, followed by Scarborough, Ont., native Sharone Vernon-Evans who posted eight points of his own.

The quarter-finals will begin Aug. 3.

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