Poland emerges as class of Pool A


Canada's men's volleyball team has proven itself a determined, hard-working, never-say-die squad in pool play at the Tokyo Olympics, but as the matches churned on, pluck proved lacking against the sport's true powers.

Poland pounded that point home throughout its systematic sweep Sunday at Ariake Arena, using a 25-15, 25-21, 25-16 thrashing of Canada to further legitimize its status as a frontrunner for gold.

The victory moved Poland into first place in Pool A ahead of Rio 2016 silver medalist Italy despite an opening loss to Iran, while Canada fell to 2-3 and must wait to learn its quarterfinal fate.

Brazil works OT to survive marathon match


Brazil, which won gold on its home soil at Rio 2016, outlasted France in a five-set thriller to improve to 4-1 and take second place in Pool B behind the ROC, which is also 4-1 but had fewer matches go to five sets.

France dropped a fairly close first set, 25-22, but the second set was a doozy. Back and forth, and back again, until France had evened things up with a 39-37 set victory that saw the voices of young boys in the crowd deepen as the action  wore on.

Perhaps gassed, France lost the third set 25-17, but the pep in their step came back as they won the fourth set and made Brazil sweat out more extra work before wrapping it up 20-18 and drop France to 2-3 in pool play. 


ROC remains on top


The group leaders swept 25-20, 25-22, 25-16 against winless Tunisia to clinch first place in Pool B.

The Russian Federation had a long string of Olympic medals interrupted in Rio with a loss to the United States in the bronze medal match. 

Italy closes out pool play with easy win over Venezuela


Venezuela had nothing for Italy the final game of Pool A play, as the Italians swept past their winless opponents to take the No. 2 spot in the group. 

Aside from the first set, Italy held Argentina to scores in the teens. The challenge that seemed to emerge in Set 1 quickly faded, and the silver medalists from Rio downed their final preliminary opponents in straight sets, 25-22, 25-15, 25-17.

Osmany Juantorena lead the way with 17 points, 14 attacks, two blocks and a serve. 

Japan outlasts Iran to advance to quarterfinals


Japan's record in pool play hasn't been perfect, but the home team held off Iran in its last preliminary game to advance to the quarterfinals. 

Led by Nishida Yuji and Yuki Ishikawa, the Japanese team pulled off a gritty 3-2 win. After winning the first set, Japan dropped the following two. The home team came roaring back in Sets 4 and 5 to clinch the win, 25-21, 20-25, 29-31, 25-22, 15-13.

Nishida totaled 29 points while Ishikawa contributed 20.