Marshall, Canada fall short in Olympic vollleyball qualifier

Team Canada loses to Cuba, fails to qualify for 2018 Olympics

Abbotsford volleyball player Steve Marshall and his Team Canada teammates will have to keep fighting in order to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

Canada’s hopes for qualifying early were dashed, after losing in straight sets (25-15, 25-21, 25-21) to Cuba in Edmonton on Sunday night.

A win against Cuba would have clinched a spot at the Olympics in the sport for Canada, something that the team hasn’t achieved since 1992.

Canada, ranked 10th in the world, was the pre-tournament favourite, and beat Mexico on Friday and Puerto Rico on Saturday. The win sends Cuba, ranked 15th in the world, to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Canada’s Olympic hopes are still alive, as its second-place finish in the competition sees the squad advance to a second-chance tournament in Japan in May.

Marshall spent four seasons with the Trinity Western University Spartans and won a Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship in 2012, before signing a contract with Poland’s Transfer Bydgoszcz in the summer of 2014.

He caught the eye of Team Canada shortly after and began playing for the red and white internationally. After one year in Poland, Marshall joined Germany’s SVG Lüneburg for the 2015-16 campaign. He also earned a bronze medal as a part of Team Canada at the Pan-Am Games this past July.