Canada's first-ever women's team to compete in the FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League is ready to go as 17 players have been selected by head coach Shannon Winzer to represent the country in Rimini, Italy, at the end of May.
Canada qualified to appear in the VNL for the first time after winning the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup. The 2021 tournament will also be the first with Winzer at the helm after she took over from former head coach Tom Black last December.
The group of players will travel to Italy in the next few days and will spend its entire preparation period ahead of the tournament in the European country.
Ranked 18th in the FIVB World Rankings, Canada will have some experienced players in their roster, starting with 29-year-old middle blocker and team captain Jennifer Cross, who spent the last club season in Turkey with Yesilyurt.
Alexa Gray, a 26-year-old outside hitter who played for Italian club Busto Arsizio, is also expected to be a key player for the team as well as rising star 22-year-old opposite Kiera Van Ryk, who played in the Polish League during the 2020-2021 club season and will join Turk Hava Yollari in Turkey in the next.
Canada’s VNL roster
Setters: Brie King, Kim Robitaille, Dani Smith
Opposites: Kiera van Ryk, Shainah Joseph
Outside Hitters: Alexa Gray, Parker Austin, Hilary Howe, Carolina Livingston, Andrea Mitrovic,
Middle Blockers: Jennifer Cross, Emily Maglio, Alicia Ogoms, Layne van Buskirk, Jazmine White
Liberos: Cassie Bujan, Kennedy Snape
FIVB Volleyball Nations League