VNL: Canada powers past Belgium for first win in Manila

Alexa Gray leads Canada past Belgium in the VNL Week 2 in Manila. –FIVB VOLLEYBALL

MANILA, Philippines — Alexa Gray and Kiera Van Ryk propelled Canada to defeat Belgium, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, for its first win of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Week 2 on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Gray unleashed 24 points, including the game-winning hit, while Van Ryk delivered 22 points and 11 digs as the Canadians earned their first win in the Quezon City league to improve to 3-3 record.

“I was really excited on what our team did today. I thought we did our gameplan and this a big win and big three points for us moving forward in the tournament and I’m just proud of the way we really battled today,” said Gray, who also had 10 digs.

“I think all of us had a little bit of a better game. I felt more confident going into this game. We came out today wanted to win and we showed that today,” she added.

Hilary Howe and Emily Maglio chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively.  Canada bounced back from a three-set loss to Thailand on Tuesday.

Britt Herbots led Belgium’s third set win as she exploded with 29 points, including four blocks, and seven digs only for Belgium to absorb its fifth loss in six matches.

Skipper Celine Van Gestel was also instrumental for the Belgians with 16 points and 11 digs.

Canada takes on World No. 3 China at 3 p.m. on Friday, while Belgium returns to action on Saturday against  Poland at 3 p.m.

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