Canada edges Belgium in VNL

Canada recovered from a third-set hiccup and downed Belgium, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, Thursday in Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League Women’s Leg at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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Alex Gray stepped up in the crunch with four of the last five points to steer the Canadians to their third win in six outings for nine points.

Tied at 21-all, Gray hammered down three straight points to bring the game at match point before Britt Herbots retaliated with a crosscourt spike.

Unfazed, Gray answered back with her own down-the-line spike to seal the win for the Canadians.

Gray paced with 24 points highlighted by 23 kills and one block, while Kier Van Ryk added 22 points on 20 attacks and two aces.

Hilary Howe also starred for the Canadians with 14 points, 12 coming from the attack line, even as Emily Maglio contributed 12 points on eight kills and four blocks.

Canada had a chance to close out the match in the third when it rallied from a 15-9 deficit to 22-all, but three straight points from Belgium including an ace from Jodie Guilliams and an attack from Herbots extended the match.

But it proved to be Belgium’s last stand as Canada regained their pace in the fourth.

Herbotts sizzled with 29 points on 24 kills, four blocks and one ace, but her efforts went futile as Belgium skidded to 1-5 for two points.

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