FIVB: Junior National Team Qualifies for Top 8

Canada's Junior National team has qualified for the Top 8 at the 2015 FIVB U21 World Championships in Mexico, after finishing second in Pool A with a record of 2-1. 

The Canucks got off the a rocky start with a 3-1 loss at the hands of Turkey, and went down 0-2 to a feisty team from Egypt before coming back to take the match 3-2 and stay in the hunt. To warp up the first round, Canada put on a dominating performance against the hosts, taking down Mexico in three-straight.

Coach John Barrett and his squad have a lot to be proud of, as a Canadian team has not finished in the Top Eight since 1999, where they finished 5th - the highest-ever result for Canada at the tournament. 

Moving forward, things are about to get a lot tougher. Now in Pool F alongside Italy, China and Russia, three of the powerhouses in the game, Canada will have to finish Top Two if they want a chance at a medal - and at history.

Here's their Round 2 schedule.

Canada Schedule

Canada Canada vs. Italy Italy Tuesday September 15th - 8:00 p.m. EST
Canada Canada vs. Russia Russia Wednesday September 16th - 5:00 p.m. EST
Canada Canada vs. China China Thursday September 17th - 5:00 p.m. EST

This is, however, one of the strongest teams to dawn the Maple Leaf in a while. Outside hitter Ryan Nickifor (Sherwood Park, AB) currently leads the tournament in scoring with 67 points (55 kills, 4 blocks, 8 aces) while Brandon Koppers (Mississauga, ON) is third with 59 points (45 kills, 12 blocks, 2 aces). Defensively, Andrew Richards (London, On) has been a rock. He's currently 3rd in digs with 30 and averaging 2.5/set. 

If you want to watch the Junior National team in action, head over to our 2015 FIVB U21 Championships homepage for live streams.