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Seated volleyball captain realizes dream of Paralympic semifinals

Langley City’s Danielle Ellis and the rest of the women’s Team Canada play China Friday
Team Canada’s women’s squad in sitting volleyball defeated Japan 3-0 Wednesday, earning themselves a spot in the Paralympic semifinals getting underway Friday. (Volleyball Canada/Special to Langley Advance Times)

A sitting volleyball captain from Langley leads Team Canada to the Paralympic semifinals today in Japan.

Danielle Ellis said getting to the semis started as a dream back in Rio five years ago, after the team earned a seventh-place finish.

Well, it became a reality Wednesday, when Canada swept Japan 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-20) in the final match of pool play.

“I believe in each woman here and I know how much they have put into competing at the Paralympics and I am so proud to sit next to them on the court,” said Ellis, a Langley City resident who contributed 14 points to the defeat of Japan.

RELATED: Langley’s Ellis gets 11 points as Canada downs Italy in Paralympics seated volleyball play

READ MORE: Local putting big points on sitting volleyball scoreboard during Paralympic Games

Also of note on the scoreboard Wednesday was Alberta’s Heidi Peters, who again led scoring with 20 points – including nine from her powerful serves, explained head coach Nicole Ban.

“We got the job done and met our first goal of the event, qualifying for the semifinals. Now it’s time to make the most of a recovery day tomorrow to prepare for our match against China,” she said, referring to a day off from competition on Thursday.

Canada won two of its three pool matches. The women’s squad now play China on Friday, in the second semifinal game of that day.

The U.S. and Brazil also advanced to the semifinals.

“We’re here and we’re ready to push to be the best version of ourselves: One game at a time,” Ellis concluded.

With just a few days left of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the sport of Para swimming is officially wrapping up competition on Friday, with Aurélie Rivard going for a sixth medal on a busy day at the pool for Canada.

RELATED: Aurelie Rivard, Greg Stewart win Paralympic gold medals for Canada

Team Canada’s schedule will also see the women’s sitting volleyball squad make its Paralympic semifinal debut, of course, and races continue in Para athletics and Para canoe, the men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams secure their final positions, and group play finish in boccia and Para badminton.

Langley’s paralympians in the equestrian arena have concluded their quest.

After taking the lead in team test competition on Saturday, Aug. 28, Aldergrove’s Lauren Barwick and South Langley’s Noni Hartvikson, along with teammate Roberta Sheffield, went on to earn a 10th-place finish for Canada in para-dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan last Sunday.

READ MORE: Aldergrove’s Lauren Barwick and South Langley’s Noni Hartvikson ride to a top-10 finish at Paralympics

RELATED: VIDEO – Aldergrove’s Lauren Barwick had to scramble when she became a last-minute addition to Paralympics riding event


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