Italy stuns France in men's first preliminary
In the first men's volleyball match of the Rio Olympics, Italy floored France with a three-set sweep.
Entering the match, France hadn't lost to Italy in four years, going 5-0 in that span.
But Sunday, Italy scored the first nine points of the match and jumped out to an 11-1 lead.
France battled back to pull within 18-17, but Italy held on for the victory and set the tone for the whole match.
Italy won the second set 25-20 and then cruised to a 25-15 victory in the third and final set.
After wake-up call, Brazil skates by Mexico
In the largest mismatch of the men's volleyball slate at Rio, Mexico came out and shocked Brazil before the hosts bounced back.
Mexico entered play as the lowest-ranked team at the Rio Games (No. 26 worldwide) and immediately had to face top-ranked Brazil.
But the Mexican team got off to a hot start and claimed the first game 25-23.
That was the wake-up call Brazil needed, however, as the hosts won the next three sets to close out the match by scores of 25-19, 25-14 and 25-18.
Poland takes down Egypt
Despite some inspired effort from Egypt, Poland needed only an hour and 11 minutes for a three-set sweep in the preliminary match Sunday afternoon.
Entering Rio, Poland ranked No. 2 in the world while Egypt came in 20th.
Poland won the first set 25-18, but was challenged in the second set by some incredible rallies from Egypt. Still, the Polish team persevered in a hard-fought set with a 25-20 victory.
In the third set, Poland rolled over Egypt 25-17 to complete the sweep.
Poland converted a whopping 40 out of 65 spikes.
Unforced errors sink Team USA as Canada sweeps
Canada pulled the rug out from under the U.S. men's volleyball team Sunday in Rio, completing a three-set sweep of the Americans.
Canada held off the Team USA charge in the first set for a 25-23 victory, then won rather easily in the second set (25-17) before another 25-23 win in the final set.
A slew of U.S. errors led to 28 Canadian points on the afternoon.
Russia pulls away from Cuba
Cuba hung with Russia all evening, but eventually the third-ranked team in the world pulled away from Cuba (ranked 17th).
Russia handled Cuba easily initially with wins of 25-17 and 25-19 in the first two sets as the Cuban squad made too many mistakes and allowed Russia to capitalize with 35 points off errors.
Cuba came through with a victory in the third set (25-22) before running into a wall and falling 25-18 in the fourth and final set.
Osniel Cecilio Rendon Gonzalez led the way for Cuba with 20 points and 17 spikes while Osniel Lazaro Melgarejo Hernandez tallied 18 points on 14 spikes.
Russia had a more balanced approach offensively with only three players in double figures and 6-foot-8 Maxim Mikhaylov pacing the Russians with 16 points.