Canada routs Brazil in straight sets

Canada routs Brazil in straight sets
World No. 10. Canada improved to 7-4 with a straight sets win over Brazil in the Volleyball Nations League. / CONTRIBUTED

RED-HOT Canada made short work of Brazil, 26-24, 25-19, 26-24, to stay perfect in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Men’s Week 3 on June 21, 2024 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Canadians needed only 76 minutes to dispatch the former VNL and world champions for their third straight win in as many games that shored up their drive for a spot in the Final 8.

Canada, the world No. 10, hiked its mark to 7-4 with 21 points to snatch the solo fourth place from first-game winner France, this year’s Olympics host and the reigning gold medalist.

France in the first game vented its ire on the previously streaking Iran with an easy 25-21, 25-17, 25-20 for a 7-3 slate but with only 20 points entering the homestretch of the tightrope 16-team VNL race that will only have the Top 8 teams in the final round in Poland next week.

Slovenia (9-1), Italy (8-2) and reigning champion Poland (7-2) currently pace the race.

Ace spiker Eric Loeppky dropped a game-high 21 points built on 18 attacks, three aces and two blocks as Canada completed escape ats in the first and third set to best the powerhouse Brazil.

Stephen Timothy Maar provided 12 points to aid Loeppky as the duo iced the deal in the said sets with crucial hits for identical 26-24 scores. Loeppky pushed Canada to set points on both occasions with Maar sealing the deal.

Arthur Szwarc also played instrumental with 11 points for the vengeful Canadians looking for their rightful place in the finals after setting for 12th place last year.

“It’s a huge win and a lot of emotions. We’re super pumped about this game. We felt that it’s a team win. We won together and we just have to focus on the next game and try to book our ticket in the Final 8,” said Loeppky.

Darlan Ferreira Souza was the only twin-digit scorer with 10 points for world No. 6 Brazil, which absorbed its second loss in three games here in Manila after also bowing to USA on Thursday, 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22, 9-15 to fall at 6-5.

Canada shoots for a Manila leg sweep against the Netherlands at 3 p.m. on Saturday while Brazil, still clinging at No. 6, goes for a strong finish against France at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Earlier, opposite spiker Jean Patry hammered 16 points on 13 hits, two blocks and an ace as the reigning Olympic gold medalist France subdued Iran on the heels of a 23-25, 27-25, 20-25, 23-25 defeat at the hands of Germany on Wednesday.

The world No. 7 France is already locked for the Paris Olympics, which it will host next month – making the VNL a perfect stage to sharpen its preparations with hopes of winning it all as well.

France will continue its journey for that mission against world No. 5 and Philippine crowd favorite Japan at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Iran, on the other hand, had its amazing run end as Milad Ebadipour Ghara served as the lone bright spot with 10 points.

Though already out of contention, now world No. 15 Iran came off two straight wins against world No. 13 the Netherlands, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-10, and world No. 6 USA, 28, 25-23, 25-18, 26-28, 15-13.

Iran slipped to 2-9 at 15th place of the 16-team VNL and will wrap up its campaign against Germany at 11 a.m. on Sunday. / PR

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