VNL 2024: Canada denies fan favorite Japan in five sets

VNL 2024: Canada denies fan favorite Japan in five sets

/ 11:50 PM June 18, 2024

Canada celebrates a point against Japan in the VNL Week 3 match in Manila, Philippines.

Canada celebrates a point against Japan in the VNL 2024 Week 3 match in Manila, Philippines. –MARLO CUETO/

VNL 2024 SCHEDULE: Week 3 Manila, Philippines leg

MANILA, Philippines — Most of the Filipino crowd may have been cheering for Japan, but Canada got the last laugh in their crucial Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2024 Week 3 match on Tuesday evening at Mall of Asia Arena.

In front of a good weekday crowd, Canada denied Japan’s fightback in five sets, 25-21, 20-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-10, to keep its Final Eight chances on track with an improved 5-4 record in seventh place.


Thousands of Filipino fans may be on the side of the Japanese, who are playing in their third straight VNL in Manila, but Stephen Maar, who led the collective effort of the Canadians with 24 points, was dauntless.

READ: ‘Great expectations’ ahead for Japan in VNL Manila leg

“Sometimes it’s nice to be the villain so I enjoy that,” Maar said after drilling 22 kills and two aces.

Eric Loeppky had fun in his first game in the country, delivering 15 points built on 13 kills and two blocks as Canada also played in Manila for the third straight year.

“It’s the first game of the week. You never kind of know what you’re gonna expect and I think we came out really strong and they’re a good team so we battled,” Loeppky told reporters. “The fans were awesome here it’s my first time in the Philippines so I really enjoyed that but we’re really happy we came out with the win.”


“I wasn’t here last year, unfortunately. I’ve heard legendary stories all year about how amazing the fans are and I finally got to see it and they can really make some noise. So it’s awesome and it’s a fun environment and I really enjoy playing,” he added.

Arthur Swarc also scored 15 points off 12 spikes, two blocks, and an ace, Pearson Eshenko and Danny Demyanenko chipped in eight points each as Canada got its act together in the fifth set, pulling away with a 10-6 advantage en route to a big win.

Loeppky puts a premium on consistency as they battle Germany on Thursday at 11 a.m.

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“I think for us it’s consistency. Last week, we were able to get big wins but in the following game we struggled a bit. I think that’s our next goal to see how consistent can we play for the next match,” he said.

Japan slid to a 6-3 record still in No.6 despite the efforts of Yuji Nishida and Yuki Ishikawa. Ran Takahashi added 13 points before its next match against the Netherlands on Friday.

TAGS: Canada, Japan, VNL

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