VNL 2024: As Paris Olympics nears, Canada focused on improvement

VNL 2024: As Paris Olympics nears, Canada focused on improvement

/ 07:01 PM June 21, 2024

Eric Loeppky and team Canada in the VNL Week 3 in Manila Paris Olympics

Eric Loeppky and Paris Olympics-bound Canada in the VNL Week 3 in Manila. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Bracing for their upcoming stint in Paris Olympics 2024, Eric Loeppky and Canada have been utilizing their Volleyball Nations League (VNL) stint as a huge preparation while pushing their Final Eight chances.

Loeppky led another balanced attack with 21 points off 16 kills, three aces, and two blocks in Canada’s third straight win in Manila, stunning Brazil, 26-24, 25-19, 26-24, to rise to the fourth place with a 7-4 record on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

“I think it’s been the build-up. I think every week, we’ve been getting better from Week 1. So, I think coming together for us this week and I think we wanna just keep on improving and getting better,” said Loeppky.


READ: VNL 2024: Canada denies fan favorite Japan in five sets

Stephen Maar backstopped Loeppky with 12 points, as Arthur Szwarc chipped in 11 points to inch closer to sweeping the last VNL leg with one more game remaining against the Netherlands on Saturday.

As they try to seal their spot to the final round in Poland, Loeppky said they are also making the most of the VNL to work on their chemistry for the Olympics next month.

“There’s not much time to practice because we gotta manage our bodies with the heavy schedule so I think we’re kinda using these games like training for us in the Olympics. VNL is a pretty important tournament but the summer Olympics is a big one and we’re trying to peak up to that,” he said.


READ: VNL 2024: Canada sweeps Germany for back-to-back wins

Loeppky, who got his first national team call-up in 2018, was thrilled to see his personal growth and the team’s improvement from the time he joined six years ago. 


“I think so many guys are improving, I think we’re really gaining a lot of confidence playing with one another,” he said. “It’s pretty cool I’ll never forget where it all started and where I came from. I think being here is surreal for me, it’s a dream something I’ve been thinking about a lot and I never thought that I would make it this far. I’m just super grateful and being here and singing the national anthem it just brings me back to when I was a kid and this kind of journey of volleyball, it’s really special to me.”

Brazil suffered a two-game skid, sliding to the sixth place with a 6-5 record fresh from its five-set loss to Team USA on Thursday evening. 

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Darlan Souza was the lone bright spot for the Brazilian with 12 points as they seek to bounce back against France on Sunday.

TAGS: Canada, VNL

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