Canada completes VNL Pasay leg sweep with squeaker vs Netherlands

Canada completed a Pasay domination in the VNL. Jade Moya
By Dugout Philippines

PASAY--Canada completed a 4-0 sweep of the Manila leg with a gritty 21-25, 25-22, 28-26, 14-25, 15-9 win over the Netherlands to formalize its final-round entry in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Men’s Week 3 on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Canadians landed here with their fates hanging in the balance but amazingly took care of business in winning all their matches against Brazil, Germany, Japan, and now the Netherlands amidst its fiery resistance. 

The world No. 9 Canada wrapped up its campaign at 8-4 with 23 points for fourth place to cap a successful redemption tour to the eight-team Final Round set in Poland next week. 

Canada missed the cut last VNL, settling for 12th place with a dismal 3-9 record. 

But not this time around with the lethal duo of Stephen Timothy Maar and Eric Loeppky headlining their sweet revenge. 

Maar rifled in 18 points on 15 hits, two blocks, and an ace while Loeppky manufactured 14 on 12 attacks, an ace, and a block plus 10 digs to lead the way, especially in the runaway clincher after yielding to the Dutchmen in a subpar 14-25 defeat in the prior frame.

Luke Herr orchestrated Canada’s attack with 19 sets for Canada, which has previously booked a ticket in the 12-team Paris Olympics next month.

“It’s really a tough and emotional game. It’s been a great and amazing week for us. We’re just dreaming of being in the Final 8. And we’re here. I’m very happy for the team and the players,” said Canada head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. 

Nimir Abdel-Aziz, the VNL’s top scorer, once again sizzled with a game-high 37 points while Maarten Van Garderen had 17 but the Netherlands absorbed an opposite fate in going winless in Manila. 

The Netherlands, world No. 13, previously bowed to Iran, Brazil, and Japan for a 0-4 slate here and 3-9 overall at 13th place in the 16-team VNL.

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