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Tiebreaker Times

2024 VNL Season

VNL: Canada secures third consecutive win with dominant performance over Brazil

Eric Loeppky pulled off an impressive two-way performance to steer Canada to a third consecutive win in the 2024 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League, sweeping Brazil in three sets: 26-24, 25-19, 26-24, on Friday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Canadians leapfrogged the Brazilians in the standings, moving to 7-3. On the other hand, Brazil dropped to 6-5 with a couple of days remaining in the preliminary phase.

The outside hitter from Manitoba felt pleased that the squad has been gaining momentum with these wins in Manila.

“Obviously, it was a huge win and there were a lot of emotions. We’re super pumped up for that team win. We won together, and that’s what we all wanted,” the 25-year-old winger said.

“I guess it was a build-up; every week we’ve been getting better since Week 1. And so I think it’s coming together for us this week, and we just want to keep on improving and getting better.”

Loeppky finished with 21 points on 16 attacks, two blocks, and three service aces, along with four digs and three excellent receptions.

As in Canada’s past victories, the North Americans dictated the tempo of the match from the onset with their service game. They scored aces or forced the opponents to play out of system.

The white-shirts then capitalized on their chances in transition with spikers like Loeppky, Arthur Szwarc, and Stephen Maar finishing the points.

VNL2024-Eric-Loeppky-4596 VNL: Canada secures third consecutive win with dominant performance over Brazil 2024 VNL Season News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Loeppky left his imprint throughout the match after Canada fended off their southern neighbors in the first set, including two defensive plays in the second set.

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Those plays led to booming kills from Maar and Fynn McCarthy, extending the advantage to 15-9 and 21-14, respectively.

With the third set hanging in the balance and the Brazilians holding a one-point lead at 11-10, Loeppky perfectly timed Darlan Souza’s service for a good pass to Luke Herr and a huge kill from Maar.

Two kills from the Manitoban spiker gave Canada two-point leads at 13-11 and 14-12, enough to fend off a Darlan-led Brazilian comeback. This set up Brodie Hofer’s heroics with back-to-back service aces for a 19-16 cushion.

Maar added 12 points, all from attacks, while Szwarc produced 11 spikes.

Canada will try to sweep the Pasay leg on Saturday against the struggling Netherlands side (3-7) to boost its position in the Top 8.

Darlan, who sat out most of the previous day’s match against the United States, finished with 12 points on 10 attacks and two service aces, most of which came in the third set.

The 21-year-old upstart was the only Brazilian in double figures, as Yoandy Leal Hidalgo and Lucas Saatkamp finished with nine points each, all from attacks.

Brazil will try to regain momentum for the Final Round when it battles France (7-3) on Sunday at 3:00 PM.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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