Canada comes back for first Men VNL win of 2024

May 21, 2024.- After shaking off the nervous energy of the season opener, Canada’s men’s team earned its first win of Volleyball Nations League 2024 in Antalya, Türkiye, today.

The home team of Türkiye won the first set, but couldn’t hold back Canada, who ended up winning  3-1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21).

“We had a very nervous start of the game,” admitted head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo, “but we knew it might have been like this, so we broke the ice and from the second set on, we got back to the game. Step by step we got better and we were good in key moments in the last three sets. Now all the focus is on getting better and improving our game.”

Canada led in attack points 51-44, and services aces 12-5, but was out-blocked by its opponent 5-12. Canada also made more errors: 29-24.

“I think we had some jitters and they played well, and we could have played better in the first set. After that we got in our rhythm and the connections were much better, and we served better after the first set… What’s great about our group is that everyone helps each other,” captain Nick Hoag said in the post-match interview to VBTV. “We’re growing as a team, and playing better set after set.”

Veteran Stephen Maar led scoring with 24 points including five ace serves, followed by relative newcomer Fynn McCarthy with 14 points (including three blocks and three aces).

Canada, ranked 12th is already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics after the team’s second-place performance in the Olympic Qualifier pool last year. Türkiye is ranked 14th in the world.

Canada next plays world number-one Poland on May 23.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results