Canada opens VNL in Ottawa with 3-1 win over Cuba

OTTAWA, Canada, June 4, 2024.- Canada’s men’s team opened its second week of the 2024 edition of Volleyball Nations League with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-27, 25-20, 28-26) win in front of a supportive home crowd at the Arena at TD Place in Ottawa. 

Canada’s Eric Loeppky led scoring with 22 points, followed by Stephen Maar with 20 points and all contributed to a solid defense against the powerful Cuban attack. Lucas Van Berkel, Arthur Szwarc and Fynn McCarthy produced game-changing blocks throughout the match, including a triple effort by Van Berkel, Szwarc and Maar at the net to seal the victory.

Cuba led in attack points (60-56), but Canada dominated in blocking (18-6), while serves were even at four. Errors were similar.

Full schedule is on the VNL website:

“This is the most organized Cuban team I’ve played in a long time. They have incredible spikers. … For us, it’s super important to stay together. This is an example of when team organization generally beats gifted spikers. I am really happy how we came out against a strong team. They played extremely well during the first week. With each match, we are starting to play better and better. It’s a good sign,” said Maar.

Tuomas Sammelvuo, the Canadian team coach, highlighted the “18 blocks against a very physical team and the guys executed well. Another key factor was the attack against a big block. We were very efficient, with a few mistakes. … This is a great victory, and we want to improve for the next game.”

After a day off, Canada returns to TD Place on Thursday to play 2020 Olympic Games bronze medalist Argentina. Earlier today in Ottawa Argentina lost to USA in three sets. Cuba also returns to action on Thursday against the Netherlands.

Matches can be viewed at or VBTV.