Canada wraps up VNL Ottawa 2-2

OTTAWA, Canada, June 09, 2024.- Canada finished week 2 of Volleyball Nations League (men) with a loss to Serbia today at the Arena at TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario.

The final score was Canada 1, Serbia 3 (25-21, 20-25, 18-25, 23-25). Serbia led slightly in attack points (56-54), Canada in blocks (8-7), but Serbia served up 11 aces compared with Canada’s two. Both sides made 22 errors.

“We just couldn’t stop their attack,” said Canada’s Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. ” …If you look at the numbers, we are there, but there’s one point here and there… We knew there would be huge service pressure and they served really well today, so that was another difference. ..We had opportunities, but we didn’t convert, and the result is there. We will focus on getting better and being more efficient in attack and defence.”

Serbia’s Drazen Luburić led the points leaderboard with 22. Stephen Maar and Arthur Szwarc were top scorers for Canada with 16 points apiece.

The next week of men’s play for Canada is in Manila, Philippines, beginning on June 18.

“We’ve improved since last year; I think the work shows – we are able to compete with the top teams and win against top teams. Going forward into the final week in the Philippines, we’ll be looking to make the last few wins and continue improving and hoping to make top 8 (in VNL) and then going to Paris,” said Canadian libero Justin Lui. “We gained a lot of confidence from qualifying for the Olympics and knowing we can win under pressure.

“Last night (a win vs USA) was one of the most memorable matches I’ve had recently. In front of a sold-out home crowd, the team knows now that we can beat top teams when we put our best foot forward.”

Canada’s men’s team is qualified for Paris 2024, Serbia is still looking to qualify via world rankings. 

The Canadian women resume VNL play in Japan this week.