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Canadian men fall to Slovenia in 5 sets at Volleyball Nations League | CBC Sports

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The Canadian men’s volleyball team went the distance against Slovenia at the Volleyball Nations League but were unable to pick up the win on Saturday in Antalya, Turkey.

The Slovenians came away with a five-set victory (22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 15-10), but Canada didn’t make things easy for their opponents.

“They’re a great team, especially blocking-wise,” Slovenian setter Gregor Ropret told VBTV after the match. “[The Canadians] did a really good job studying us, they stopped us really well…we were in trouble a lot of times.

“It was a hard match.”

Canada’s Luke Herr was upbeat after the loss, and said his team played a competitive match against the Slovenians.

“It was a real battle out there [going] back and forth, we didn’t come out on top today, but it was an incredible battle,” Herr said. “Any team we play in VNL is going to be a tough game.

“We just come out and give it our all.”

WATCH | Canada vs. Slovenia, full-match replay:

FIVB Men’s 2024 Volleyball Nations League Antalya: Slovenia vs. Canada

Watch Slovenia battle Canada at the FIVB 2024 Men’s Volleyball Nations League tournament in Antalya, Turkey.

The Canadian record now sits at 2-2 in VNL play this week. They picked up wins over Bulgaria and hosts Turkey, while taking a loss to top-ranked Poland.

“It was a huge fight in this first week [and] today we came to play and win against a very, very good team,” Canada’s head coach, Tuomas Sammelvuo, said in a media release. “Overall, I’m happy with this first week. There will always be things to improve, but we also got a lot of confidence and now we’re looking forward to playing the second week in Ottawa in front of our home crowd.”

That next week of VNL action begins on June 4 at the TD Centre in the Canadian capital. All of Canada’s matches will be streamed live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app, and on CBC Gem.

The 12th-ranked Canadians have already qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics after a second-place performance in the Olympic Qualifier pool last year.

Canadian roster

  • Luke Herr – Winnipeg
  • Brett Walsh – Calgary
  • Ryley Barnes – Edmonton
  • Nicholas Hoag – Sherbrooke, Que.
  • Eric Loeppky – Steinbach, Man.
  • Stephen Maar – Aurora, Ont. 
  • Pearson Eshenko – Banff, Alta.
  • Fynn McCarthy – Lake Country, B.C.
  • Danny Demyanenko – Toronto
  • Lucas Van Berkel – Edmonton
  • Xander Ketrzynski – Toronto
  • Arthur Szwarc – Toronto
  • Landon Currie – Coldstream, B.C.
  • Justin Lui – Pickering, Ont.
  • Reserve: Jordan Schnitzer – Surrey, B.C.
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