Argentina came out on top 3-2 (22-25, 30-28, 25-20, 20-25, 15-11) against Canada in the battle for seventh place at FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship on Sunday.
Jan Martinez of Argentina was the top scorer with 22 points, one more than teammate Geronimo Elgueta. Eric Loeppky was Canada’s biggest point-maker, scoring 19 times.
The first two sets were very tight and the team that made fewer mistakes won; 25-22 to Canada in the first and 30-28 to Argentina in the second. The attack efficiency dropped for both teams during the third set, but more so on the Canadian side – 25-20 to Argentina. With a very strong all-around performance from Eric Loeppky in the fourth set, Canada stayed in control to win it by 25-20 and tie the match. However, the tie-breaker was all about the South American team. Once again, Canada’s unforced errors proved crucial in the final set score of 15-11 for Argentina.
Canada had beaten Argentina earlier in the tournament, also in five sets.
“I am very happy and proud about our performance during the tournament because with each match we improved our game as a team and also as individual players,” said Canada’s coach Gino Brousseau. “We came eighth, but each game was close – we had some good fights against the best teams in the world, and also we had the chance to play different styles of volleyball like European, Asian and South America.”
Brousseau commended his players for never giving up during the high-level tournament.
“The players gave everything they had, and they deserve all the credit for our performance. They showed a lot of character because we played eight games in 10 days and some guys were tired and injured, but they never give up. They were very good ambassadors for our country.”
The final match was between Poland and Cuba. Score: 3-0 with Poland winning gold.
Mikael Clegg; St. Andrews, MB; (University of Winnipeg) – Setter
Jesse Elser; Calgary, AB (FTC – Team Canada) – Left Side
Derek Epp; Saskatoon, SK; (University of Saskatchewan) – Setter
Daenan Gyimah; Scarborough, ON (UCLA Bruins) – Middle
Joel Rudd; Cambridge, ON (Queen’s University) – Left Side
Eric Loeppky; Steinbach, MB (Trinity Western University) – Left Side
Matthew Mawdsley; London, ON (University of Waterloo) – Middle
Fynn McCarthy; Lake Country, BC (Kelowna Volleyball Club) – Middle
Matthew Passalent; Hamilton, ON (McMaster University) – Right Side
Jordan Pereira; St. Catharines, ON (McMaster University) – Libero
Taryq Sani; Ajax, ON (University of Alberta) – Left Side
Max Vriend; Barrhead, AB (MacEwan University) – Middle
Paul Gratton; Orléans, ON – Team Manager
Gino Brousseau; Quebec City, QC – Head Coach
Adam Simac; Ottawa/Toronto, ON – Assistant Coach
Francois St-Denis; Ottawa, ON – Assistant Coach
Daniel Cuzmar Grimalt; Quebec City, QC – Statistician
Jennifer Martins; Waterloo, ON. – Therapist
Murat Haktanir – Statistician
With photo and reports from FIVB.com