Canada tops Netherlands in opener of men's volleyball Olympic qualifier tournament
XI'AN, China — Canada emerged victorious in its opening match of a men's volleyball Olympic qualification tournament early on Saturday.
Canada took the final two sets to earn the comeback win over the Netherlands 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-12).
Canada then bumped off Argentina 3-1 (27-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-15) on Saturday night (Sunday morning local time) to remain unbeaten.
"It was a good victory (over Netherlands), which is very important for the team and for confidence,” said Canada head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo.
The Dutch led in attack points (69-57), but also gave up more points to errors (34-25). Canada led in blocking (13-5) and service aces (8-3).
Canada was led by Toronto's Arthur Szwarc's 19 points, followed by Stephen Maar (18) of Aurora, Ont., and Eric Loeppky (15) of Steinbach, Man.
Nimir Abdel-Aziz paced the Netherlands with 29 points.
The top two seeds from each of the three eight-team pools qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Canada is in Pool C alongside Bulgaria, Argentina, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico and China, host of the current tournament which runs until Oct. 8.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2023.