Canadian men's team edged 3-2 by Italy at Volleyball Nations League

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RIMINI, Italy — The Canadian men's volleyball team came back from two sets down to force a fifth set before falling 3-2 to Italy on Saturday in Nations League play.

Set scores were 25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 26-28 and 15-11.

Nicholas Hoag led Canada with 18 points, while Eric Loeppky added 15.

Canada (2-4) slipped one point to 11th in the men's standings. Its next game is Wednesday against Slovenia.

On the women's side, Canada (2-4) is in 12th heading into a game Monday against Poland. The Canadian women bring a two-match winning streak into the contest.

The annual international men's and women's competition featuring the world's top 16 teams in each gender was cancelled in 2020 because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian men's and women's squads will each play a 15-match preliminary round until June 23.

The top four countries advance to the semifinals and finals.

The Canadian men, ranked No. 10 in the world, have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics starting July 23. Nations League is important preparation for them after a year of no matches as a team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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