Canada pushes No. 1 Poland to 5 sets, suffers 1st loss at men’s Olympic volleyball qualifier


Canada has a 2-1 record at the men’s Olympic volleyball qualification tournament after dropping a narrow decision to Poland on Tuesday in Xi’An, China.

Bednorz Bartosz had 25 points to pace the attack as world No. 1 Poland shaded Canada 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 17-15).

Stephen Maar, of Aurora, Ont., topped the 14th-ranked Canadians with 19 points, followed by Eric Leoppky (16), of Steinbach, Man., and Toronto’s Arthur Szwarc (11).

The loss dropped Canada to fourth place in Pool C, behind Poland, Belgium and Argentina.

WATCH | Canada tests top-ranked Poland in 5-set pool match:

Canada defeated by Poland in five sets at Olympic volleyball qualifier

The Canadian men were defeated by world number one Poland in five sets (21-25,25-20,25-20,20-25,17-15) at the Road to Paris tournament in Xi’an.

Only the top two countries from each of the tournament’s three pools advance to the Paris Olympics next summer.

Canada is scheduled to face host China (0-2) on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. ET that will be streamed live on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

From there, the Canadians battle No. 25 Bulgaria (Thursday, 10 p.m. ET), No. 21 Belgium (Friday, 10 p.m.) and No. 22 Mexico (Sunday, 4 a.m.) in single-match round robin pool play.

Last month, Canada fell to the United States in the gold-medal match at the NORCECA Continental Championship in Charleston, W.Va.

Canada entered the final with a 3-0 record following a semifinal victory over Cuba and sweeps of the Dominicans and Mexico.

The Canadians have made five appearances in Olympic men’s volleyball, recording their best finish in Los Angeles 1984 with a bronze medal. Canada was defeated in the quarterfinals in Rio (2016) and Tokyo (2021).

The women finished third in their group nine days ago in Ningbo, China, missing a chance to clinch an Olympic spot and instead will likely have to improve upon its No. 11 world ranking next summer to gain entry to the 12-team tourney.

Canada roster

#20 Jordan Canham — Avonmore, Ont.
#13 Samuel Cooper — Hamilton
#97 Landon Currie — Coldstream, BC
#6 Danny Demyanenko — Toronto
#1 Pearson Eshenko — Banff, Alta.
#2 Luke Herr — Winnipeg
#4 Nicholas Hoag — Sherbrooke, Que.
#5 Brodie Hofer — Langley, B.C.
#80 Eric Loeppky — Steinbach, Man.
#18 Justin Lui — Pickering, Ont.
#7 Stephen Maar — Aurora, Ont.
#16 Jordan Schnitzer — Surrey, B.C.
#14 Arthur Szwarc — Toronto
#12 Lucas Van Berkel — Edmonton
#8 Brett Walsh — Calgary

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