The Canadian national volleyball team is in impressive form ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris.

Eric Loeppky scored the most points of the game with 21 points and qualified for the quarterfinals of the Volleyball Nations League with a 3-0 win against Brazil on Friday. Canada had never made it past the preliminary round in five previous VNL appearances.

Canada, which rose three places to ninth in the latest FIVB World Rankings, posted set scores of 26-24, 25-19 and 26-24 as it defeated sixth-ranked Brazil for the first time in the VNL and improved its record to 7-4 in the tournament.

With the victory, Canada reached fourth place in the tournament standings and the best eight qualified for the quarterfinals in Lodz, Poland.

“Great, great win today,” said Canada head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. “I'm happy with the consistency we're showing and today was a difficult game.”

“There was a lot of pressure from the service line and we handled it well. We attacked with very few errors and then made some very good decisions in attack at important moments.”

Stephen Maar scored 12 points and Arthur Szwarc added 11 for Canada, which led Brazil in attack points 46-37 and dominated in blocks 5-1.

Darlan Souza scored the most points for Brazil with 12 points. The 2016 Olympic champions and 2021 VNL champions fell to seventh place before their final group match against world number 4 Japan.

Canada will close the preliminary round on Saturday with a match against the Netherlands. The Canadians have won three games in a row after beating Japan 3-2 and beating Germany 3-0 earlier in the week.

Canada had already qualified for the Summer Olympics last year by finishing second in its group at a qualifying tournament.

The men's Olympic volleyball tournament will take place from July 27 to August 10 at the South Paris Arena. Canada reached the quarterfinals in the last two games.

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