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Marr scores 27 points, but Canada loses 3-2 to Slovenia in the Volleyball Nations League

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“It was a tough battle this first week. Today we wanted to play against a very, very good team and win,” said Canada's head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. “We improved playing against these types of teams, but in the end the difference was in the serve and the reception.”

Although Slovenia led in most areas – attack (66-57), aces (11-3) and making fewer errors (22-27) – Canada dominated in blocking points (14-4), with three of Marr's points coming from blocks.

Slovenia is ranked seventh in the world but is still fighting for an Olympic place.

Canada is ranked 12th and has already qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris after finishing second in the Olympic qualifying group last year.

In Week 2, the men's team returns to Canada for the Ottawa leg of the VNL from June 4 to 9 at the Arena at TD Place. The Canadian men will play friendlies against Italy on May 31 and June 1 at the Centre Sportif de Gatineau.

“Overall, I'm happy with this first week,” said Sammelvuo. “There are always things you can improve, but we also gained a lot of confidence and now we're coming back to Canada and looking forward to playing the second week in Ottawa in front of a home crowd.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press