Canada pulls off straight-sets victory over Bulgaria at Volleyball Nations League
Team bounces back from 2 consecutive losses, now sits 2-3 overall
The Canadian men's volleyball team claimed its second victory in Nations League action with a 3-0 (28-26, 25-23, 25-16) win over Bulgaria on Friday.
Canada entered the match coming off two consecutive 1-3 defeats to Iran and Brazil, its last win being a straight-sets triumph over Argentina on Saturday.
The resilient Canadians led their opponent after tough two sets. Though Bulgaria made an effort to stay alive, the Canadians dominated the third to clinch the win.
Canada out-blocked Bulgaria 10-4, but still committed 19 errors to the other squad's 18.
WATCH | Canada back to winning ways aftet beating Bulgaria in straight sets:
Nicholas Hoag led Canada with 12 points, while Sharone Vernon-Evans and Arthur Szwarc had nine apiece.
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Bulgaria's Tsvetan Sokolv, who tallied a game-high 23 points, was seen holding the back of his shoulder throughout the later stages of the match. He took the opportunity between the second and third sets to receive courtside treatment.
The win pushed Canada into 10th place in the standings, passing a United States team that defeated them in their opening game of the annual international tournament.
The Canadian men have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics starting July 23.
Canada will next play Italy — which won its single Nations League match against Bulgaria — on June 5.
The tournament, which features the world's top 16 teams in each gender, was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian men's and women's squads will each play a 15-match preliminary round ending June 23.
The top four countries advance to the semifinals and finals.
With files from The Canadian Press