The Canadian men’s volleyball team punched its ticket to Paris 2024 on Sunday, earning a berth for a third straight Olympic tournament following appearances at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

The 12th-ranked Canada was able to do so by defeating No. 34 Mexico 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-15) in its final game of the men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Xi’an, China. That victory clinched the Canadians a second-place finish in the eight-team Pool C with a 5-2 record.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Canada’s head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo in a news release. “I’m just so happy for volleyball in Canada, and the history of what people have done for many years with this program to now consistently be in the Olympics.

“I would like to thank the players, not only the ones here in China, but also those that have given so much effort to this program during the summer, as well as the coaching staff that have been part of the program. It’s an unbelievable moment and being in the Olympics is huge, as it represents the country.”

WATCH | Canada takes down Mexico:

Canada’s men’s volleyball team crushes Mexico to book spot at Olympics

Featured VideoThe Canadian men will be representing the country in Paris next summer after downing Mexico in straight sets.

Finishing as runner-up to No. 1-ranked Poland (7-0) in the group seemed unlikely after Canada fell to No. 17 Belgium on Friday, but No. 19 Bulgaria topping the Belgians earlier on Saturday opened the door for the Canadians.

Canada didn’t squander its opportunity this time, holding complete control throughout the three-set victory, only trailing at 1-0 in each of the first two sets before taking the lead back for good.

Eric Loeppky of Steinbach, Man., led the way with 16 points, including one of Canada’s eight aces in the match.

“It was an important game after yesterday,” team captain Nicholas Hoag said in a news release. “It was disappointing and scary to be in that position, but we got another opportunity today and we took it. The celebration starts and we will have the year to prepare for Paris.”

The Sherbrooke, Que., native Hoag is the lone member of the current squad to represent Canada in Rio, and is one of four that played in 2021 in Tokyo alongside Toronto’s Arthur Szwarc, Edmonton’s Lucas Van Berkel and Stephen Maar of Aurora, Ont.

Canada lost in the quarterfinals at each of the last two Olympics, and its best result in four appearances was losing in the bronze-medal game in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Reigning bronze medallist Argentina finished third-place in Pool C, and will have to rely on its world ranking (currently No. 6) to earn one of the six remaining spots in the 12-team tournament – a result that befell the No. 11-ranked Canadian women’s team in its qualification tournament in September.

Throughout the week, Canada took down the Netherlands, Argentina, China, Bulgaria, and Mexico, suffering losses to Poland and Belgium.

Also qualifying for the men’s tournament this week were the United States and Japan in Pool B, and Germany and Brazil in Pool A.

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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