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UPDATED: Langley volleyball players help Canada earn bronze at Pan Am Cup

TWU boys bring home bronze from Fort McMurray, while a foursome of girls are named to national team.
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Trinity Western University’s Eric Loeppky, along with Jesse Elser, Derek Epp, and Jacob Kern were instrumental in Canada’s bronze-medal winning performance against Guatemala at the U21 Pan Am Cup this past weekend.

The U21 Pan Am Cup took place at the Keyano College, in Fort McMurray, Alta. from May 16 to 21.

Loeppky, in particular, shone at the Pan Ams.

He led the entire tournament in scoring with 100 points. The 6 ft. 5 in. is an outside hitter for the Spartans.

Hailing from Steinbach, Man., Loeppky was also this year’s Canada West and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year.

He and his teammates on the Canadian team will now prepare for the 2017 FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship, which will be in the Czech Republic from June 23 to July 2.

In the meantime, Trinity’s women’s volleyball team will be well represented on the national team, with four Spartans alum being named to Canada’s women’s team.

Those players are Alicia Perrin, Kristen Moncks, Elly Wendel, and Nikki Cornwall – who were all on the senior national team last summer.

Trinity Western University’s Eric Loeppky, along with Jesse Elser of Calgary and Derek Epp of Saskatoon, were instrumental in Canada’s bronze-medal winning performance against Guatemala at the U21 Pan Am Cup, as the Spartans trio started all three sets and were critical pieces in this weekend’s win in Alberta.

Loeppky tallied 19 points in a four-set quarter-final victory over Chile Friday, to help guide Canada into the men’s volleyball semifinals at the U21 Pan Am Cup. Against Chile, Epp took over setting duties in the third set and then started the fourth set, collecting four points and four running sets. TWU’s Jacob Kern of Edmonton and Elser each had one point in the match.

Loeppky’s quarter-final performance came on the heels of a 20-point team-leading effort in a four-set loss against tournament favourite Brazil in pool play.

Then, Canada took a four-set loss to Cuba on Saturday. Despite that defeat, the Spartans brought home a bronze medal in Sunday’s game against Guatemala.

Loeppky, who led the entire tournament in scoring with 100 points, scored 18 points, had nine kills, and three aces to help lead the Canadian contingent to a convincing win over the Guatemalan side. And, in the same game, Elser collected eight kills and two blocks, while Epp guided the Canadian offence from the setting position.

Loeppky, the 6 ft. 5 in. outside hitter with the Spartans, was this year’s Canada West and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year, is one of four TWU athletes on the Canadian side at the U21 Pan Am Cup. He hails from Steinbach, Man.

The U21 Pan Am Cup took place at the Keyano College, in Fort McMurray, Alta. from May 16 to 21. During that week, the city hosted 21 matches between eight teams.

Canada will now prepare for the 2017 FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship, which will be in the Czech Republic from June 23 to July 2. In the meantime, Brazil earned the Pan Am Cup tournament title after beating Cuba in four sets in the gold medal match.

Girls named to national roster

In the meantime, Trinity’s women’s volleyball team will also be well represented on the national team, with four Spartans alum being named to Canada’s women’s team.

Those players are Alicia Perrin, Kristen Moncks, Elly Wendel, and Nikki Cornwall – who were all on the senior national team last summer.

Perrin, who is from Creston, as well as Moncks (from Standard, Alta.), and Wendel (from Caronport, Sask.), were all part of the senior national tam last summer. They’ve again been selected to Canada’s 24-player roster, while Cornwall (from Coquitlam) was named as one of three reserves.

Wendel and Cornwall area coming off a 2016-17 season, in which they helped lead the Spartans to bronze medals at both the Canada West and U SPORTS championships.

This year, Wendel was named a U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian, while both Wendel and Cornwall were Canada West First Team All-Stars.

Canada’s selection camp wrapped up earlier this month in Richmond, with head coach Marcello Abbondanza beginning preparations for a busy summer that will include the FIVB World Grand Prix in July, the Pan Am Cup in Peru in June, and the NORCECA Continental Championship in Trinidad in October.

The team will also train and play in Anaheim, Calif. with the U.S. women’s team from June 12 to 14.

One of the highlights of the season will be when Canada hosts the FIVB World Grand Prix at the Richmond Oval July 21 to 23. Volleyball Canada will host six matches among four teams in Group 2, including Germany, Peru, and the Czech Republic.

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Eric Leoppky is an outside hitter for the Spartans volleyball team, currently representing Canada at the Pan Am Cup in Fort McMurray this weekend. He scored 100 points for the team.