BRNO, Czech Republic – Trinity Western’s contingent of Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.), Jesse Elser (Calgary) and Derek Epp (Saskatoon) proved themselves on the world stage, as the Spartans men’s volleyball trio helped Canada to an eighth-place finish at the FIVB U21 World Championship.
After finishing with three wins from six outings in pool play, beating the Czech Republic, Morocco and Argentina but losing to eventual champion Poland, Brazil and Russia, the Canadians dropped a pair of five-setters in the 5th-8th place classification round. Canada lost to China in the fifth-place semifinal and then fell to Argentina in the battle for seventh place.
Loeppky, who was the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year this past season, finished ninth in the tournament in scoring, with 118 points, while Elser, who will join TWU this fall, finished with 33 points.
Epp, who comes to the Spartans this year after playing with the University of Saskatchewan last season, finished the tournament with 2.06 running sets per set.
In Canada’s pool play contest against Poland, all three Spartans started each set in what proved to be a close three-set loss (31-29, 25-23, 25-20) against a dominant Polish side.