Stanford, UC Irvine players make Canadian Junior National Team

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

Two NCAA men’s volleyball players have been selected to play for Canada as the country tries to qualify for the 2019 FIVB U21 World Championship.

UC Irvine opposite Alexandre Nsakanda and Stanford libero Justin Lui were among the players named to the Canadian Men’s Junior National Team that announced its roster earlier this week.

Nsakanda did not play during his freshman season as the Anteaters qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The 6-foot-4 opposite arrived to UC Irvine after competing with the Canadian Men’s Junior National Team in 2017 and the Canadian Boys’ Youth National Team in 2016.

Lui, a recent high school graduate who in the fall committed to Stanford, was the youngest player last year to make the initial 40-player tryout roster for the Canadian Men’s Junior National Team. The Cardinal’s recruit also helped Team Ontario win a gold medal at the 2017 USA Volleyball High Performance Championship and the 2017 Canada Games Championship.

The Canadian Junior National Team will compete at the NORCECA U21 Continental Championship that begins Aug. 25 in Havana, Cuba.

The top-two teams at the bi-annual NORCECA event will earn berths to the 2019 U21 World Championship.

Canada won the bronze medal at the 2016 NORCECA U21 Continental Championship, but it was still about to qualify for the 2017 U21 World Championship because of its world ranking.

This is the third consecutive year that a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player made the Canadian Junior National Team. UCLA middle attacker Daenan Gyimah helped Canada finish in eighth place at the 2017 U21 World Championship.