The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 06/15/2018 8:34 AM
Steinbach’s Eric Loeppky is spending the summer doing what he does best, and that is to train and excel at the sport of volleyball.
Loeppky is at the National Volleyball Training Centre at Gatineau, Quebec, where he is a member and is training with the Canadian National Men’s B Volleyball Team.
While still in high school here in Steinbach with the SRSS Sabres, Loeppky was already on the radar of the Canadians men’s national volleyball programs.
When Loeppky led the SRSS Sabres to their first-ever Provincial ‘AAAA’ high school volleyball crown in 2014, Loeppky, although only in grade 11, was already considered as one of the top high school players in the country and was being highly recruited by university programs from across North America.
He settled on Trinity Western University in B.C., one of the top programs in Canada. In fact, in his first year with Trinity Western last year, he helped the Spartans win the U Sports national title, and to a second place finish this past year. He was also named a First Team All-Canadian this year.
And his stock just keeps rising. He was also a member of the Canadian National Junior Team the past couple of years and competed with Team Canada at the World U21 Championships last year at the Czech Republic.
And the awards also keep rolling in for this volleyball standout. Last weekend at the Volleyball Manitoba awards banquet in Winnipeg, Loeppky was named the Manitoba 20U Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
Trinity Western coach Ben Josephson says Loeppky is outstanding in every respect. "Eric is widely considered one of the top players in Canada in U Sports. He plays with great respect for the game, officials and opponents. And he is a great ambassador for our university, our sport and our nation as he represents what Volleyball Canada is all about."
Named the Canadian U Sports Rookie of the Year in 2016-17, Josephson says Loeppky, at 6’5.5" and a wing span of 6’8", "has the size to be in contention with the top left side players on the world stage."
Josephson says Loeppky also works tirelessly year round to improve his game. "Eric has increased his spike touch to 11’ 10" which puts him in world class spike touch consideration. And he has increased his serving velocity from 115 km/h in his first year to a program record 122 km/h, which is also considered world class velocity for spin serves with a Mikasa ball."
And he’s only 19 years old.
Later this summer, Loeppky will travel to Mexico with the National ‘B’ team as they will be competing in a Pan Am Games qualifier.
As of now, he says he plans to return to Trinity Western for his third year next year. But he is also being sought by professional leagues around the world.
And of course down the road for Eric Loeppky for the next decade as his career evolves with the national team, the Olympic Games and other World Championship events are sure to be front and centre.
The defending MJHL champion Steinbach Pistons, with their pre-season schedule now completed, will spend the week in practice preparing for their regular season opener Friday night in Steinbach.
With a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Selkirk Steelers by scores ...
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