May 23, 2013, Ottawa (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjunction with Volleyball Canada, announced Thursday the six student-athletes and four staff members who will represent Canada in beach volleyball at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.
This will mark the second Universiade appearance for beach volleyball, which made its FISU Games debut in 2011 in Shenzhen, China. The Kazan tournament is set to get underway on July 8, with the women’s and men’s finals scheduled for July 12 and 13, respectively.
On the women’s side, Canada was awarded the maximum of two entries and will be represented by the pairs of Taylor Pischke of Winnipeg and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto, as well as Rachel Cockrell of Winnipeg and Charlotte Sider of Ottawa.
In the men’s competition, the lone Maple Leaf squad will be comprised of Grant O’Gorman of Scarborough, Ont., and Samuel Pedlow of Barrie, Ont.
Rounding out the red and white team are coaches Hernan Humana (Pischke / Humana-Paredes), Laura Inward (Cockrell / Sider) and Eddie Coleman (O’Gorman / Pedlow), along with head of delegation Marc Stromme.
Pischke and Humana-Paredes kept a perfect 5-0 record at the Universiade trials held on March 23 and 24 in Toronto. The duo enjoyed a great summer in 2012, claiming the senior national title and finishing fifth at the FIVB under-21 world championships. On their way to Kazan, they will stop in Myslowice, Poland, where they will compete in the U23 Worlds from June 5-9.
Back in 2011, Humana-Paredes claimed silver at the U21 Worlds with former partner Victoria Altomare.
Cockrell and Sider are in their first season together and got off to a solid start at the FISU trials with a third-place finish. Sider has plenty of experience at the international level, including a pair of ninth positions at the 2011 and 2012 U21 world championships. She is also set to compete at the upcoming U23 Worlds, where she will team up with Denise Wooding.
O’Gorman and Pedlow also went 5-0 two months ago at the trials in Toronto, never giving up more than 12 points in a set on their way to the men’s title. The duo has extensive international experience, including fourth-place finishes last summer at the FISU world university championships and Canadian Nationals, a bronze medal on the NORCECA Tour in Puerto Rico in 2012, as well as another top-six placing on the Tour earlier this year in Guatemala. They are scheduled to play in one more NORCECA event before heading to Kazan, from June 6-10 in Toluca, Mexico.
At the inaugural Universiade beach volleyball tournament in 2011, Caleigh Whitaker and Kristina Valjas had the best Canadian result on the women’s side with a 13th-place finish, while Cameron Wheelan and Simon Fecteau Boutin were the top men’s pair in 17th position.
Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013
NOTES: Pischke (Manitoba), Cockrell (Manitoba), Sider (Toronto), Humana-Paredes (York) and O’Gorman (York) all played CIS indoor volleyball this past season… Humana-Paredes and Cockrell were named CIS second-team all-Canadians in 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively.