Louis Daignault (ISN)
June 23, 2013, UMAG, Croatia (ISN) – Grant O’Gorman of Toronto and Aaron Nusbaum of Aurora, Ont., won the silver medal on Sunday at the FIVB U21 World Championships in beach volleyball.
It was Canada’s second major international success this season in beach volleyball. Last month, Taylor Pischke of Winnipeg and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto earned the bronze in women’s play at the FIVB U23 World Championships.
“These last few years Canadian youth and junior athletes are really stepping it up and having much better results,” said Nusbaum.
In Sunday’s men’s final, Gustavo Carvalhaes and Allison Cittadin of Brazil defeated O’Gorman and Nusbaum 21-12 23-21. The boys from Brazil came all the way from the qualifications to snare the championship.
Both teams provided top entertainment with spectacular digs and explosive spikes. In the first set, Carvalhaes reeled in the first set for Brazil with aggressive and amazingly high attacks.
In the second O’Gorman excelled with amazing digs, highlighted by a great save near the sidelines which was then buried by Nusbaum. The Canadians came back to 19-19 in the second set but the Brazil wouldn’t let the Canadians on top. Canada was able to ward off two match points but again Carvalhaes seeled the gold on their third attempt.
Earlier Sunday in the semifinal, O’Gorman and Nusbaum defeated Russia’s Viacheslav Kirienko and Dmitry Uraikin in two sets (21-11 21-15).
Both Canadians are defenders and play together at the U21 because their regular partners are too old for this event. Still, they showed great agility on centre court. “We have to move fast in the back of the court and when we get a chance we have to score”, O’Gorman said.
After a quick first set the Russians tried to come back in the second, but could not level at any time. At their second match point Nusbaum claimed the passage to the final with a shot down the line.
“We just focused on our contacts, sticking to our game plan, serving tough along with that and executing the opportunities”, Nusbaum said. “And I think we had a slight advantage in this heat being smaller guys. We don’t get as tired as these bigger guys do.”