Siblings dominate on day one of Beach Nationals!


Kate Rothery

August 23, 2013, Vancouver, BC (ISN) – The 2013 Beach Volleyball National Championships kicked off today at Vancouver’s iconic Spanish Banks Beach! With teams from across Canada competing on 67 courts, the event is set to be a big draw for local volleyball fans and the general public and admission is completely free!

Day 1 saw the first stages of pool play for all categories and was definitely a big family day with siblings posting big wins across the board.

In the Women’s Senior Division 1, identical 16 year old twins Megan and Nicole McNamara continues their dream 2013 on the Beach Volleyball circuit with two convincing wins in Pool A against Alberta’s McDonald / Risselada (21-7, 21-17) and BC’s Chow / Thomas (21-16, 21-7) in the final game on centre court. The sisters make an excellent combination, with a left and right-hander and are full of confidence off the back of a silver medal in Quebec at the Canada Games last week. BC Provincial champions Liz Cordonier and Leah Allinger-Pezer have found the going more difficult in Pool A, also now known as the pool of death! They were disappointed with an early loss in their Nationals campaign; going down 13-21, 19-21 to Seguin / Wilkinson from Ontario but battled back to win an epic three set thriller against Canada Games gold medallists Bukovec / Woolley. Starting Saturday at 2 wins, zero losses are Seguin / Wilkinson (ON), Vleck / Wooding (ON/BC), McNamara / McNamara (BC) and Altomar / Hamer (ON).

In the Senior Men’s Division brothers Dan and Sean Casey from Victoria BC had an excellent start to their campaign with a big win against one of BC’s top medal hopes, Jonny Wiskar and Matt Lebourdais. The Casey brothers ran away with the first set 21-9, however Lebourdais / Wiskar pushed hard in the second set and looked good to even it out. In front of a noisy crowd Casey / Casey were determined to close the game out in just 2 sets and eventually edged it 25-23. They then finished their Friday with a more straight forward victory 21-8, 21-15 victory against Gibb/ deJong. Ontario, also have some extremely strong pairings also looking good in the early stages. Plantinga / Wheelen (ON), Nusbaum / Sidgwick (ON) and BC provincial champion Kryzsztof Orman and partner Steven Marshall all have 2 wins, zero losses so far.

“We started off with a great win against Lebourdais and Wiskar today – it feels great to have guaranteed ourselves a spot in playoffs!” commented Dan Casey.

Also playing this weekend are Canada’s top youth teams, with several teams travelling from out-of-province to compete for their respective National titles. The 14U Boys in particular has been very exciting already – only BC Provincial Bronze medalists Colobong / Liu remain unbeaten, coping well with the strong wind. In the 18U Boys event, Lucas and Liam Palmer from the Team Ontario Beach squad are just another example of siblings excelling in 2013. Also identical twins, the brothers from Windsor Ontario swept away the competition in Pool H. They face tougher competition in tomorrow’s Power Pool Play, as do BC favourites Anderson / Mend and Brar / Guidi who both also went 3-0 in Pool Play. In the Girls’ event BC Champions Birker / Fayad (16U) and Stone / Pantovic (18U) remained unbeaten on Day 1, but 17U champions Behie / Chase found themselves on the wrong end of a three way tie, ending their day in 3rd place in Pool F.

Location: Spanish Banks Beach, Vancouver, BC

Times: 9am – 5pm daily

Gold Medal Match: Women – Sunday August 25th, 2pm

Men – Sunday August 25th, 3pm

More details and live results updates: