January 21, 2014, Toronto (ISN) – Top under 23 athletes were in Toronto this weekend at Volleyball Canada’s National Beach Training Centre to compete for spots to represent Canada at the FIVB U23 World Championships to be held in Myslowice, Poland, June 10 to 15, 2014.
On the women’s side, Canada will be represented by Sophie Bukovec (Etobicoke, ON) and Tia Miric (Toronto, ON) who beat Charlotte Sider (Ottawa, ON) and Denise Wooding (North Vancouver, BC) 21-11, 18-21, 15-6.
“It is always so natural playing with Tia, that coming together after being apart for so long was not an issue,” said Bukovec, who is in her first year at McMaster University. “The weekend required high productivity in terms of team dynamics, there were times when we were down by a significant amount and pushed through to win. We have really grown as individuals and as a pair, and we both are very excited to represent Canada in Poland, especially being such a young team. We are looking forward to this upcoming week where we will compete to qualify for the Under 21 World Championships!”
Gabriela Maciagowski (Etobicoke, ON) and Heather Sigurdson (Toronto, ON) ended the weekend in third place.
Last year, Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke took the bronze medal at the U23 World Championships.
On the men’s side, Greg Simone (London, ON) and Gabriel Burlacu (Windsor, ON) won over Aaron Nusbaum (Aurora, ON) and Dallas Keith (Toronto, ON) 21-18, 16-21, 15-9, and secured their ticket to Poland.
“Playing in the U23 tryout was both exciting and nervous,” said Simone. “It’s always nerve wracking to go up against some of the best players to get a chance to represent Canada at the World Championships. My partner and I treated every single point the same and never gave up. We went in determined to get first, and we did. It was our drive to succeed that enabled us to win our games in the third set. “
Simone and Burlacu finished 25th at last year’s U23 World Championships.
Jake MacNeil (Georgetown, ON) and Will Hoey (Toronto, ON) finished third with a win over Liam Kopp (St. Catharines, ON) and Sven Trodel (Sudbury, ON) in two sets (21-15, 21-15).