Trinidad & Tobago – Canada won both the men’s and women’s events at the 10th and final leg of the 2014 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit at Turtle Beach, Tobago.
“Congratulations on a job well done by our Canadian athletes at the NORCECA Championships,” said Canada’s national beach team head coach, Steve Anderson. “Our top ranked teams have been focused on playing the FIVB World Tour, and winning gold in both genders shows the growth that our teams have accomplished in the last two years.
The men combined to win the NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation) Tour title, and the Canadian women finished second overall just behind the USA.
On Sunday, Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB) and Ben Saxton (Calgary) defeated world-ranked number-eight team of Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson of the United States in the gold-medal match 21-13, 21-17. Schalk and Saxton are currently ranked 12th on the FIVB tour.
Speaking after the win, this team’s first of the season, Saxton said: “We had a great weekend of volleyball and it was capped off by winning the championship match. We knew it was going to be tough and to come up against our friends in the final was fun at the same time.”
Earlier, in the semifinals, Schalk and Saxton (Canada-A) rallied to beat three-time tour winners this season, Cubans Sergio Gonzalez and Nivaldo Diaz 22-24, 21-19, 15-12, and USA-A duo of Gibb and Patterson stopped Puerto Ricans Roberto Rodriguez and Eric Haddock, 21-13, 21-19.
Gonzalez and Diaz got some redemption when they won the bronze medal match against Rodriguez and Haddock, 21-13, 21-18.
Canada’s other men’s team at this event, Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter were eliminated by the U.S. on Saturday.
Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Taylor Pischke (Winnipeg, MB) captured the women’s title by beating Cubans Lianma Flores and Leila Martinez. Humana-Paredes and Pischke, using “clever attacks and never-say-die attitude on defence” triumphed 21-17, 19-21, 15-7.
Commenting on their victory, the Canadian women, who also won the fourth leg on the tour in Manzanillo, Mexico, said they were elated to get the victory and join their men’s team at the top of the podium.
Humana-Paredes added, “We had an amazing weekend of competition. We played very well as a team and worked hard for each other, and at the end of it we are satisfied with the outcome.”
In the semifinals, Humana-Paredes and Pischke, ousted Mexicans Bibiana Candelas and Martha Revuelta, who were going after their third straight win on the tour, 21-18, 26-24; while Flores and Martinez, who won previously on home soil in the seventh leg, halted three-time tour winners this season, USA-A duo Lane Carico and Kimberly McGiven-Dicello 18-21, 21-19, 18-16. Candelas and Revuelta ended on a positive note after outplaying Carico and McGiven-Dicelllo 21-18, 22-20 for the bronze.
Canada’s other women’s entry – Heather Bansley and Kristina Valjas – were defeated in the quarter finals by Carico and McGiven-Dicelllo.
This concludes the NORCECA tour. The FIVB (international federation) tour has a stop in early December in South Africa. With one more FIVB tournament to go, Canada’s teams have so far combined for 49 top-17 finishes, 27 top-nine finishes, 10 top-five finishes and three FIVB medals.
Nov.16 Men’s Results:
Semifinals: USA d PUR 21-13, 21-19; CAN-A d CUBA 22-24, 21-19, 15-12. Bronze Medal Match: CUBA d PUR 21-13, 21-18. Gold Medal Match: CAN-A d USA-A 21-13, 21-17.
Nov. 16 Women’s Results:
Semifinals: CAN-A d MEX 21-18, 26-24; CUBA d USA-A 18-21, 21-19, 18-16. Bronze Medal Match: MEX d USA-A 21-18, 22-20.Gold Medal Match: CAN-A d CUBA 21-17, 19-21, 15-7.
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