Canada wins U21 beach bronze
By Jackie Skender
May 16, 2016, Lucerne, Switzerland: Megan and Nicole McNamara of Vancouver, BC, won the bronze medal today at the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championship (May 11 to 16). They came back from one set down (18-21, 23-21, 15-10) against USA’s Sarah Sponcil and Torrey Van Winden.
The 18-year-old twins, who won silver at the 2014 Youth Olympics in China, warded off three American match points in the second set to win it at their first set point. This was the turning point in the match as they continued their solid play in the tiebreak.
“It’s always tough losing in the semi-final (to Russia this morning), but we bounced back and are really happy with how we played in the bronze game. It’s an amazing feeling to stand on the podium and bring home a medal to Canada,” Nicole said.
It is the second FIVB bronze for the twin sisters – they also placed third at the 2014 U19 in Porto. In that same year they had a 17th place finish at the U21. It’s the third medal for Canada in women’s U21 history. In 2014, the last time this event was held, Canadians Sophie Bukovec and Tia Miric won gold at this tournament.
Concluded Nicole: “We just came off an amazing first season at UCLA, but nothing compares to putting on a Canada jersey and competing at a world championship. Lucerne is so beautiful and the tournament has been very well run.”
The Canadian men’s entry of Chris Towe and Jake MacNeil finished 17th overall.
The FIVB produces four age-group world championships for beach volleyball held bi-annually.
Also this weekend, at the FIVB Beach World Tour’s Antalya Open in Turkey, Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter (both of Richmond Hill, ON); and Grant O’Gorman (Scarborough, ON) and Sam Pedlow (Barrie, ON) both finished ranked ninth.
There were no Canadian women’s teams entered at this event.
The final FIVB World Tour qualifying events are in the United States (Cincinnati, May 17-22), Russia (Moscow, May 24-29) and Germany (Hamburg, June 7-12).
The provisional Olympic rankings can be found here:
- Men: http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/OGRanking_M.asp
- Women: http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/OGRanking_W.asp