The Vancouver Open (presented by Natura) has been a premiere beach volleyball event in Canada for almost 30 years, but this year’s event will be one to remember for years to come. The July 12-14 event featured 250 athletes and included players from four continents (North America, South America, Australia, and Europe) who competed in the three-day tournament hoping to claim a portion of the $30,000 prize purse.
This year Volleyball BC was able to bring in larger bleachers thanks to approval from the city of Vancouver, creating 40% more public seating for the free event. Thousands of spectators streamed to Kits Beach for Sunday’s bronze and gold matches, filling the bleachers to capacity and the beer garden to standing room only. Over the three-day tournament nearly 20,000 people witnessed the 208 matches of pro beach volleyball.
Volleyball BC would like to thank our returning title sponsor, Natura Solutions Limited, for their continued support and sponsorship of the Vancouver open and the Volleyball BC Pro Beach Tour.
Major sponsors of this year’s event also included Victory Creative Group, Stanley Park Brewing, Growers Cider, Nude Vodka, Canuck Volleyball, Accord Dental, MVMT Lab, Modu-Loc, the City of Vancouver and Sport Hosting Vancouver.
Women’s Bronze and Gold:
The women’s bronze was the only 3-set match of the semi-finals and finals, with Fonoimoana/Piantadosi-Lima (California) taking on Cowley/McBain (Toronto). Fonoimoana/Piantadosi-Lima took the first set 21-16 with Cowley/McBain coming back to take the second 21-18. In the third set Fonoimoana/Piantadosi-Lima showed strong defensive play and key blocks in a 15-8 win.
Bronze Winner: Fonoimoana/Piantadosi-Lima
The gold match had returning Van Open champions Broder/Wooding (Vancouver) taking on Pischke/Bukovec (Winnipeg/Toronto). Broder/Wooding kept it close early, but in each of the two sets Pischke/Bukovec were able to put together streaks of points mid-set creating a buffer that would last them through to the win. 21-12, 21-13.
Gold Winner: Pischke/Bukovec
Men’s Bronze and Gold:
The bronze match featured a hard fought battle between Fectau-Boutin/Reka (Quebec) and last year’s event winners Binstock/Dearing (Toronto). While Binstock/Dearing kept the matches close, Fectau-Boutin/Reka were able to keep the former champions at bay, winning in straight sets 21-15, 23-21.
Bronze Winner: Fectau-Boutin/Reka
In the gold match the pair of Harley/Luciano (Brazil) took on Austin/Johnson (California). Austin/Johnson had advanced to the final by playing in both the Friday qualifier and the main event, a total of 21 sets. Their competition, Harley/Luciano, looked strong throughout the tournament and their chemistry was on display in the gold medal match, with blazing jump serves and sneaky quick sets leading to a two set sweep 21-10, 21-8.
Gold Winner: Harley/Luciano