Canada’s best beach volleyball players enjoyed great weather and huge crowds at the 2012 Vancouver Open, held July 13-15 at beautiful Kitsilano Beach.
On the women’s side of the draw, it was 2011 U21 World silver medalist Melissa Humana, daughter of legendary Canadian beach coach Hernan Humana and Taylor Pischke, daughter of legendary indoor volleyball player Garth Pischke who took the title, defeating BC’s Jamie Broder and Ontario’s Kristina Valjas in an exciting three set battle, 21-18, 16-21, 15-13. On the men’s side it was a repeat championship for BC’s Maverick Hatch and Ontario’s Sam Schachter, as they defeated previous champions Matt Zbyszewski and Chaim Schalk 20-22, 18-21, 10-15. For Maverick and Sam, the tournament was a building block for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil. “It is great to get such high level competition on our home soil,” said Maverick, “we look forward to coming back to try for a third title in 2013”.
In bronze medal matches, defensive phenom Garrett May and high flying Daniel Dearing defeated Cam Wheelan and Will Sidgwick 22-20, 21-13 and Victoria Altomere and partner Caleigh Whitaker easily defeated Jackie Tait and Tori Cowley 21-15, 21-16.
The tournament, now a Vancouver summer tradition, welcomes the best players from throughout North America. “We surely saw some 2016 Olympians today,” said Volleyball BC Executive Director Chris Densmore, “the level of play of these young athletes was higher than we have ever seen at this event”. The tournament was truly a showcase of Canada’s up and coming teams, as a large majority of the top 4 men’s and women’s teams were composed of athletes 25 years and younger, including U21 World Champions Sam Schachter, Garrett May, and U21 World Silver Medalists Melissa Humana Peredes and Victoria Altomere.
Notable BC athlete results included 5th place finishes for Matt Lebourdais/John Wiskar and Ben Chow/Nick Del Bianco and on the women’s side BC’s Jodi Zbysewski and Angela Frawley of Ontario tied with BC’s Amber Brown and Ontario’s Kristina Vlcek also for 5th place.
The tournament was a preview of the upcoming National Championships, which will be held in BC for the first time in 18 years, August 17-19 at Spanish Banks. BC will welcome not only its top teams from the Vancouver Open, but also its 2012 Olympians Josh Binstock, Martin Reader, Annie Martin and Marie Andree Lessard.
For full results from the 2012 Vancouver Open, click HERE
For information on the 2012 Beach National Championships, click HERE