16-year-old twins Beach National champions
VANCOUVER (August 25, 2013) - The 2013 Beach Volleyball National championships finished today at picturesque Spanish Banks Beach, Vancouver with two exciting finals and local athletes taking home gold medals in both Men’s and Women’s divisions.
On the Senior Women’s side of the draw, 16-year-old identicial twins Nicole and Megan McNamara of Tsawwassen took their first ever senior national title on their first attempt. They won their Gold medal match in what was an unexpectedly convincing fashion over Kristina Vlcek (Toronto, ON) and Denise Wooding (North Vancouver, BC) 2-0, (21-16, 21-17).
Both sets were tied in the early stages, but the sisters did not waver, making considerably less errors than their opponents and controlling the closing stages of the game with excellent blocking and clever line shots. They are the youngest team to ever win a National Championship in beach volleyball in the competition’s 25 year history.
“Our goal was to finish in the top 10,” said Nicole McNamara, “we can’t believe that we are the national champions. ”
Winning the bronze were Victoria Cowley and Kristina Smit, both of Ontario.
In the Senior Men’s competition pre-tournament favourites Cam Wheelan (Barrrie, Ontario) and Mike Plantinga (Langley, BC) took the Gold medal from Krzysztof Orman (Vancouver, BC) and new partner Steven Marshall (Abbotsford, BC). It was Wheelan/ Plantinga’s stong serving and big hits that gave them that extra edge in the final, which ended 21-13, 18-21, 15-13.
“Last year we battled through injuries and didn’t achieve the results we wanted but this year, our hard work paid off. All weekend we stuck with our game plan and we are so delighted to finally be rewarded with the title of National champions!” commented Cam Wheelan. “The tournament was excellent – Vancouver provides such a beautiful backdrop. We’re looking forward to using this momentum at our international tournaments this fall!”
Taking home the bronze medal were another local pairing, Dave Beleznay and Ryan Gandy (both Vancouver, BC).
In the Youth competition, another identical twin combo Lucas and Liam Palmer of Windsor, Ontario took the Gold in the 18U Men’s competition.