Canada’s Van Huizen and Binstock on golden sands
SEVEN MILES BEACH, Grand Cayman – Canadians Richard Van Huizen and Josh Binstock, both of Toronto, defeated Puerto Ricans Roberto Rodriguez and Christopher Underwood 21-19, 21-14 to win the men’s gold medal at the season opening event on the NORCECA (North and Central America and Carribean) beach volleyball circuit.
It was a gutty performance by Van Huizen who battled cramps in both legs all day and had to play two three-setters before arriving into the final match of the competition.
“I struggled in the first set but then I felt 100 percent in the second set,” Van Huizen said. “I controlled what I could control and managed myself physically. I have had to deal with these issues before and as soon as I arrived today I knew it was going to be a tough day for me with the hot weather.’’
Earlier on Sunday, Van Huizen and Binstock came from behind to edge Jon Mesko and Paul Baxter of the U.S., 19-21, 21-16, 16-14 and then erased a one-set deficit to prevail against Mexicans Ulises Ontiveros and Lombardo Ontiveros 19-21, 21-17, 15-8.
Rodriguez and Underwood defeated countrymen Orlando Irizarry and Amaury Velasco 21-18, 21-14 and followed that with a 21-17, 19-21, 15-13 win over Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., and Chaim Schalk of red Deer, Alta., in the semifinal.
In the bronze medal match, the Ontiveros brothers defeated Reader and Schalk 21-16, 15-21, 15-12.
In women’s competition, Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney of Toronto defeated Yarleen Santiago and Dariam Acevedo of Puerto Rico 21-18, 21-14 for the bronze.
Full results and photos at www.norceca.org