Canada sends four pairs to inaugural beach volleyball tournament at World University Games

OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjunction with Volleyball Canada, announced Wednesday the student-athletes and team personnel who will represent Canada in beach volleyball at the 26th Summer Universiade in August in Shenzhen, China.

2011 Summer Universiade website:
Team Canada website: 

Beach volleyball will make its world university games debut in Shenzhen and Canada was allowed to enter the maximum of two pairs in both the women’s and men’s 32-team tournaments.
On the women’s side, the Canadian squads are comprised of Kristina Valjas of Toronto and Caleigh Whitaker of Sharon, Ont., as well as Becky Billings of Ottawa and Kristina Vlcek of Toronto.
On the men’s side, Simon Fecteau-Boutin of Montreal will team up with Cameron Wheelan of Barrie, Ont., while François-Guy Allaire of Notre-Dame-du-Laus, Que., will play alongside Michael Plantinga of Langley, B.C.

Canada 1 (Valjas-Whitaker) will compete in Pool C in the women’s preliminary round against the Czech Republic, the Ukraine and China 2. Canada 2 (Billings-Vlcek) will battle Slovakia 1, Poland and Japan in Pool F.

In the men’s prelims, Canada 1 (Fecteau-Boutin-Wheelan) is grouped in Pool C with Germany 1, the Netherlands and Indonesia, while Canada 2 (Allaire-Plantinga) is set to face USA 1, Russia 2 and Thailand in Pool H.

The men’s final is scheduled for Aug. 18, with the women’s gold-medal match following on Aug. 19.

Valjas, a University of Toronto student, has competed in five FIVB World Tour Opens over the past two years, with her best results being a pair of 33rd-place finishes in Shanghai (2011) and Sanya (2010), China.

Whitaker, who attends York University, teamed up with Valjas at the 2011 Shanghai Open and is a veteran of two FIVB under-21 world championships in 2010 (19th) and 2009 (9th), as well as one U19 world championships in 2008 (9th).

Billings, a member of Queen’s indoor volleyball varsity team, placed eighth at a NORCECA Beach Circuit tournament played last September in California and Mexico.

Vlcek, who also attends York, was 29th at the FIVB U19 world championships in 2009.

Fecteau-Boutin, who studies at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), is a former Canadian U24 champion whose international experience includes the 2010 FISU world university championships (17th) and the 2009 Francophone Games (4th).

Wheelan, a Wilfrid Laurier student, finished fourth at a NORCECA Beach Circuit tournament in Mexico in 2010.

Allaire, also a UQAM student, was Fecteau-Boutin’s teammate at the 2009 Canadian U24 championships, the 2010 FISU world university championships and the 2009 Francophone Games.

Plantinga, who attends the University of Alberta, took 25th place at the 2010 FIVB U21 championships.

Heading the eight-athlete Canadian delegation in Shenzhen will be coach Dolphin Kasper of Vancouver and team leader Lennard Krapp of Thornhill, Ont.

Kasper is a development coach at the National Beach Volleyball Practice Centre and helped Canada to a ninth-place finish at the 2010 youth world championships in Portugal.

Krapp is Volleyball Canada’s beach head coach. His extensive experience includes leading the Canadian men to gold and the women to silver at the 2011 NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament (central zone phase), coaching the duo of Garrett May and Sam Schachter to gold at the 2010 U21 world championships, and guiding a Canadian pair to gold and another to bronze at the 2009 Francophone Games. Between 1993 and 2008, he also led numerous national teams from his native Germany to medals at youth and junior world championships.


Team               Name                          University       Hometown     

CAN1              Kristina Valjas             Toronto            Toronto, Ont.

CAN1              Caleigh Whitaker         York                Sharon, Ont.

CAN2              Becky Billings             Queen’s           Ottawa, Ont.

CAN2              Kristina Vlcek              York                Toronto, Ont.


CAN1              Simon Fecteau-Boutin UQAM             Montreal, Que.

CAN1              Cameron Wheelan       Laurier             Barrie, Ont.

CAN2              François-Guy Allaire   UQAM             Notre-Dame-du-Laus, Que.

CAN2              Michael Plantinga        Alberta             Langley, B.C.


Position           Name                          Affiliation                    Hometown     

Coach              Dolphin Kasper           Volleyball Canada       Vancouver, B.C.

Team leader     Lennard Krapp            Volleyball Canada       Thornhill, Ont.


The Universiade men’s beach volleyball tournament will run from August 13-18, while the women’s tournament will run from August 14-19. The detailed schedules will be announced at a later date.


Pool A: China 1, Israel, Slovakia 2, Brazil 2

Pool B: Germany 1, Russia 2, Thailand 2, Mexico

Pool C: Czech Republic, Ukraine, China 2, CANADA 1

Pool D: Germany 2, Estonia, Thailand 1, USA 2

Pool E: Brazil 1, Norway, Italy, Philippines

Pool F: Slovakia 1, Poland, Japan, CANADA 2

Pool G: France, Russia 1, Hong Kong, Costa Rica

Pool H: USA 1, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland


Pool A: China 1, Israel, Japan, Costa Rica

Pool B: Germany 1, Czech Republic, Oman, Australia 1

Pool C: Germany 2, Netherlands, Indonesia, CANADA 1

Pool D: Poland, Russia 1, China 2, Australia 2

Pool E: Brazil 1, Spain, Ukraine, Mexico

Pool F: Brazil 2, Italy, Austria, Egypt

Pool G: France, Norway, Hong Kong, USA 2

Pool H: USA 1, Russia 2, Thailand, CANADA 2

About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit


For more information:

Michel Bélanger        

Manager, Communications & Media Relations

Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Off: (613) 562-5670 ext. 25

Cell: (613) 447-6334