Canada shows progress in sitting volleyball at 2010 Parapan American Championships


DENVER – The Canadian men’s and women’s sitting volleyball teams were both eliminated in the semifinals at the 2010 Parapan American Championships and fell short in their bids to qualify for the world championships this summer in Oklahoma City.

The Canadian men opened the three-country tournament falling to Brazil 25-13, 25-17, 25-14 and the U.S., 25-21, 25-16, 25-18. There was a rematch against the U.S., in the semifinal and this time it was much closer with the Americans prevailing 25-23, 25-23, 30-28. Brazil beat the U.S., for gold. The top-two countries qualified for the worlds.

“Our learning curve and improvement curve throughout the whole weekend was very steep,’’ said Ian Halliday of Calgary, head coach of the men’s team. ‘’Our best match by far was our last one against the U.S., and it was very positive for us to see how much we got better.’’

The Canadian team members were Chad Drummond, Austin Hinchey and Doug Learoyd, all of Edmonton, Jose Rebelo of St-Hubert, Que., Kevin Strybosch of London, Ont., Eric Dechaine of St. Lina, Alta., Wilfredo Morewilson of Toronto, Mikael Bartholdy of Calgary and Greg Stewart of Kamloops, B.C.

In the women’s tournament, Canada fell to Brazil and the U.S., in round robin play. In the semifinal, Brazil beat the Canadians 25-12, 25-14, 25-15. The U.S., defeated Brazil for the gold. Again the top-two earned their tickets to Oklahoma.

The women’s team members were Chantal Beauchesne of St-Isidore, Ont., Allison Lang of Edmonton and Leaha Hickman of Lashburn, Alta. The other team members are Jolan Brunner of Vermilion, Alta., Danielle Ellis and Jordan Funnel, both of White Rock, B.C., Karen McCoy of Lincoln, N.B., Amber Skyrpan of Wandering River, Alta., and Tanja Hodzic of Vancouver and Krista McDonald.

The world championships are also a qualifying tournament for the 2012 Paralympic Games in LondonCanada will have another opportunity to qualify for the Games next year. Sitting volleyball became a Paralympic sport in 2004.

What is sitting volleyball? See video at:

2010 World Championship website: