Canadian men and women advance to semis at first stop on NORCECA beach circuit

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – The lines have been drawn for an all Canadian semifinal in men’s play while Jamie Broder of Victoria and Kristina Valjas of Toronto also advanced to the final four on the women’s side on Saturday at the opening stop on the NORCECA beach volleyball circuit.

In men’s competition, Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., and Ray Sewell of Calgary posted two wins Saturday defeating Daniel Erazo and Erick Hadock of Puerto Rico 21-16, 21-14 and Jeff Moran and Ivan Mercer of the U.S., 21-16, 21-11.

Meanwhile Maverick Hatch of Comox and Ben Saxton of Calgary also earned a spot in the final four with a convincing 21-13, 21-9 victory over Seth Burhanm and Lucas Wisniakowski of the U.S., after a victory over Jamaica on Friday. Therefore the two Canadian entries will battle each other for a berth in the championship final.

In women’s action, Broder and Valjas suffered their first loss on Saturday falling to Brooke Langston and Heather Lowe of the U.S., in their final round robin match after a victory earlier Saturday over a pair from St. Kitts & Nevis.

On Friday, Broder and Valjas opened round robin play with three victories. They beat Nancy Joseph and Elki Phillip of Trinidad and Tobago 21-17, 21-13, edged Ingrid Morales and Natalia Alfaro of Costa Rica 18-21, 21-11, 15-8 and defeated Cristin Alexander and Tarasa Barnett of Cayman Islands 21-14, 21-12.

For both the men and women, the top two teams of each pool advance to the semi final and the rest play for the 5-10 positions.

There are 11 teams taking part in the women’s event and fourteen in the men’s with US$10,000 in cash prizes up for grabs.