Three Canadian teams post upset wins at world youth championships

PORTO, PortugalCanada’s three entries at the beach volleyball world youth championships showed they mean business on Thursday as they each posted a big upset victory in opening round robin action in the tournament’s main draw.

In men’s competition, Aaron Nusbaum of Aurora, Ont., and Grant O’Gorman of Toronto posted the biggest surprise as they defeated second-seeds Kevin Medina and Adrian Pastor of Spain 21-18, 21-19 in 40 minutes. It was a fourth consecutive victory for the 23rd-seeded Canadians who strung together three wins in Wednesday’s qualifying to advance to the main draw.

On Friday, Nusbaum and O’Gorman will complete the round robin portion of the tournament with two matches. The top-two teams in each of the six pools advance to the playoff round while four more wildcards will be added as well.

Not to be outdone, Nick del Bianco of Surrey, B.C., and Garrett May of Toronto, seeded 18th, shocked seventh-seeded Americans Brandon Fuimaono and Park Kalmbach 21-8, 22-20 in another pool. It was the first match for del Bianco and May, who had a bye to the main draw.

In the women’s main draw, Jennifer Cross and Melissa Humana-Paredes, both of Toronto earned a win and a loss to remain in contention for a playoff spot. The 19th-seeded Canadians upset number-six Marta Hurst and Maria Caseira of Portugal 21-9, 21-16 in 34 minutes in their opener.  A few hours later they lost to seventh seeds Maria Ushkova and Ekaterina Karapischenko of Russia, seeded seventh, 10-21, 21-19, 15-7.