Two gold medals and one bronze for Canada at final NORCECA beach eventDec. 02 : Canada swept the women’s and men’s titles at the 11th and final leg of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Trinidad this weekend.
Jamie Broder of Victoria, BC, and Kristina Valjas of Toronto (CAN-A) closed out the season just as they started the season in Cayman Islands by capturing the gold medal beating Heather Hughes and Lane Carico (USA-A). Broder and Valjas emerged champions after a 22-20, 21-15 triumph in the final match of the three-day tournament.
“USA is always a tough battle and the final was no different... we are glad to come out on top,” said Broder. This was the team’s second NORCECA gold of the season, and they are ranked 17th in FIVB world rankings. Canada ended up second to the U.S. in the overall women’s NORCECA season ranking.
Earlier on Sunday, Christian Redmann of Oro Station, ON, and Maverick Hatch of Comox, BC, (CAN-B) won the men’s title – their first gold - beating William Montgomery and James Drost (USA-B) in straight sets (21-16, 21-16).
“The USA had a very strong team and even beat their first team in the earlier round; we knew we had to be on our top game and be ready to play and we came through,” Hatch said.
In the semifinals, Redmann and Hatch halted Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen (MEX) from extending their record-breaking tour gold medal haul of six with a 21-17, 10-21, 15-12 win; while Montgomery and Drost (USA-B) outlasted Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, AB, and Benjamin Saxton of Calgary (CAN-A), also in three sets, 21-19, 16-21, 15-6.
In the match for the bronze medal, Schalk/Saxton edged Ontiveros/Virgen in three sets 21-19, 17-21, 15-12. Ontiveros and Virgen were still crowned the overall tour winners for the year having won six of the legs a new record. Canada finishes second overall in the men’s NORCECA beach tour ranking after Mexico.
In the women’s semifinals, Heather Hughes and Lane Carico (USA-A) defeated (CAN-B) Heather Bansley (Waterdown, ON) and Caleigh Whitaker (Sharon, ON) 21-17, 21-13 and Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas (CAN-A) ousted Marta Revuelta and Bibiana Candelas (MEX) 21-16, 21-19.
Revuelta and Candelas took bronze (18-21, 21-18, 15-10) over Bansley and Whitaker, who finished fourth in Trinidad.
Canada had a breakthrough year on the NORCECA circuit - ten different Canadian teams (six men's teams and four women's teams) won a total of 18 medals (six each of gold, silver and bronze) in 2013. The previous best was eight medals in 2012 and 2010.
"All our athletes have been on the road hitting it hard in competition since April, so two gold medals is an exceptional finish to the season," said Canada's national beach coach, Steve Anderson. "I'm looking forward to a productive off-season, and consolidating this year's efforts with even better performances next year."
The North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) is the continental confederation that represents 35 member countries at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) level.
Semifinals: USA-A d CAN-B (21-17, 21-13); CAN-A d MEX (21-16, 21-19). Bronze medal: MEX d CAN-B (18-21, 21-18, 15-10). Gold medal: CAN-A d USA-A (22-20, 21-15). Positions 9-10: BAR d JAM (21-14, 21-11). Positions 11-12: CAY d SKN (21-18, 21-19).Positions 13-14: TRI-A d VIN (21-4, 21-14). Positions 15-16: ISV d TRI-B (21-0, 21-0) (Default).
Final standings: 1. CAN-A; 2. USA-A; 3. MEX; 4. CAN-B; 5. CRC; 6. USA-B; 7. PUR; 8. LCA; 9. BAR; 10. JAM; 11. CAY; 12. SKN; 13. TRI-A; 14. VIN; 15. ISV; 16. TRI-B.
Semifinals: CAN-B d MEX (21-17, 10-21, 15-12); USA-B d CAN-A (21-19, 16-21, 15-6). Playoff 13-14: GUA d TRI-A (14-21, 18-21, 18-16). Bronze medal match: CAN-A d MEX (21-19, 17-21, 15-12). Gold medal match: CAN-B d USA-B (21-16, 21-16).
Final standings: 1. CAN-B; 2. USA-B; 3. CAN-A; 4. MEX; 5. USA-A; 6. PUR; 7. DOM; 8. TRI-B; 9.NCA; 10.ARU; 11.CRC; 12. CAY; 13. GUA; 14. TRI-A; 15. BAR; 16. JAM; 17. ESA; 18. LCA; 19. SUR.