Upset victory for Canadians at beach volleyball world juniors

ALANYA, Turkey – Garrett May and Sam Schachter of Toronto upset the seventh-seeds in opening main draw round robin action on Thursday at the world junior beach volleyball championships.

May and Schachter, seeded 18th, defeated Daniil Kuvichka and Grigory Goncharov of Russia 21-16, 21-16 in 39 minutes. This is the second world championship event this year for May who placed fourth last month at the youth worlds with Nick del Bianco of Surrey, B.C. 

“I guess it’s sort of an upset but we are here to win,” said May, 18. “We played extremely well. We kept an aggressive pace to the match and kept them off balance. It’s a style we think we can have success with at this tournament.”

May and Schachter have played together before but for this season only joined forces last month. They placed fifth against senior competition at the national championships in late August. Their lack of playing time together doesn’t seem to be an issue.

“We just seem to have a natural chemistry in this sport,” said Schachter, 20. “Playing at nationals was an important step and we gained some confidence there against an experience field.”

May and Schachter are in pool L with the Russians, sixth-seeds Safak Sezer and Caner Turhan of Turkey, and 19th seeds and Luis Raul Sandoval and Julio Cesar Alvarez of Costa Rica. The top-two in each of the six pools plus four wildcards advance to the playoff round. May and Schachter play their two other round robin matches on Friday.

On the women’s side, two great efforts by Shanice Marcelle of Victoria and Caleigh Whitaker of Sharon, Ont., came up short. The 14th seeds lost to Zhang and Wang of China, seeded 11th 18-21, 21-18, 15-12 and second seeds Fabi Boogaerdt and Julia Schmidt 21-17, 16-21, 15-13.

The Canadians must defeat 23rd seeds Anna Markova and Anna Alova of Russia on Friday to keeps their playoff hopes alive.