Men add a bronze to Canada’s podium finishes at the beach Porec Major
Volleyball Canada – July 03, 2016: Canada comes away from the Swatch FIVB Porec Major in Croatia with two medals – silver yesterday on the women’s side, and today a bronze from the men’s team of Ben Saxton (Calgary) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB).
In today’s match, Saxton and Schalk lost the first set, but battled back in the summer heat to win 2-1 (19-21, 30-28, 20-18) over Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia.
“It was a very hot and exhausting tournament that took everything out of us, so we’re really happy to come away with a medal,” Saxton said. “We left everything on the line, got a few really important wins, and earned every bit of the bronze.”
The Canadians lost their semi-final match to Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria, who today lost the gold-medal match to number-one seeded Alison/Bruno Schmidt of Brazil.
Yesterday, Ontario natives Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley picked up their second silver medal from the Porec Major in as many years.
“This week we really battled hard against some top teams, and played at a higher level than we have been for a while,” said Pavan. “It is disappointing that we weren’t able to maintain that level in the gold-medal game, but this is a step in the right direction, and we are looking to be on top of the podium next week in Gstaad.”
Canada’s other women’s entries – Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas finished ninth; and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke finished 17th overall.
Canada currently has three teams qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio – Pavan/Bansley, Broder/Valjas and Saxton/Schalk – with a potential of a fourth from a last-chance qualifier coming up in Sochi, Russia, for the men.
For more on the FIVB World Tour, see www.fivb.org
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