So last year we took a disappointing 33rd here losing to a fiery Aussie team in the windiest conditions I’ve ever experienced on tour – not to take away from their win, they played very well. Anyways, this year we’re obviously looking to improve on that result and with only three confirmed events after this one we need to capitalize on every opportunity we get.
Aright, alright before I explain the multiple Canadian Championships… For the first time since 1998 I’m back in Halifax. Shortly after landing I found myself staring at an odd shaped hill and asking my driver “is that Citadel Hill?” – “It sure is” he replied. Many memories immediately poured back; memories of traveling to the area with my family when I was a kid. For basically the first 8 years of my life I lived in Nova Scotia (so I could argue I’m a bit of a local! Keep that in mind all you local readers, Maverick Hatch is a local boy and you definitely want to see a local guy win it all! haha) and like many proud East Coast Canadians (or any Canadian for that matter) we would drive into Halifax to watch the Citadels, and Mooseheads play – the local AHL & CHL hockey teams. The Citadels moved to Ontario in 1993, it’s crazy to remember things from way back then. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to come back here.
When I started playing on tour in 2011 I didn’t have enough points to get into the FIVB Grand Slams, then by the time I did (last season) Klagenfurt dropped off the FIVB World Tour schedule and hosted the European Championships. During that whole time I heard the most elaborate stories of epic times in Klagenfurt. Well I finally know what all the talk is about; Klagenfurt is easily the best tournament of the season. The days leading up to the qualifier gave me some time to check things out; the players dock, yes, a dock (a huge Red Bull catamaran, and Red Bull power boats parks along side during the main draw), the players lunch area featuring some of the best catering I’ve ever seen at an event; multiple main course selections, a plethora of sides and options to eat basically any kind of meal you wanted, and equally as many options for dessert (Mmm, dessert).
No matter how long the travel time between events is, if you match the traveled time with time spent sleeping after arrival there’s no logical reason to complain. So I made it to Klagenfurt and as you can probably guess, I’m well rested. After a 6 hour nap shortly after arriving and tracking down some food I woke up in time to catch the medal games from the tournament I had just left, Long Beach. By the time Christian arrived it was around 10 o’clock and by the time the men’s final finished it was midnight and time for more shuteye – waking up at 9am, making for a solid 14 hours of sleep after arrival. Long Beach was fun, but another 25th which isn’t. The weather was smoking hot, low to mid 30’s all week long. Our qualifier was unfortunately against another Canadian team, never a welcomed match as they are usually the trickiest ones to play (both teams knowing each others tendencies and all that). We walked away with a pretty convincing win in straight sets to qualify.
This entry is difficult to start… After not advancing from our pool in The Hague, I walked into the hotel and all those thoughts and feelings were immediately washed away by the shocking news the of Malaysian Airlines flight that departed from Amsterdam earlier that day. My deepest condolences go out to all those affected by this unthinkable event. The past two weeks in Gstaad, Switzerland and Den Haag, Netherlands were physically draining, but in a good way. I’ll begin briefly in Gstaad where we finished 17th. Qualification provided a fortunate opportunity for a rematch vs Latvia who eliminated us in Stavanger, Norway two weeks prior.
[Above: Preikestolen. A popular tourist hike, and amazing view. Didn't have time to make the journey, something to look forward to next year I guess.] Home. There isn’t any place better – the feeling never changes no matter how long or short of a trip I’m returning from. Unfortunately for such an amazing venue and beautiful location, Stavanger wasn’t quite what I had hoped. I’m now home early, given lots of time to reflect on (to be blunt) a shit performance. It’s a tough route, FIVB qualifiers. To put it into perspective for you, three teams from the men’s qualifier stood atop the podium in Berlin just last week – crazy, eh?
7:20PM Local Time: Phew! What wild game vs Poland’s Kantor/Losiak. Lasting just over an hour Christian and battled after losing a tight first set and found a way to win in thrilling 3 set fashion; 2-1 (19-21, 27-25, 15-10) The first set was back and forth with us on the losing side of things. The second set started off slow for us, down a bunch early on with the match (seeming like it was going to be over in two straight sets) we found ourselves down 14-19. A quick side out for us, 15-19 now, we stole a point and we moving to the good side only down by 3. Thanks to some help from the wind, and some strong play on our side of the net we found ourselves tied up at 19′s and right back in the match – the set would eventually end in our favor, stealing away the win from Poland and heading into the third with a lot of momentum. Once again, on the good side, we were able to pull away down the stretch going up 11-6, then 12, 13, and 14 to switch to the bad side up 14-6, closing out the win […]
Just a quick update from Berlin before my night comes to a close. We were successful this time around, winning in straight sets over Switzerland to qualify (21-16, 21-16). It’s refreshing for sure; especially after feeling we’ve made some solid progress since Shanghai, and coming up short in Moscow just last week. <–more!–> Fortunately (for convenience sake) we have a German team in our pool, which means all our matches will be played on courts 1 & 2 – located just outside of our hotel. These courts are in the middle of Berlin’s main train station, a really nice venue with vendors and many spectators. The other 3 courts are a quick 15 minute shuttle drive from the hotel.
“Moscow, Russia” People say English is a difficult language to learn but, without ever having tried, I can’t imagine Russian is much easier… If it weren’t for pictures and familiar logo’s I would be completely lost when doing the simplest thing, like ordering dinner. We started things off with by missing our connection in Frankfurt as the airport was too busy for us to land on time, a four hour layover would ensue (not a huge issue as we were set up nicely in the Frankfurt lounge) and delay our arrival at the hotel until shortly after midnight (18 total hours in transit). On the flip side though, had we made our original connection we would have missed the fire works show lasting our entire approach to the Domodedovo Airport (not really worth the five hour delay, but pretty cool nonetheless).
After a premature departure to Vancouver (two full days of no training after arriving there) Red and I got on track with the help of Brian Hiebert, as well as Mert and Dan (thanks guys!) during a beautiful day in Kits – The kind of day that makes every Canadian beach athlete question why we are centralized in Toronto… Capping off our short stint in Van was a solid group breakfast and training session with future Kits beach legends LeBourdais/Wiskar in what was a three set battle.
After a long, cold, miserable winter in Toronto (with a pleasant 10 day break in Cali) I’m happy to finally be hitting the road (check back with me in three-weeks, though) with a stop in Van to kick things off. It’s always a special feeling when I get to spend an extended amount of time in Vancouver. Red and I will be here for a week while he wraps up some RBC work, meanwhile I’ll take the opportunity to schedule a few meetings with some sponsors who are located here, and spend time with my friends I rarely see. In my last post I mentioned a television appearance although I guess I spoke too soon, just two days before filming I was cut from the pitch (height discrimination no doubt.) The show was Dragons Den (a popular entrepreneur/investment show, for any non-Canadian readers.) With that went my chance at 15-minutes of fame, a welcomed change though, I had been dealing with a bit of a cold since returning from Ontario Youth Volleyball Championships the previous weekend.
A solid 10 day trip to Cali, all aspects; volleyball, social, music, earthquakes…. yea, I said earthquakes. I think the craziest part about my first earthquake experience is that, while I was safe and sound, enjoying the experience, I came back to my hotel room to see that there was actually a lot of damage done – on CNN, not actually around my hotel in Hermosa. Many houses, streets, and business establishments suffered from the 5.1 quake. Times like that really make you respect Mother Nature on a whole other level. I’m used to appreciating it’s beautiful scenery and weather on a regular basis, but when things like this occur you get a totally new understanding of what Mother Nature can really do… Wow.
The flight in was smooth, the beef tenderloin for lunch helped (well done Air Canada.) It’s nice to be back in California, Hermosa to be exact. Not that it’s any palace, actually far from it, but crashing at the Sea Sprite while we’re here will be pretty good too – location wise. I’m curious how long it’ll be until I’m feasting at Brothers; those of you who have spent any time in Hermosa will know what I’m talking about, one of the best joints along the beach. This will be the first year, during my time with the National Team, that Volleyball Canada will be covering our expenses for this training camp. Pretty pumped that I’m out here on VC’s dime and not my own! This will provide a good opportunity to get outside, an earlier start than recent years adjusting back to the wind, sun, and (hopefully no) rain.
Now that March Break is over, it’s time to shift my focus towards our training camp in California. But first, I’d like to thank all the athletes who came out to Phoenix Volleyball’s first annual March Break Volleyball Camp. I had a blast working with many awesome athletes and coaches throughout the week. Also another big thanks to my sponsors who contributed some great products for the athlete packs, and prizing. Last but not least, a special shoutout to the two girls from my U14 Phoenix Heat team who made it out to the camp, Meghan and Izzy! Great work girls, I’m really happy to see your commitment towards improving! Looking forward to my return from Cali just in time for our Provincial Championships. To everyone on the team, keep working hard while I’m gone, see you April 1st!
Post 1/2 I’m not sure where to start, not because many things happened or that our path to the end of the tournament overwhelms my memory, but because my memory is so poor. There are quite a few memorable moments from this trip and I’ll do my best to recant them all.
Part 2/2 Matches began the following day. Due to rain previous days the courts were rock hard, basically indoor conditions. We played Trinidad1 and Costa Rica going 2-0 on the day finishing first in our pool, meeting Cayman the next morning in the pre-quarter.
Well, a month since my last post solidifies the fact my offseason is close.
There’s a load of differences between winning and losing, many of which go far beyond the court for athletes playing a team sport like beach volleyball; in any sport really.
Just arrived in China, I noticed I had yet to publish my last blog from Brazil so here ya go. I’ll post an update from China in the coming days.
Once a few teams withdrew late last night – changing our draw from what would have been fellow Canadians Josh/Sam – we were matched up against an Argentinian team who we’ve played earlier this year in Berlin and had some success against.
First off, I want to apologize to my Swiss family for not getting this post up sooner – Johnny, Nicole, Jenice, and of course their son MAVERICK!
I cannot find the words in order to express just how much I enjoyed myself while in Wolfurt this year, or how thankful I am for the opportunity to stay with and get to know such an amazing family during my time there.
If you ask players on tour most can tell you their favorite places they’ve played – since the Klagenfurt (Austria) event was dropped from the FIVB schedule earlier this year all I’ve heard is how sick that event is, a common theme amongst the athletes.
In the past 8 hours, and periodically since day 1 Berlin has produced some of the most intense thunder I’ve ever heard. And to make matters worse thunders best friend lightning has joined the party, along with buckets and buckets of rain! The weather here is absolutely gnarly right now – this is making it tough not see this as a silver lining. Don’t get me wrong, I would trade places with any team competing in the main draw today but at certain times on tour there’s nothing you can do except find that silver lining and continue to grind your way towards your goal.
“If it doesn’t fit, you must check it” – Air Canada check-in counter staff, 2013
294 kilometers left till this plane arrives in Vancouver and with only two jam packed days in Van before heading to Toronto I’m going to do my best to finish this blog and cross it off my ‘to do’ list.
This is my second time in Cali and every time I visit I totally picture myself living here at some point in my life. I’m not the biggest fan of huge crowds, which was present the day we trained at Huntington – it was the US Open of Surfing, pretty busy scene – but I think I’d be ok with the crowded beaches for a chance to live near where you have it all; amazing views, tons of beach courts, and waves that are littered with surfers everywhere you look. Can I surf? Definitely…not! Actually I’ve never even come close to successfully surfing a wave, but just to have the option to surf without a 3 hour+ drive would be rad.
Ahh, Rome. Despite being ill prepared for our first qualification match my first experience in Italy was one I won’t soon forget. I’ll get the deets from our match out of the way first – it was extremely hot in Rome, mid-high 30’s to be exact and without having experienced weather like that yet this season it definitely hit me. The positive from it was that I found my legs in the second and third sets, working my way into a rhythm, and managed to overcome the relentless heat. Unfortunately, a stretch of four plays in the third is what sealed our fate as qualification victims this time around…
I’m sure the line “When in Rome” has been more than overused during trips Canadian’s trips to Rome but that won’t stop me from saying it every chance I get while I experience Rome for the first time, starting tomorrow. I leave The Hague tomorrow morning on a 7:00am direct flight via Transavia airlines, the main tournament sponsor here in Holland.
The first European stop of the season brings us to The Netherlands in what is also my first time competing in The Hague. We practiced Friday morning in Canada, and after swinging by Canucks Stuff/Overkill to pick up our team shorts I sped home to begin packing at 2pm for my 5:30pm departure to Amsterdam. **Improve time management skills; noted. Now sitting somewhat comfortably in my Air Transat plane seat, having tested my patience sitting in rush hour traffic the entire way to the airport, I popped my headphones finally being able to relax a bit. When I arrived in Amsterdam I had two hours to kill until Redmann arrived and we would travel to The Hague, the perfect amount of time to watch a replay of the Bruins game that I missed while in flight.
The start of this season has been an interesting one for sure, and I’m not just referring to the changes within the FIVB (mentioned in earlier posts). The first 7 months of the 2013 season (including this offseason) reminds me of my first few seasons on the beach flip-flopping from partner to partner on almost a monthly basis, which was normal then but I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it at this stage in my career.
Here’s a blog I wrote while sitting in the Shanghai airport while waiting for my flight: Well we finished 25th, 2 points away from securing a win in pool play against the 1-seed (only due to being the host country) and advancing to the single elimination playoff rounds. Definitely tough to swallow but throughout the course of all this partner switching going on with the Canadian men’s teams, I’m happy that Sam and I have continued as it’s familiar territory on the court and allows us to both play at our top level while improving each event.
After two qualification rounds it’s onto tomorrow, our first main draw since the Quebec Open in 2011! *on a side note, if any future promoters are reading this, Canada needs a new FIVB Open/GS to help us Canadians teams along!!
Qualifier morning here in Shanghai. The weather is the worst, rainy and extremely windy. Our qualification draw finds us matched up against the 3rd ranked Brazilians (Thiago/Hevaldo) on Court 1 at 10:40am local time (7:40pm Monday in Vancouver) with the winner meeting either Austria or Ukraine in the final round. Click here for online streams of courts 1 and 2 Wish us luck!
Now in Shanghai I’ll attempt to reflect on my Fuzhou experience beginning with the Qualifier… Following the longest qualification technical meeting I’ve ever been a part of (more details on that front to come later) we had our first round opponent set – Semenov/Koshkarev of Russia, with a second round of either Japan or Canada (Ben/Chaim).
By far the worst thing about having a blog is falling behind and having to catch up with one post – here we go…
MAVERICK HATCH/JOSH BINSTOCK | INDOOR VOLLEYBALL MARCH BREAK CAMP | MARCH 11TH-15TH, 2013 As you may already know, I am a current Beach National Team athlete, 2012 Canadian Gold Medalist & aspiring 2016 Olympian. My new partnership with 2012 Olympian Josh Binstock is exciting, however, the 2013 season will be the most expensive one to date. To help offset some of the expenses (upwards of $30,000 per athlete) we’ve decided to offer this March Break program as our National Federation is unable to provide us with sufficient funding this season.
I thought my beach season was over following my final serve at the Canadian Championships at Spanish Banks. Well it turns out I’ll be playing in the NVL’s “Best of the Beach” tournament this week/end in Vegas!
As I sit on my parent’s patio surrounded by sun, peace, and almost near quiet – a road hockey game just ended – I felt the need to write about Nationals, before forgetting the fine details.
As our National Team funding continues to be delayed, now putting us at the 6 month mark without funding – having traveled around the world already (Brazil, USA, China, Europe, and back to Canada) with zero funding has been unbelievably difficult and if it weren’t for friends I would not have been able to compete and push for London 2012 simple based on lack of funds. We still have a few trips to Europe for many more events as the season continues. These competitions are crucial for many reasons; entry points, prize money, and London.
I didn’t think it was possible, seeing the sky on a regular basis due to the thick coverage of smog but I was definitely judging the book (China) by it’s cover (Shanghai) as Beijing is clear, smokin’ hot, and from the small area I can see from my hotel window, looks quite nice. We’ll be heading out shortly to adventure and most likely hit the courts later on once the heat diminishes.
Shanghai, China FIVB Grand Slam: We lost 12-15 in the third set to a Great Britain team that stepped up at the most important time of the match in order to walk away victorious. Immediately after the loss I went through a mess of emotions. The first stage of dealing with the loss was support; I was deeply disappointed at our inability to finish out the third set but we’ll be going to the same qualifier again next week so the most important thing is support after something like this. After a brief gaze, zoning out for a moment, I turned to Sam before acknowledging anything or anyone else.
18-16 in the third – that close to qualifying last week in Poland. The Ces brothers of France, who ended up walking away with a 9th, prevailed with a three set win after beating us badly in the first set and us answering back in the second to push it to a third.
My ½ day layover in Toronto couldn’t have been more perfect – and with the help of a few uncontrollable events gone my way I’m feeling extremely rested and super energized!
0 for 2. One round further this year yet still short of qualifying here in Brasilia. For the people who follow along through the FIVB Beach Volleyball website, or our facebook fan page www.facebook.com/hatch.schachter, you’ll know that we lost in the final round of qualification. But for those of you who don’t follow that closely we won our first match against Japan 2-0 (21-9, 21-15). We didn’t have any information on the Japan team prior to the match but did what many teams do – serve the little guy – and it worked out for us.
Seems like yesterday I landed in Brasilia, no plan or idea where I was going to stay the night, alone, trying to suppress any notion of being scared – I had booked my flight a full day earlier than Sam and at this point last year planning was not my forte… it still isn’t, but I’m getting much better at it.
Are we back in Toronto..? Well we may as well be! I was hoping for warmth and sun here in LA but so far, no luck. Still warm enough to train outside in shorts and a t-shirt so I really can’t complain.
I’d like to say I’m very grateful for the heaps of praise and support from everyone back home and especially those here on Grand Cayman. Earlier today we drove to Rum Point to bask in the sun and while eating lunch a guy noticed us from the weekend. He sauntered over to congratulate us and say how much he enjoyed watching us play – it’s surreal, I’m not used to it. A sincere thank you, quick handshake then he was off and I dove back into my fish and chips – the deep fried theme being exactly what I needed after the weekend, haha.
(This is the view from our backyard) Back in the Caymans – it feels like just yesterday I was here playing in my first international tournament of my career, experiencing my first taste of a place outside of Canada or the boarder states. That was actually two years ago but not much has changed down here, other then a few new developments that is.
Success doesn’t happen overnight – this is why we’re continuing our fundraising efforts with this handy tool below. Please feel free to donate as much or as little as you can, every bit helps us reach our goal of competing around the world and qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London.
Sam and I are so grateful for all the support we’ve gotten thus far. Our flights this season will undoubtably exceed $15,000 and the fact people have been so generous in donating their Aeroplan miles to help us achieve our goal is overwhelming - I guess the biggest “thank you” would be some international results this year! That’s the plan and it will be due to your help!
First off, everything’s going great right now especially with our new indoor beach volleyball facility, aside from the fact the heat isn’t on yet. More recently, Sam and I secured a new sponsor, Voolii Lifestyle – Voolii is a clothing brand operating out of Vegas and although TC & Voolii deserve a full feature shout out I have to get something else out first, which will be a major factor in whether or not we qualify for London 2012 Summer Olympics. (TC, it’s coming dude, and it’ll be huge)
Well – a real update will be posted sometime this week but I wanted to get a quick few words out before tonight’s festivities begin. First of all – Sam and I finished second. We lost to Redmann/Saxton in a three set match. Congrats to those guys for playing great, winning the gold, and good luck at the Pan-Am Games!
All in all, not a bad two weeks. We finished first in our pool here in Switzerland and played two friends from Austria – the same guys we were training with the week prior to Wolfurt. Of course, they save their best game for us and pushed us in the semi with us eventually prevailing 21-18, 21-18. In the other semi, one of the Swiss guys pulled out with an injury so the tournament promoter filled in. The Swiss lost to Brazil in two straight sets but the scores were surprisingly close, 21-17, 21-19. The crowed was entertained and the tournament promoter got a bunch of blocks which everyone loved to see, even the guy getting blocked, haha.
Well after a shite start to the tournament where both Binstock and I sucked equally as much, while still managing to push it to three, we lost 13-15 to a seasoned German team. Following that match we headed back to the hotel and watched some video from the match, our next game was later that night.
We left Wolfurt Monday morning and after a 30 minute drive we were in Rorschach. Amazing that these two events worked out to be a stones throw away from each other. We ran into some rain our first day here but since it’s been incredible weather, not to mention the scenery is right up there with the weather.
Champs! Binstock/Hatch in our first tournament ever together. We lost a terrible first set in the final – I got blocked 4 maybe 5 times (3 times in the first 7 points!) in the first set and although Josh and I were making plays to give ourselves an opportunity to get back into the set, I remember a very crucial play where I had a chance to swing for the 17-18 side change and instead I hit a jumbo (deep cross roll shot) that resulted in an easy dig and transition for the other team, 16-19 side change. First set loss. Brutal.
Austria, A-Cup, Beach Volleyball, Josh Binstock
Our last training session prior to leaving to Wolfurt for the tournament this weekend was a solid one. Both Josh and I, having a good understanding for the game, are mixing well together – good lines of communication and having some fun here.
This event marked the last tournament before Sam and I go on a three-week hiatus. Since returning to Canada after our stint on the FIVB World Tour we had been on a pretty good tournament/game-winning streak, which came to an end at Center of Gravity this past weekend compliments of Will Sidgwick/Fiadore Kazmiaka.
Missed an update after the Qualifier but if you haven’t guessed by now we qualified! We beat Japan in three sets after losing the first to advance to the main draw. After a tough first round today vs USA’s Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal (losing 17-21, 14-21) we bounced back in the second round with a victory over Estonia, again in three sets. We won the first 21-19, lost the second 16-21, then came from behind to win the third 15-13. That was the second time we had beaten Estonia. The first win against them came in Prague in the last round of the qualifier earlier this season. This time, however, was quite tougher then the last. With the win we moved on to day two of the main draw and got our first FIVB main draw victory!
This tournament is the first time Sam and I have had to experience Country Quota matches – This is when a maximum number of allowed teams is too high resulting in matches prior to the Qualification tournament between teams from the same country eliminating some and allowing others to move on to the Qualifier tomorrow. Sam and I were matched up against Mike Plantinga/Francois-Guy Allaire. We had a tough three-set match against this team in the Vancouver Open just last weekend. Luckily for Sam and I today’s match did not take the same route as we finished our game in 29 minutes with a 2-0 victory, 21-13, 21-11.