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.
I’ll first start by saying Redmann and I achieved our best result of the year. We played very well in our final pool play match vs Italy. It felt really good after inconsistencies got the best of us during our first two matches.
In our earlier pool play matches we faced USA and Italy’s top team Nicolai/Lupo. We found ourselves in a first set battle with USA’s Rogers/Doherty on center court in round one. At 21-20 I did my best to make a play that I thought was going to save our opportunity to end the set but as I touched the ball, with Redmann’s stern “out” call ringing in my ear, I realized the ball was about to land inches out of bounds. Had I not played the ball we would have taken the set, but I played it, and just missed the controlled dig. Was a tough play to forget after the match as we lost 0-2, 23-25, 21-15. Ryan is tall.
Our match on day two proved to be no easier and although we battled it was more of the same story – looking back now it was probably for the better as it allowed us to address a few issues and work things out that fueled our win against their countrymen the next day.
95 kilometers left till my Vancouver vacation begins! Back to Long Beach, coming off our win to advance into the single elim playoff rounds we drew friends of mine from Germany – Bockermann/Urbatzka. They’ve been playing well this year but I knew we would have a shot if we tightened up our own game a bit more, however that would not be the case and we would eventually fall 0-2 as they executed in side out better than we did ending our run in Long Beach.
The actual FIVB Grand Slam event in Long Beach was good, tough not be pleased when the sun is shining day after day. It was an odd sight though as following the FIVB event was the new World Series of Beach Volleyball concept that would see four teams, the two best USA and two best international teams, face off in a semi and final. What was odd about it was that the World Series of Beach Volleyball seemed to be the main attraction, understandably so, while the FIVB was it’s little brother – keep in mind though if that’s what it’s going to take to bring more FIVB’s to North America then so be it. I had a great time at the event and felt they did a great job all around.
We Canadians were throwing around the idea of how sweet it would be if a promoter in Vancouver, or anywhere in Canada, stepped up to run an FIVB event that could piggy back off the Long Beach event in the future. The Quebec FIVB event from 2010 was talked about while I was down there, the quality and the execution of the amazing event – it’s sad that it’s no longer but it’s definitely a good sign that Canada has the ability to put on a great event. Let’s hope Long Beach sticks around and fuels the idea of another Canadian event moving forward.
I didn’t stick around for the World Series of Beach Volleyball but I was told it was an awesome atmosphere and a sweep for USA as Jake/Casey and April/Jen took home the honors. The atmosphere at USA events is like none other I’ve experienced so next time I’ll definitely hang around to see the World Series final.
Lastly, with Redmann and I achieving our first 17th place finish it allows us to be exempt from our Canadian Championships in lieu of the Grand Slam in Moscow. I’m curious to get people’s thoughts on this; how do you feel about Canadian teams being exempt from our Championships?
The teams who currently have the option to miss Nationals are:
Pedlow/O’Gorman Bansley/Pavan(although Pavan returns to indoor anyway)
That’s not to say all the above teams will choose to miss the Canadian Championships, but they do have the choice.
Post your thoughts in the comment section below..