Long Beach Wrap

31 Jul 2013 Mav In News, Training, Travel

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.

Post Pool

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:
Men:                                Women:
Saxton/Schalk              Broder/Valjas
Pedlow/O’Gorman       Bansley/Pavan(although Pavan returns to indoor anyway)
Redmann/Hatch          Pischke/Humana-Parades

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..


Edward Hulshof says:

Ultimately, Nationals is devalued by the absence of Canada’s top players, not to mention the fact that the community of beach volleyball players in Vancouver and the rest of Canada (including, most importantly, Canada’s youth) don’t get a chance to see the best beach vball this country has to offer. Our national athletes promote the sport and showcase what is great about beach volleyball to the rest of Canada.

When it comes to the quality of the Nationals experience in the absence of the top athletes, I think some of our developing athletes are deprived of the opportunity to test themselves against the products of our national programmes. For me personally, a lot is learned by playing against (and getting stomped by) the best in Canada — it sets the benchmark for the next season and helps define goals for the gym and training sessions during the off season.

There is a trickle down effect too — the knowledge gained in big marque tournaments is shared with the larger community; and, that knowledge inevitably becomes a part a knowledge commons. The sport grows and strengthens with each big tournament.

But, the big tournaments need to have the big names. Without them, it’s just another day at the beach.

Joe Body says:

Paul Mend, thats why we love you….I think if the purse is higher (not even sure if there is one) to attract some of our top Canadian players out there as well it’ll make it more of a no brainer to get out to Van. Two great players that arent on the VC roster Andrew Hinchey and Ryan Vandenburg, who just won the NVL in Ohio would rather play in the states where they can at least make enough to cover travel expenses. Its tough for our athletes, even the real talented ones not on the VC roster to choose to go broke to play the game they love. For our Carded athletes, of course if they get exempt they are going to choose to play money tournaments. I don’t think we should give handouts, but pay for performance and grow the sport by allowing the youth to see that there is a future in it for them as well. People need to be inspired. At the end of the day when you go home and look at yourself in the mirror, you have to live with the empty pockets, stress of being broke and pressure to win because you may not have another dime to continue your journey. The first rule of drowning is to save yourself before you begin to thinking of saving others……

Paul Mend says:

To Mark, Ed and Steve (Volleyball Canada)

To respond to Maverick’s comment about our top teams not coming to Nationals….It seems a very bad decision by Volleyball Canada to not have our best teams at our biggest event of the summer….If teams are needing the FIVB points for becoming carded athletes I think we get that.

But for our other athletes who will only be playing in NORCECA’s or in the case of Maverick and Christian, hopefully they make the main draw and it’s a moot point…..if they don’t, not to allow them to come back and play in Mav’s home province (and a possible repeat as National Champ) is stupid….the fact that none of the top teams (men or women) will be represented as everyone who is carded will be at a tournament somewhere makes this Nationals a bit of a joke…not to take anything away from the players that will be there..but come on…the rest of our athletes want the chance to compete against the best- if not then they shouldn’t be playing the game!!! Here is a what if question, If Nationals were in Ontario would they have made the same choice? I think not…..we need to grow the sport!!!!….having our youth Nationals and Sr. Nationals with our best players helps do that….unfortunately the youth and the crowd in Vancouver will not get to see our best….and I would argue that Beach VB in Canada is stronger than it has ever been, why not showcase it??