2009 Beach Vollyball Championships

The women and mens games had jousts at the net with cranking Swats – Spike above Knuckler below.

The 2009 Canadian Beach Volleyball Championships at Ashridges Bay in Toronto proved to be worthy of all they were cranked up to be. There were plenty of great beach volleyball games.
The last day was a bit windy, cool, and tumultuous – much like the preceding Summer in Eastern Canada .But that did not dampen the enthusiasm, energy and skill of play seen on the courts.

There was lots of beachvolley ball slang on display. Smashes, swats and kills aplenty. But with so much heat – facials or tattoos [kill shots that hit a blocker directly in the face] were also felt on the courts.

But the Prince of Whales [players who employ smashes excessively], as in both the mens and womens championship finals, were not rewarded with victory. Like in badminton and even tennis the art of the dink, carve, cut and cutee [all touch shots which arc just out of reach] is a winning part of the beach volleyball game.

In fact, beach volleyball is very much a chess match in which you seek to put your opponents in vulnerable positions and then maybe resort to heat. But often a dink, carve or off-speed pitch/change up  can be just as effective in getting a kill.

Strategy of the Game

In fact this was notable among the various age groups on both the men and womens sides. Sure a redwood size opponent may control the net with blocks. Or a  spike serve or cranking game may gain advantage – but eventually the missiles [high and fast serves likely to go out] start to drift and loose points. At the same time smart players can curve the heat with dinks and curls that put the opposing players out of position, out of breath and out of the point.

The good teams have a great repertoire of shots – and employ heat and dink when appropriate. But the really good teams are able to anticipate their opponents line of attack and dig the spikes and curls out without having to give up a sky ball and the offense back to their opponents. As mentioned it was this ability to dig consistently that made for two game sweeps by both the men and womens champions.

Championship Results

For example, In the Womens Division champions ship game at the Nationals, Maloney-Zakrzewski had a height and heat advantage over Martin-Lessard. But the latter were able to do more digs and carves to the corners more effectively than their opponents. The championship match was over in two sets.

On the Mens side, Zbyszewski-Binstock  were a returning machine – even handling most  of the excellent spike serves of Saxton-Lelliott and frustrating them with off-speed kills. It was like watching the Blue Jays batters trying to hit the change-ups and knuckle balls of Boston RedSox pitcher, Tim Wakefield. Again the match was done in two sets.

In the 24 and Under matches, speed on the court as well as guile proved to be a wining combination. Allaire-Fecto-Boutin on the mens side kept getting to shots when all seemed lost; though Myroniuk-Gourlay showed a deft touch as well.

On the Women’s side it was as if Greg-Tait could make no wrong move. However, the second set was very close as Chevarie-Tanguay’s placements, which had won in previous matches, proved hard to return again. This was one of the most interesting matches for strategy of the day.

Despite the threatening weather there was a good turnout for the final day. Matches started at 9:00 in the morning and continued until 5:00 that evening. The sun peeked out in the early afternon and by late day was part of the action.

Great dig in the Womens Division I championship game.

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