Ontario beach volleyball athletes will be well represented when the first whistle blows at the 2019 FIVB World Beach Volleyball Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Seven Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) graduates will have their eye on the World Championship podium and automatic 2020 Olympic berth. The event runs from June 28 – July 7, 2019.
Ontario athletes including fourth-ranked partners Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley (Waterdown, ON), sixth-ranked partners Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON), the 16th ranked duo of Sam Schachter (Richmond Hill, ON) and Sam Pedlow (Barrie, ON), and finally 20th ranked Grant O’Gorman (Scarborough, ON) who partners with Ben Saxton of Calgary, Alberta.
Also competing for Canada in the main draw are the McNamara twins, Nicole and Megan (Vancouver, BC). They will play in Pool A.
Brandie Wilkerson/ Heather Bansley
Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson started 2019 on top of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Women’s World Rankings and now sit 4th overall heading into the World Championships. Playing together since 2016, the pair earned multiple podium finishes in 2018 and were named the best blocker (Wilkerson) and best defender (Bansley) on the FIVB tour. They play their first match June 29th at 10:00 am (EST) against Rotti/Bausero of Uruguay in Pool C.
Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan
Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes are in the third year of their partnership and have helped solidify Canada’s 1-2 punch on the women’s beach volleyball world stage. The pair are currently ranked 6th in the FIVB world rankings after also spending time at the top-ranked team last season. In 2018 the duo finished on a podium in six different countries with three resulting in gold medals. They will begin their quest for gold on June 29th at 4:00 pm (EST) when they take on Yuli/Rios of Columbia in Pool I.
Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter
In just two years together, the duo of Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter have climbed that world ranking to a healthy 17th place heading into the FIVB World Championships. The 6-foot-6 defender Schachter, a previous Olympian, and 6-foot-5 Pedlow are looking for their chance to make waves in the race for the title. The pair will play their opening match at 8:00 am on June 29th when they take on Heidrich/Gerson of Switzerland in Pool K.
Grant O'Gorman/Ben Saxton
This FIVB World Championship will mark the fifth time Ben Saxton has been there while it’s the first time for Scarborough native Grant O’Gorman. “It’s the centrepiece of our summer,” said O’Gorman, “it gives us something to look forward to and something to work towards.” Their partnership began at the end of 2017 and they have been inseparable since with their first tournament together producing a gold medal. The pair is ranked 20th in the FIVB World Rankings and play their first match June 28th at 4:00 am (EST) against Brouwer/Meeuwsen of Netherlands in pool F.
OFFICIAL FIVB HAMBURG TOURNAMENT SITE
WATCH THE EVENT ON VOLLEYBALL TV
Additional stories about our Canadian Beach Volleyball Athletes
CAN THE MCNAMARA'S DUPLICATE THE LIMA TWINS' WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP EFFORT?
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS CENTREPIECE OF SUMMER FOR SAXTON & O’GORMAN
CANADA NOMINATES TEAMS TO BEACH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
WILKERSON AND BANSLEY TOP WOMEN’S BEACH VOLLEYBALL RANKINGS