The OVA Grand Slam took place this past weekend at Horseshoe Resort in Barrie, ON featuring some of the top beach athletes in Ontario vying for $15,000 in prize money.
In total, 12 men's teams and 8 women's teams competed with world class talent across the field. Two-time Olympian Josh Binstock created a formidable pair with former National Champion Dan Dearing, Team Canada standouts Cam Wheelan and Dallas Keith partnered, and 2017 Provincial Champions and future stars Liam Kopp and Will Hoey looked to make their mark on the Adult Elite scene. Meanwhile, in the women's draw, international stars Taylor Pischke and Jamie Broder were the favourites, but had to overcome strong performances from up-and-coming challengers such as Donna Roskic and Erica Vermette, Becky Tresham and Anna Dunn-Suen, and Quebec stars Miriam Adam and Maud Chapleau.
After Day 1, the playoff brackets setup as follows:
Day 2 featured stellar playoff performances, with the pairs of Binstock/Dearing and Pischke/Broder eventually capturing gold in their respective divisions. On the men's side, Ivan Reka and JB Daguerre claimed silver, followed by Keith/Wheelan taking bronze. Women's silver went to Adam/Chapleau, and bronze to Rancourt/Meunier-Bedard.
For some, the Grand Slam experience was about more than winning medals. The 16 year old men's pair of Losier/Verbeek competed bravely to get some experience for their upcoming U19 World Championships, and despite an overwhelming match versus the eventual champions, the opportunity to compete against and learn from Josh Binstock proved to be invaluable:
What an honor for our boys to play against Josh Binstock. 2 time Olympian! Class act all around. Took time to talk to our boys and offer tips. Our boys are competing in the Adult Grand Slam this weekend as they prepare for the World U19’s in China. @ova_updates @VBallCanada pic.twitter.com/Do4BoJkLJv
— Ian Verbeek (@ian_verbeek) June 23, 2018
The men's and women's medal matches will air on RogersTV on Sunday, July 1 at noon on Channel 10 locally (Barrie) or online at www.rogerstv.com/barrie.
Check out the photo gallery: