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This article was published 2/8/2017 (745 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba’s men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams took identical paths at the Canada Games, but unfortunately for them, that path will not lead to a spot on the podium.
Both teams lost tough quarter-final matches to British Columbia on Wednesday night at the Sargent Park Beach Volleyball Centre — ending their chances at winning a medal.
Daniel Thiessen and Ben Hooker of Team Toba took on the Team B.C. in the 4:30 p.m. match. It looked like it was going to be a short match after Thiessen and Hooker got blasted 21-8 in the first set.
But the Toba boys were able to bounce back and win the second set 21-19 to force a third. The third set went back and forth, but B.C. pulled away in the end and won 15-13.
"We didn’t bring enough energy. Straight from the get go, we were kind of sluggish. We were really down after yesterday’s (loss to Ontario) and thought we could beat every team here, but we just didn’t show up for this game," said Thiessen.
Isaac Bevis and Jeff Webb of Team B.C. said they weren’t surprised to see Manitoba get back into the game after the first set. Bevis, who will be joining Webb at Vancouver Island University in the fall, says they were expecting a tough match and that’s exactly what they got.
He and Webb embraced the role of being the bad guys and not giving the mostly Manitoba crowd the result that they wanted, Bevis said.
"Every time we scored a point, the crowd was silent. It gave us energy silencing them. We fed off that," Bevis said.
Thiessen and Hooker have only been playing with each other for three months. Thiessen plays for the University of Winnipeg and Hooker plays for the University of Western Ontario. The two have been rivals on the court for years and this was the first major tournament where they have played together.
Despite not having much history of playing with each other, the duo played great volleyball for most of the week. They won their first four games of the tournament before losing to Ontario on Tuesday night.
Thiessen and Hooker said they were happy with how they played with each other for most of the week, but they had a tough time getting over the loss to Ontario that bumped them out of the top spot in the group.
"The lack of experience we had together kind of showed after the loss to Ontario," Hooker said.
The Canada Games isn’t over for the team yet, as they will play today at 4:30 p.m against Team Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s not the game they planned to play it and Thiessen says the result will "haunt" the team for the rest of the week.
"It definitely feels like a missed opportunity. Dan and I both thought we were going to do really well here. Obviously not the finish we were looking for, but we still have a match tomorrow so hopefully we can finish on a high note," Hooker said.
Thiessen and Hooker both said they don’t know what the future holds for them, but they haven’t ruled out playing with together on the sand courts moving forward.
Kearley and Josie of Manitoba’s women’s team also lost to B.C. in a close three-set match. The twin sisters who are coming off their freshman year at the University of Manitoba won the first set of the match before dropping a wild second set 25-23. They eventually fell 15-13 in the final set, after missing several key serves.
Unlike Thiessen and Hooker, the Abbotts were pleased with their performance. They said they’ve played Quinci Birker and Darby Taylor Dunn of Team B.C. many times before, but they have lost each time and have never taken them to a third set.
"I think that was a really strong game for us. B.C. is a tough team to play against anytime. I think it was just good to come out swinging and play our best game," Kearley said.
The Abbotts were 3-0 in group play before they lost to Ontario on Tuesday night, similar to Thiessen and Hooker. The sisters were visibly upset after the loss to Ontario as they were not happy with their performance.
Kearley said although they didn’t get the result that they wanted against B.C., they can at least keep their heads up as they know they played more like themselves.
"Well obviously we wanted to be on the podium and we were hoping for gold, but to end on that note, it was a lot better than our game yesterday," Kearley said.
The Abbotts will play Team Quebec for fifth place at 4:30 p.m. today.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @TaylorAllen31
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.
Updated on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 7:53 AM CDT: Adds photo