Photo via FIVB
Photo via FIVB

Saxton and Schalk claim beach bronze in Croatia

By beating a pair of Latvians on Sunday, Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk claimed third place medals at the FIVB Swatch Major Series stop in Porec, Croatia.

The Canadians beat Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins 2-1 (19-21, 30-28, 20-18), coming back from a set down to win the bronze. It’s the first time on the podium this season for the Olympic-qualified Canadian duo.

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The hour-long match for Saxton and Schalk came ahead of the gold medal final, where world champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil showed their quality, taking the title over Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst.

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The Austrians had beaten Canada in the semifinals 2-1, which was the first loss of the tournament suffered by Saxton and Schalk.

Prior to the semifinal Canada took out the United States duo of Nicholas Lucena and Philip Dalhausser (quarterfinals) and Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen in their first knockout round match.

Canada came through the group stage of the men’s tournament undefeated beating teams from Netherlands, Poland and Italy.

For Volleyball Canada the weekend was a massive success, seeing two beach teams finish one of the sport’s most competitive stages on the podium. Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley won silver in the women’s tournament on Saturday.