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Monday, June 8, 2015

Successful Start for Volleyball Duo

The summer beach season has been off to a great start for the beach volleyball duo of Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk. The pair has made their presence known on the international stage so far this season, with outstanding performances at their past two tournaments. 

The guys started their season off ranked 19th at the Moscow Grand Slam. They finished the round robin play at the top of their pool, having defeated the Netherlands (14th), Poland (3rd) and Belarus (30th). The duo would have a bye through the first round of elimination play, and would face a touch matchup against the 16th ranked German team. Unfortunately, this match would end the weekend for the pair, however they finished the weekend in 9th place - an impressive showing for the pair. 

The following weekend, the pair flew to Croatia to compete in the Porec Major. After their strong showing at the Grand Slam, they were ranked 16th in the tournament, and would be placed in a pool with Brazil (1st), Canada (17th) and Croatia (32nd). Even with unfavourable weather, with temperatures reaching the mid 30’s, the pair handled their competition easily, finishing a perfect 3-0 in pool play. We loved what Chaim had to say about Infinit: "It was hard to keep our energy at a consistent high level so we had to be smart during the matches.  It was also crucial to have our fluid energizer with us for all matches”. We love being able to keep our athletes hydrated and ready to compete, regardless of the circumstances. 

The monumental moment for the pair was defeating the number 1 ranked Brazil squad in 2 sets, with scores of  21-16 and 34-32 respectively. The pair would make it through to the quarterfinals, where their success would be cut short by the 6th ranked Netherlands squad - however, the Canadians would go on to finish 5th in the tournament. 

Chaim reflects on the past two weekends, “we are happy with the way we have been playing.  We have gone 7-2 over the last couple weeks playing the top teams in the world so that is a good record for us.  We are always looking to improve but first thing in Norway will be to take care of our pool and then go for another good run. We would love to make the semi final and have a shot at a medal.  In the past two events we have beat both of the teams that were in the Porec final, we know we have what it takes to get there.”

Next on the schedule for the duo is the Stavanger Major in Norway from June 10-14, followed by the St. Petersburg Grand Slam from June 16-20. 

We are very proud of you Ben and Chaim! Good luck on the remainder of your season! 

Tessa Kreiger