Top News

Siblings competing together in beach volleyball not all that rare

The new beach volleyball venue in Northlands Park.
The new beach volleyball venue in Northlands Park.
EDMONTON, Alta. —

Nicole and Megan McNamara are unique as twin sisters competing on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, yet they are not the only sibling combo on the sand.

“There are actually quite a few sister teams,” Nicole said prior to a practice session at Northlands on Tuesday. “We played some twins in the NCAA from the University of Arizona, so it’s always fun playing against other twins. There are twins here from Austria.”

The two sisters, who hail from Vancouver, recently graduated from UCLA and will play their opening match Thursday against a yet-to-be determined opponent.

They have watched the beach game grow exponentially since accepting a scholarship to play in Los Angeles.

“It’s amazing when we first started playing, Canadian beach volleyball wasn’t overly prestigious,” Nicole said. “We had some teams go to the Olympics in the past, but now Canada is a force to be reckoned with on the world tour and to see a Canadian team win a World Championship was so cool to see for the sport and for the future of the sport, it’s very inspirational.”

Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes from Ontario won the World Championships in Germany less than two weeks ago and are also competing in Edmonton. Nicole and Megan McNamara had a courtside view of the victory.

“That was so cool,” Megan said. “They kind of dominated and had a great tournament and it was really fun to watch.”

Pavan and Humana-Paredes defeated Americans April Ross and Alexandra Klineman in the final. Along with the world title, the win also clinched an Olympic berth for the pair next summer in Tokyo.

“It was cool to see them beat the U.S. in the finals too,” Nicole said.

The McNamara twins hope a world title helps inspire the next generation of Canadian beach volleyball players. They too are looking for success on the world stage.

“I think the NCAA adding beach volleyball has been huge as well,” Nicole said. “Now so many kids from Canada in general are looking to go play in the States, which is awesome to see. Coaches are starting to realize that there is some talent up north and are coming up to recruit. From when we first started playing the youth tournaments it’s grown so much, more opportunities, more talent, better coaching, everything.”

Email: dvandiest@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

RELATED 

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

Recent Stories