They are still in the early phases of their partnership, but that did not stop Christian Redmann of Toronto and Maverick Hatch of Comox, B.C., to grab a main draw spot at The Hague Grand Slam beach volleyball tournament (Netherlands) which is a stop on the FIVB World Tour circuit.
The Canadian pair just started a new partnership 10 days ago.
“It’s exciting playing with a new partner and we feel pretty comfortable”, Hatch said after their win over third seeded Serguei Prokopiev and Yury Bogatov (25-23 21-17). Earlier on Tuesday they beat Australia’s Malachi Murch and Cole Durant, also in two sets (21-17 21-18).
The Canadians appear to be a good combination, Redmann digging up the ball in the back and Hatch blocking away at the net.
The first set against Russia’s Prokopiev and Bogatov was close: 25-23. “We knew it was going to be a tough match, we both played this team before,” said Hatch. “I lost last year, but Chris managed to win a few times. We just focused on our own game.”
Taking risks on their serve got them a few netballs but also a lead in the second set from 14-14. “Our goal was to put on the pressure with Maverick’s serve”, said Redmann, who finished the game with a smart angle shot.
“I still think that is really a point to improve on,” added Hatch. “We really missed out on some serves. Fortunately they did the same.”
The Canadians are ambitious says Redmann.
“A top-10 result would be nice, make it out of the pool and a couple of matches after that.”
Ben Saxton of Calgary and Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., also advance to the main draw defeating Emiel Boersma and Richard de Korgel of the Netherlands 21-12, 21-16 in their qualifier, Saxton and Schalk are coming off a fifth place finish at the FIVB World Cup two weeks ago. This is the first time in four World Tour appearances this season they have advanced to the main draw.
The news wasn’t as good on the women’s side for Canada. Jaimie Broder of Victoria and Kristina Valjas of Toronto as well as Heather Bansley of Toronto and Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., did not win their qualifying matches.
Main draw action starts Wednesday.