National bronze for Kelowna beach duo
Kelowna duo Quinci Birker and Natalie Livingston followed up their provincial gold medal with a bronze-medal performance at Canadian National Beach Volleyball Championships in Vancouver.
Competing last weekend in the U14 division at Spanish Banks, the Kelowna team won three of four pool games on opening day.
On Day 2, pooled with the four best teams in Canada, the B.C. champs came up short against provincial silver medalists Keturakis/Kepler of White Rock (21-17, 21-6) and the Alberta champions (21-14, 21-15).
On Day 3, in single elimination playoffs, Birker/Livingston came through under pressure, winning 21-19 and 21-12 in the opening round, then edged out Funk/Scholz in the quarterfinals 21-19, 8-21, 15-11.
In the semis, the Kelowna girls put in a game effort but lost against the Furlan/Hayley team of Alberta, 10-21, 11-21.
In the bronze medal game, a rematch of the provincial final, Birker/Livingston faced Keturakis/Kepler who took the first set 21-17.
But the Kelowna duo battled back with a 21-19 win in the second set and a 15-12 verdict in the deciding set to claim the national bronze medal.
The local duo attribute much of the win to the time and energy put into their training along with their coach Tammy Thomas of T2 Elite Beach Volleyball.
Other local athletes in the competition were Liam Birker (brother to Quinci Birker) who tied for ninth in the boys U18 division with his partner George Thompson of Delta.
The Kelowna duo of Isaac Smit and Devon Cote tied for fifth in the boys U16 competition.