Sports

Kelowna beach siblings win separate golds at provincials

Liam Birker of Kelowna won gold in U-18 beach volleyball provincials. - Contributed
Liam Birker of Kelowna won gold in U-18 beach volleyball provincials.
— image credit: Contributed

Kelowna siblings Quinci and Liam Birker spent the August long weeked at Spanish Banks in Vancouver where both would earn provincial beach volleyball titles in their respective divisions.

After taking a month off from a successful partnership, Quinic Birker reunited with partner Thana Fayad at the Under-16 beach volleyball provincials and the pair never missed a beat.

After winning the first three tournaments they had entered this beach volleyball season, the team took the month of July off to train and compete with other partners. But at the provincials it was like they had never been apart as the pair never lost a set en route to the championship.

That's despite the fact they were actually young enough to compete in the Under-15 category.

The duo were hoping to use the U-16 provincials as a tune-up for this weekend's U-15 provincials but after winning the U-16 tournament, they have decided to withdraw from the U-15 category and instead go another level higher and challenge themselves by competing in the U-17 Beach Provincials.

The provincial win at the U-16 event has qualified them for the U-16 Nationals that will be August 23 to 25 at Spanish Banks in Vancouver.

Meanwhile at the provincial Under-18 championships, Liam Birker partnered with Irvan Brar of Surrey and were ranked fourth heading into the event. Birker and Brar teamed up after playing against and with each other in school, club and beach volleyball for the past five years. And the team gelled right away, winning the gold medal after defeating the number one ranked Volleytech team of Logan Mend and Blaire Anderson of Penticton in straight sets. 
The two had trained and competed together on Team B.C.'s indoor volleyball team during July. That team  recently returned from The National Team Challange Cup held in Gatineau, Quebec, where they earned a bronze medal, beating Manitoba. 
Thetwo Birker siblings are following the family tradition of success on the beach which also included older sister Katja.

"We are proud to have two of our children winning gold medals at the provincial championships in the same year," said mom Terri. "Furthermore, it's cool to realize that Quinci's name will now appear on the same trophy as her older sister Katja, who won bronze when she competed for the U16 Provincial Championships in 2009."

 

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