Kelowna sand duo earns trip to Mexico
Two Kelowna athletes have booked a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this summer.
Kelowna Secondary's Quinci Birker and Natalie Livingston from Immaculata joined forces to qualify for the Beach Volleyball Federation (FIVB) U17 world championship in July in Bahai dr Banderas.
The duo travelled to Toronto last weekend for Canada's U17 qualification championship.
The two had previously played together in 2012, winning the provincials and earning a bronze at nationals. Both girls are currently playing on the junior Heat indoor volleyball team.
In Toronto, Birker and Livingston ended up in second place in pool play to earn a berth in the semi-finals where they breezed to victory 21-7, 21-13.
In the final, the Kelowna girls faced the team that had beaten them in round robin. The Kelowna duo came out and addressed some of the shortcomings they had experienced during the round robin match-up.
Birker and Livingston played very aggressively in the first set of the final and would win easily 21-9.
The second set started out well with the Kelowna duo going up 9-5, but took their foot off the gas and let their opponents gain the upper hand, eventually taking the set 19-21. In the third and deciding set, Quinci and Natalie came out flat-footed and found themselves down 0-3, before turning the game around. Once they moved ahead at 6-4, they stayed aggressive and maintained their lead to an eventual victory with a score of 15-10.
“We haven’t played together in a while, so it was a bit difficult to get back in the groove, but we are happy with the result and are looking forward to Mexico,” said Birker.
Birker and Livingston will represent Canada July 15 to 20 at FIVB U17 Tournament in Puerto Vallarta.