Michael Briones photo Dan Casey hammers the ball past the long blocking arms of Joel Caschetto during the final of the Pro Parksville Beach Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, June 9.

Pro beach volleyball a big smash in Parksville

Hard smashes, incredible digs, and close exciting matches highlighted the Parksville Pro Beach Volleyball tournament last Saturday.

There were teams from Vancouver Island and the mainland that came out to compete at the second tournament in the Volleyball BC Pro Beach Volleyball Tour and also enjoy playing in one of the best beach volleyball courts here in British Columbia at the Parksville Community Park.

Organizer Bethany Thorpe, who has been running this tournament for years through Volleyball BC, said the event was another huge success.

“This year, having 32 men’s teams was the most events we have held at Parskville for a one-day tournament,” Thorpe commented.

The players competed for championship points and also for the cash prize. The Parksville Pro had a $2,500 prize purse.

In the men’s division, the pairing of Pablo Vidal and Joel Caschetto took home the top prize of $720 after beating the brothers of Dan and Sean Casey of Victoria in two sets. The Caseys pocketed $360 for finishing second.

Vidal, who has won the pro beach tour championship in the last two years, is vying for his third crown. Caschetto as well is pleased to earn some points but relished finishing in first place here in Parksville.

“This matters for rankings and is a big tournament in the summer time,” said Caschetto. “So it’s always nice to win no matter what the circumstances, but it does help us as well for sure.”

Vidal said they’ve played together in the past and have placed a couple times but had never won until Saturday.

“It feels good, not having played with him a lot, to make it to the final and get a good game together,” said Vidal. “This is our first time to play together in a B.C. tournament.”

In the women’s division, Alyssa Wolf and Isabela Lima captured the title after beating Darby Dunn and Devon May 2-0 in the final. This was their first time playing together.

Wolf said they didn’t expect to win easily as they felt they were the underdogs against Dunn and May, who were ranked slightly higher than they were in the tournament.

“We just said, ok, we’ll just have fun and work hard, and it pulled off for us,” said Wolf.

Lima creditted Wolf for being rock steady through all their games. “She is an amazing digger though, I’ll have to give her that,” said Lima. “They served to her all the time and she managed to just stay calm.”

The next stop of the Volleyball BC Pro Beach Volleyball Tour is the Jim Clive Cup on June 16-17 at Kitsilano Beach.

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