Pair has very successful summer in beach volleyball
By Pat Payton
TORONTO – What a way to end a very successful 2018 season!
Abbey Thorup, of St. Marys, and Iris Fletcher, of London, recently captured the 18-U national beach volleyball title.
The Volleyball Canada event was held outdoors here at the Ashbridges facility, Aug. 17-19. A total of 28 teams competed in the 18-U girls category, with almost every province in Canada represented.
The top three teams ended up being from Ontario, and Thorup and Fletcher defeated Team Ontario teammates–Vanessa Roscoe and Maddie Garneau–in the final, 21-16, 21-14. Thorup and Fletcher were ranked second behind Roscoe and Garneau going into the nationals.
The teams played three games on the first day, and then were seeded. Thorup and Fletcher defeated provincial athletes from Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec — finishing with an impressive record of 18-1 over the three days. The pair dropped just one set on the second day to a strong entry from Quebec. They went a perfect 6-0 in the playoff round on the final day.
Gold in eight events
Thorup and Fletcher, both 17, had a stellar 2018 summer — winning gold in eight of the nine events they entered. Their season covered tournaments in the 18-U, 20-U and Adult Elite age divisions, including the inaugural Youth 20-U Beach Canada Cup, put on by the Volleyball Canada Beach national program in July in Toronto.
The pair also finished first at the 20-U provincial tournament. Their only loss in a match all summer long came in the semi-finals at the 18-U provincials, where they settled for the bronze medals.
For Thorup and Fletcher, it’s their last year in the 18-and-under age division.