A scorcher

Is­land squads com­pete against coun­try’s top play­ers on swel­ter­ing hot day in Win­nipeg

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Ja­son Mal­loy

Is­land vol­ley­ball play­ers were look­ing for ways to beat the heat Sun­day as the tem­per­a­ture soared and they played some of the best ath­letes in the coun­try.

It was not your tra­di­tional day at the beach.

Laura Ready and Ha­ley Wilt­ing make up Team P.E.I.’s women’s vol­ley­ball team at the Canada Games in Win­nipeg while Ethan Boyd and Ty­nan Mur­phy are the men’s squad.

They both lost two games in straight sets Sun­day on the open­ing day of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“It was in­sanely hot out here,’’ Boyd said. “The first game was ex­haust­ing. It feels like your body is start­ing to shut down half­way through the game.”

Wilt­ing said the weather has an im­pact on the ath­letes’ abil­ity to play with tra­di­tional highs of around 25C in Prince Ed­ward Is­land com­pared to the mer­cury hit­ting 30C or more in Win­nipeg this week­end. With the hu­mid­ity fac­tored in, it felt about 10 de­grees warmer.

“Def­i­nitely not use to that heat. They have cer­tain spots for shade, which is nice, but (the heat) drains you,’’ Wilt­ing said. “We can train men­tally, we can train phys­i­cally, but we can’t train for heat.”

Wilt­ing said she didn’t re­ally no­tice the heat while play­ing a set, but it be­came ev­i­dent in the brief mo­ments be­tween the end of one play and the next serve.

All agreed the weather was the same for all ath­letes, who are en­joy­ing the venues, Games and be­ing apart of Team P.E.I.

“This is just beau­ti­ful,’’ said Wilt­ing, a 20-year-old Meadow Bank res­i­dent who played in­door vol­ley­ball at the 2013 Games in Sherbrooke, Que. “For the open­ing cer­e­monies, I felt like I was an Olympian.”

Boyd, a 17-year-old Sum­mer­side na­tive, is in his first year play­ing beach vol­ley­ball and is the youngest com­peti­tor in the field. P.E.I.’s men’s team lost 2113, 21-10 to Bri­tish Columbia

and 21-15, 21-13 to Al­berta.

“I thought we es­tab­lished our­selves. Now teams know we can play here,’’ he said. “I’m happy with the way we played. A cou­ple of break­downs here and there, but that’s to be ex­pected.”

Af­ter play­ing two of the ex­pected stronger teams in the tour­na­ment on open­ing day, P.E.I. is pre­par­ing for to­day’s ac­tion against an ex­pe­ri­enced

Nova Sco­tia squad at 7 p.m. At­lantic.

“I think we def­i­nitely showed we’re knock­ing on the door to be right there with th­ese big­ger prov­inces,’’ said Mur­phy, a 19-year-old Mon­tague na­tive.

P.E.I.’s women’s team lost 21-8, 21-12 to On­tario and 2110, 21-8 to Nova Sco­tia.

Whilt­ing cred­ited Ready for mak­ing some great play­ers dur­ing the day.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Sum­mer­side’s Ethan Boyd gets low to dig a ball dur­ing open­ing day ac­tion at the beach vol­ley­ball cham­pi­onship Sun­day at the Canada Games in Win­nipeg.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Char­lot­te­town’s Laura Ready was all over the court Sun­day dig­ging and re­turn­ing balls dur­ing the first day of ac­tion at the Canada Games in Win­nipeg.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Ty­nan Mur­phy pre­pares to re­turn the ball dur­ing beach vol­ley­ball ac­tion Sun­day at the Canada Games in Win­nipeg.

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