Island squads compete against country’s top players on sweltering hot day in Winnipeg
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.
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.
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.
Tynan Murphy prepares to return the ball during beach volleyball action Sunday at the Canada Games in Winnipeg.