From the floor to the sand

Kris Kriel and Marc Rapin won gold at the U16 men’s beach volleyball provincials in Saskatoon on Sunday. (Photo courtesy Sask Volleyball)

P.A. beach volleyball players win provincial championship in debut performance

Kris Kriel and Marc Rapin have only been playing beach volleyball for two and a half months and they are already provincial champions.

This weekend the local duo was in Saskatoon for Volleyball Saskatchewan beach volleyball U16 provincials. The P.A. pair was undefeated at the tournament and bested a team from Saskatoon in straight sets 21-19 and 22-20 in the finals to clinch the gold.

“Honestly, I didn’t think we’d do a whole lot,” Kriel said.

“There were some really good players there like I was expecting, but I don’t know if we were really expecting to come out with the win in the final there, so that was pretty surprising.”

“It was pretty competitive and exciting,” Rapin said of the event.

“It was really hot, but we managed to do pretty good.”

Kriel and Rapin play indoor volleyball together at the high school and club level, but the first time the two of them transferred their game from the floor to the sand was when four new beach volleyball courts opened outside the Alfred Jenkins Field House in May.

Kriel said their St. Mary High School volleyball coach suggested that they take up the sport and sign up for competitions to keep up with their skills until the high school season begins again in the fall. Coaching beach volleyball at the field house were St. Mary grads Connor Murray and Jake Rapin, who are now at the University of Saskatchewan and Red Deer College, respectively.

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