Skaha Lake to sizzle with top beach volleyball players

Pro volleyball players will hit the sandy courts of Skaha Lake this weekend

For the fourth year in a row, pro beach volleyball players from B.C. will be digging for cash and points in the Volleyball B.C. Penticton Pro event.

Spectators can watch teams take each other on in 2-on-2 action at the Skaha courts Saturday and Sunday.

Among the players will be national medal winners Ryan Gandy of South Africa and Vancouver Island’s Dave Beleznay, national team member Christian Redmann teaming up with Penticton’s Logan Mend as well as twins Nicole and Megan McNamara and Penticton’s Tammy Thomas and Rachelle Thomas of Kelowna.

The McNamara twins were the youngest to win national championships at age 16.

“The calibre of it is going to be tremendous,” said Volleyball B.C.’s regional manager for the Okanagan and Kootenay Jackie Toews. “It’s neat to see the calibre of volleyball that these athletes have.”

Toews said Penticton has hosted this event for four years partly because it’s a great draw.

“They have a beautiful facility that we are able to accommodate 24 women’s and mens’ teams. A lot of the teams are going to be from the Lower Mainland,” said Toews. “Penticton’s tourism is a draw as well. Teams will have time to hit a winery, go to the lake, enjoy the beaches. Penticton has been a nice fit for the last few years. The event has just grown. We’re sold out now.”

Paul Mend of the Volleytech Club assists Volleyball B.C. in the background. He convinced Redmann to come out and play. He asked Redmann to come and play with his son, a former Pen High Laker, who was forced to look for new partners for various reasons.

The action begins Saturday at 9 a.m. ending by 6 p.m.

Play resumes Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with the finals set for 1:30 p.m.