Shanice Marcelle during the 2014 World Championship Qualifier at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

Saanich Sports: Volleyballers on world stage; rugby; auto-racing; wrestling

Spectrum Community school graduate Shanice Marcelle, outside hitter, is on Canada’s roster for Women’s World Championship.

Spectrum Community school graduate Shanice Marcelle, outside hitter, is on Canada’s roster for the 17th FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.

The 24-team tournament runs Sept. 23 to Oct.12 in the Italian cities of Bari, Milan, Modena, Rome, Trieste and Verona.

Canada’s pool will be a challenge as it includes world-ranked number one Brazil, Serbia (8), Turkey (11), Bulgaria (35) and Cameroon (27).

Marcelle joined the national team full time following her 2013 graduation from the UBC Thunderbirds as the CIS Female Athlete of the Year.

Visit the tournament website at italy2014.fivb.org.

In men’s play, Canada earned its best-ever finish at the 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship in Poland last week, including former Claremont secondary star Fred Winters.

“Team Canada has become very well respected by the top teams, and this will mean that these teams will prepare better when they play against us,” head coach Glen Hoag said.

Canada had a good run at the World Championship, with six victories in a row, but dropped its final two matches to Brazil and Germany.

“I was very disappointed with our performance against Germany, so it is hard to reflect on our accomplishments,” he added. Canada hosts the Pan American Games in 2015, and the road to Rio 2016 is also in the spotlight.

 

Vikes drop rugby opener to Dinos

The Canada West university season started with a loss for the UVic Vikes women’s rugby team.

Angela Thompson earned the only try for the Vikes on Saturday, as the club fell 26-8 to the visiiting Calgary Dinos at Wallace Field on Saturday.

Victoria’s Jessica Neilson kicked off the scoring with a penalty kick, putting the Vikes ahead 3-0. But the Dinos rallied back, earning seven points off a well-fought try from Karly Guebert.

Neilson was stopped steps from the goal line, as the first half ended with a respectable 7-3  lead for the Dinos.

In the last minute of play, Victoria proved their grit, as Thompson powered through the goal line for an unconverted try.

“It was an encouraging start, especially the first 35 minutes of the game,” said Vikes head coach Mark Hall. “We need to improve our ball contact, Calgary dominated us in that respect.”

The Vikes face the Alberta Pandas on Friday (Sept. 26), 5 p.m. at Wallace Field.

 

Bears upend Rock in final CRC match

The BC Bears ended an otherwise forgettable Canadian Rugby Championship season with a modicum of redemption on Saturday with a 26-20 victory over the Atlantic Rock in St. John’s, Nfld.

The provincial men’s Bears side led wire-to-wire in a day of blustery conditions, as both teams struggled to control the ball.

Bears centre Nathan Yanagiya (UVic Vikes) snuck across the line for the game’s opening try.Vikes fly half Pat Kay also dotted down for a try and added the conversion.

The Bears (2-4) finished the CRC season in third place with 10 points.

In Vancouver Island, premier men’s Barnard Cup play, James Bay beat Velox 38-14 at Velox and  the Vikes ran over the Castaway Wanderers 62-17 at Wallace Field. The Vikes and Velox enjoy a bye this week as James Bay visits CW at Windsor Park, 2:45 p.m. kickoff on Saturday (Sept. 27).

The Velox Valhallians are 2-0 in Vancouver Island women’s play, and face Cowichan at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 at Velox.

Racer survives crash, heads to California

Fity-nine year old Bill Okell experienced his worst crash in 40 years of racing in Mission last week. He damaged his prized 1964 MGB. He also badly bruised his hand, rib and leg, but was able to avoid the hospital.

“The good thing is I’ve got all winter to fix the MGB,” he said.

Okell doesn’t need it for the national F Production sports car championship coming up in Laguna Seca, Calif. on Oct. 10.

There he’ll race an MG midget in an 18 lap (40 minute) championship race. Okell qualified fifth throughout a summer series to earn the invitation.

Bulldogs wrestling returns to Cedar Hill

As school restarts wrestling season does too.

Longtime wrestling coach Ed Ashmore leads the Greater Victoria Commonwealth Bulldogs  wrestling team, an open team for students from the region who are without a school team.

Ages are 10 to 19, and levels are novice, intermediate (one and two years experience) and senior (high school).

Training is held Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. at Cedar Hill middle school,  3910 Cedar Hill Rd. Phone 250-384-9459 or email Fraser at vicbulldogs@gmail.com.

reporter@saanichnews.com