The Beach Volleyball ladies secured the gold medal for Alberta in dominant fashion, beating the squad from Ontario. In front of a capacity crowd at Sargent Park Beach Volleyball Center, Kate Pexman and Olivia Furlan came out to the sand and showed no mercy to their opponents from Ontario, winning in straight sets 22-20 and 21-14.

The strong team dominated their semifinals yesterday against British Columbia and continued their momentum in today’s final match.

In the first set, Alberta started out of the blocks roaring, but Ontario rallied to come back and evened the score at 10. After a consistent exchange of leads, Alberta won the set. Alberta fans, including both athlete’s sets of parents, cheered hard to support the ladies, and the energy paid off. Alberta easily took the second set to win the gold medal.

“We are so excited. There is a little bit of relief as we had a lot of expectations coming into the week. It’s pretty awesome that it all came together,” said a happy Pexman.

Furlan added: “That first set is so critical. It’s not like you’re going to throw in the towel if you lose the first set and stop battling, but it does bring a breath of fresh air to have that monkey off your back.”

The ladies had shown dominance since the tightly contested third set of the last pool game against British Columbia. “Both of us really thrive in front of intensity and pressure,” said Furlan. “The crowd gives us more energy than added pressure. We are used to playing in front of big crowds with our varsity teams in indoor volleyball. When we come to the beach, it’s exciting as we are so much more a part of the game with just the two of us.”

Interestingly, the duo won the gold medal at their first tournament competing together. Until a few months ago, the duo trained independently, and the team was formed for these Canada Games.

The beach boys, playing for the bronze medal, dropped their matchup against Ontario in two straight sets, settling for fourth place in the tournament.