WEST COAST BEACH VOLLEYBALL SOCIETY PROUDLY PRESENTS
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Saturday, November 3rd -  5pm-12am

Play with the Pros + Silent Auction

Friday, November 2nd -  12pm-5pm

Learn from the Pros Corporate Challenge + Team Building

Friday, November 2nd -  7pm-11pm

Party with the Pros

Online Auction

Mon, Oct 29th - Sun, Nov 4th 

Saturday, November 3rd - 5pm-12am

Watch the Pros

Know Your Pros - Athlete Bios

April Ross

April Ross, two-time beach volleyball Olympic medalist, was born and raised in Orange County, California. She earned bronze with Kerri Walsh Jennings at 2016 Olympic Games; silver with Jennifer Kessy at 2012 Olympic Games. She took up volleyball at the age of 13, and competed in indoor volleyball. Ross earned a volleyball scholarship to the prestigious and world-renown University of Southern California (USC) where she enrolled in 2000. The team won the NCAA National Championship in 2003. From 2007-13 with Jennifer Kessy, won 10 gold on the FIVB World Tour; duo won silver at the 2012 Olympic Games and played their last match together on the World Tour in June of 2013.

Ben Saxton

Ben Saxton, a 2016 Rio Olympian, was born and raised in Calgary, AB, but now resides in Vancouver, BC when not training in California and playing on the FIVB World Tour.  Volleyball has been a prominent part of his whole life.  He has experienced every stage of the development of a successful beach volleyball player and program. As a member of Canadian National Beach Volleyball Team since 2008, he saw the team at that time not qualify a single Beach Volleyball team to the 2008 London Olympics.  But, he also got to be a part of the team Canada qualified the maximum of 4 teams to the 2016 Rio Olympics.  Ben has a silver and 2 bronze medals on the FIVB World Tour and more recently took 5th at both the 2017 World Championships and 2017 World Tour Finals.

Martin Reader

A 2012 London Beach Volleyball Olympian, Martin is originally from Comox, BC, and has dedicated himself to mentoring and teaching youth athletes about how to be a whole athlete, particularly off the court and away from the ball, by sharing lessons and knowledge he has derived from his own experience and from working with countless athletes. He is a three-time  Canadian Champion and two-time Continental Champion. Martin played indoor volleyball collegiately at both UBC and Camosun. Do you know he is also a Nike elite personal trainer, a motivational speaker, a Quality Coaching Collective member, and the co-founder of Strive Life Athletics? Here's some insight he shared directly with us:

  • I am: A 2012 Beach Volleyball Olympian

  • I play volleyball with/at: Anybody who wants to play with me now!

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: Play with the Pros is an incredible way to connect fans with the best players in our country in a fun, challenging and social environment. I can't wait!

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: The mental game is so underrated and undertrained. Training yourself to be present from moment to moment, allowing the learnings to sink in and then moving forward as quickly as possible is something nobody talks about and few people truly master. 

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Board sports on either snow, water or concrete

  • The person who inspires me the most is: Laird Hamilton, because they do or did this: He integrates his passion for movement and pushing the limits of his sport with being a great father, person and community member.

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: I speak Portuguese fluently from when I lived and trained in Rio. 

Matty LeBourdais

Matty has played and / or coached at every level internationally, nationally and locally. After being a pivotal part of 2 CIS Championship runs with UBC, he played a few years indoor in Denmark while coaching their U21 team, and has been the UBC Men's Assistant Coach since 2011. He is tied for most Kits Beach wins at the KVBA Clivers (20) and is second on the all-time KVBA money board, only behind his partner. Here's some insight he shared directly with us about all 6'10" of himself :

  • I am: A professional beach volleyball player living in Vancouver. I am also a high-performance coach at UBC

  • I play volleyball with/at: Jonny Wiskar @ Kits Beach

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: Beach Volleyball is fun

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: The importance of staying in the moment / staying present

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Cabin life

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: I sing and play guitar

Dan Caverly

Dan Caverly, 2013 Canada Games Beach Gold medal, was the youngest athlete to win a KBVA Cliver. He played volleyball at Capilano University Blues Men’s volleyball team; Dan and his team won the PacWest Provincial Championship in 2013 where he earned tournament MVP. The Blues then placed 5th at Nationals where Dan became a CCAA tournament first team all star. Dan's favourite superhero is Spiderman, and has a twin sister who is also a great volleyball athlete. He is a budding YouTube star. Here's some insight he shared directly with us:

  • I am: 26

  • I play volleyball with/at: John Galloway at Kits Beach

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: I want to help WeCoBeVo support the players

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: Defense

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Video gaming 💥🔫🔫

  • The person who inspires me the most is: Dana Camacho, because they skyball like its their job

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: I enjoy romantic comedies more than most girls.

Joel Caschetto

Joel Caschetto aka "in-control Joel" is an all-around athlete excelling at both indoor and beach volleyball as well as hockey and disc golf / frolf. After 4 awesome middle blocker years with the TRU Wolfpack, he went on to play pro in Sweden and Denmark. On the beach, he is student of the game and one of the top beach players in BC. Joel is a maven of music with over 10,000 organized songs which include everything from dubstep to jazz to Brittany Spears, and loves to laugh until he cries. Here's some insight he shared with us:

  • I am: Son, brother, Vancouverite, party animal

  • I play volleyball with/at: my friends and extended family on the Pacific northwest

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: I like making friends

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: Having short term memory loss can be a blessing

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Exercising or listening to music

  • Draw yourself doing this pastime: 🔊 🎶 👦🏽

  • The person who inspires me the most is: Bernie Sanders. He has Dedicated his life to making the world a better place for others. In a field dominated by lies (politics) he has deviated from the acceptable norm and maintained the utmost honesty and integrity

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: My middle name is Carlos

 
 
 
 
 
 

Kumi Chow

Anyone that knows even just one thing about Kumi knows she is a baller ... the girl straight up loves the game of volleyball!  When she's not slaying the court or on the beach, she is a Physiotherapist in Vancouver. Played indoor as a rightside at UMFK from University of Hawaii- Hilo and setter at Bethure Cookman University, Kumi the Gold medalist at the Beach Volleyball Western Canada Championships has won so many local and provincial tournaments that even Einstein would lose count! And that's not accounting for being queen of the beach at Alki in Seattle! Psst ... have you seen her play R4's?! Yep, amazing at that too!. Here's some insight she shared with us:

  • I am: A physical therapist in love with volleyball ­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • I play volleyball with/at: kits beach mostly, the states... as long as I play every summer weekend. I play the majority of the tournies with Denise wooding, but have also played with so many amazing local ladies this year

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: I love to meet new people and jump at any chance to play

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: How awesome and fulfilling this sport is

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Eating yummy, new food

  • Draw yourself doing this pastime: 🐷😍 

  • The person who inspires me the most is: my mom, because she is my emotional rock and personal serve and pass coach

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: I am goofy footed :(

 
 

Jayme Lepp

Jayme Lepp, the Sacramento State University Div 1 NCAA full scholarship athlete, helped Sacramento State to three NCAA Tournament appearances, three Big Sky Tournament championships and three Big Sky regular season titles. Also during her four seasons, Sacramento State combined for an 87-42 overall record, and a 48-12 mark in the Big Sky Conference. Her impressive records include:

  • 2003-2005 Proliga Professional Volleyball League Teams- Jakarta BNI and Gresik Ponska. All-Star team and second in league in points and kills during career there

  • Was a six-time all-tournament selection, including MVP of the Sam Houston Invitational as a senior 

  • One of just 11 players in school history to finish with at least 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.

Here's some insight she shared with us:

  • I am: a wife, mom of two and a business owner with my husband ­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • I play volleyball with/at: kits Beach mostly. This past season I partnered up with Andrea Frustaci. I also played a tourney with Kumi, Jo Braun and Mitra Shad.

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: I want to support what Wecovo is doing on the west coast for the future of beach volleyball

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: having a high-five routine with your partner is where it’s at

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: staying in shape for volleyball!

  • Draw yourself doing this pastime:  

  • The person who inspires me the most is: my kids, they inspire me to be the best version of myself so that I can hopefully show them through my actions what it means to be kind, thoughtful, generous, hard-working, and to be difference makers in this world

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  I’ve won 2 gingerbread house making contests.

Jonny Wiskar

Jonny is not only an extraordinary beach volleyball athlete, but also an outstanding coach, teammate and supporter / promoter of the game.  He is the all-time money leader on the Kits Beach Volleyball Association leader board, and tied with his partner Matty for most wins on the KBVA (20).  Have ball, will play!  WeCoBeVo is excited to have Jonny back as a Pro this year!

Here's some insight he shared with us:

  • I am: A middle school teacher who loves playing and coaching both beach and indoor volleyball ­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • I play volleyball with/at: Volleyball BC the KBVA and down in pro tournaments down in Washington and Oregon

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: : I want to support WeCoBeVo and the local beach volleyball scene in Vancovuer

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: how to embrace the beach bum lifestyle

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: getting beat by wife at Squash, hiking and camping

  • The person who inspires me the most is: my wife, because she is the most focused/dedicated/hardest worker I know

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  I taught home/ec at middle school the past two years.

 

Murray Laidlaw

Better know as "Murf", he hails from Prince George and played 5 years of professional indoor in Holland, Indonesia, Switzerland and Sweden after playing collegiately at University of Manitoba.  He is the current points leader in the Vancouver's Pro Volleyball Super League as a Right Side for Team DUNBAR.  Murf can play about any position with an impressive amount of skill, and as for beach, he has played with the most variety of partners out there, which speaks to his easy-going nature and incredible versatility.

Here's some insight he shared with us:

  • I am: a brother, son, friend, Uncle, student of life and God Father :) ­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • I play volleyball with/at: in Kits and compete in as many of the local tournaments as I can... when work, weddings, and life aren't getting in the way. Lol

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: : I want to support volleyball any way I can

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: Breathe and be in your zone. (or high elbow and high wrist snap) That's a close second

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Singing

  • The person who inspires me the most is: Hmm... Myself in 10 years ;)

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  I love to jam. 

 

Jonathan Wong

AKA "Jonny" and that guy who has some serious hops on the beach!  Our estimates of his vertical is 38 inches ... or proably 40!  Jonny is an all-around athlete that is known to crush R4s competitors, play a bit of hockey on the side and put the beat down on a crossword puzzle every so often ... read up for more about Jonny and get ready to be amazed when he jumps!  Here is some insight he shared with us recently:

  • I am: A beach volleyball player on the Vancouver pro tour­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • I play volleyball with/at: Kyle Prosacco(just kidding) Aleks Saddlemyer/ Kits beach

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: :  I looooooove beach volleyball (and because Jodi and Brian asked me to ... gotta love his dedication to his WeCoBeVo friends!)

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: Don't waste your time, enjoy every moment of it and give your all in every point because you could fracture your 3rd metacarpal the very next point and end up missing almost the whole summer!!!

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Bicep curls

  • The person who inspires me the most is: I love watching players practice and put in time, training and doing drills to improve, not just playing games.

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  I do a sudoku and crossword puzzle everyday

 

John Galloway

John has excelled at every level of indoor receiving the CCAA All-Canadian honors while at Camosun before going on to be an outstanding attacker at University of Manitoba, before a stint with the Canadian National Team.  John is now a dominate force at Kits Beach as both an attacker and blocker., while apparently not hitting the grocery store cracker isle ... he took some time to share a few things about himself:

  • I am: a private coach at 6pack­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • I play volleyball with/at: Semi pro circuit with KBVA and VBC

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: :  I need a wake up call to get back into shape

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: Master the basics, and try to get a little bit better at one area each
    time you play

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Cooking giant meals

  • The person who inspires me the most is: Dan Caverly, because he let me win at ping pong once

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  I can eat 7 premium plus crackers in under 1 minute

 

Ryan Gandy

Better known as just "Gandy", he's a force to be reckoned with at the net!  A picture says a thousand words but his will easily tell you why you want this guy on your Play with the Pros team (did someone say 7'2" wing span?!).  Ryan is a man of many talents on and off the court, but at the beach he will surprise you with his agility and stamina given how much body he is fueling!  Gandy has also been known to take a young guy or two on the beach and mentor and encourage them in the game.  He took some time to share a few things about himself:

  • I am: the director of software development and operations at a Vancouver based software company that specializes in big data analytics. This helps support a 20-year-old volleyball addiction.

  • I play volleyball with/at: David Beleznay at Kits Beach.

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: :  it's going to be awesome and WeCoBeVo is something worth supporting.

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: how to control the state of your own mind.

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: anything involving wind and waves.

  • The person who inspires me the most is: Bernie Sanders, because he does what is right, not what is popular.

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  I was born in South Africa, speak four languages and could drive stick shift in heavy traffic before the age of ten.

 

Aleks Saddlemyer

Although Aleks only picked up volleyball as a cross training exercise for basketball, he quickly became a top player in high school, then on to Camosun earning top honors as 2-time BCCAA MVP and Gold medalist, and then TRU and has since eased into beach like it's just another day at the beach.  Said of him by a former coach "Aleks is a special kind of athlete, blessed with so many natural gifts – size, athleticism, work ethic, attitude and his growth as a player has been phenomenal ..."  We are quite excited to have Aleks join us at Play with the Pros!  Aleks took some time to share a few things about himself:

  • I am: Beach volleyball player from Vancouver and a personal trainer.

  • I play volleyball with/at: Anyone at Kits beach!

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: :  I want to promote beach volleyball.

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: Consistency is crucial.

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: mountain biking or snowboarding.

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  I do Rubik’s cubes for fun.  (RE: we can see why him and Jonny Wong get along so well on the court!)

 

Jen Cross 

From NCAA Semi-Finalist to German League Champion ... an Ontario native, Jen Cross has worked very hard to get to the top, and she is not looking back now. She began her career at the University of Michigan, were she helped the team to their first ever Final Four appearance. In an outstanding senior year, she lead Michigan in Blocks, Hitting Percentage and Points and still holds the Michigan Record for Assist and Solo Blocks.

Being one of the few Canadian female athletes to pursue a Professional Volleyball Career, Jen has made a huge impact in Europe so far. In her first professional season, she helped Engelholm capture both the Swedish Grand Prix and Swedish League Championships. Currently signed with Dresden Sports Club in Germany, Jen hopes to lead the team in capturing the German Bundesliga Championship Title for the second season in a row.

Learn more about Jen during this Feb 2017 interview with One Volleyball.

  • Club: Scarborough Titans 2006, 2007; Durham Attack 2008, 2009, 2010

  • Post-Secondary: University of Michigan 2010-2014

  • Professional: 2014-2015: Engelholm Volleyboll Sällskap - Sweden, 2015-2017: Dresden Sports Club - Germany

  • Team Canada: Indoor Junior Team 2008; Indoor Senior team 2011-present; Beach National Team 2010-2011

 
 

Liz Cordonier

Played at UBC on teams that won 3 National Championships and won every honour along the way, Liz spent 2 years on the Canadian National Beach and 4 years on the Indoor Team. She played in professional leagues in Germany, Finland and Denmark. She is now a Commercial Attorney (so no arguing line calls with her!) and when not playing beach, she also coaches kids in beach volleyball. She is a 2017 Volleyball BC Hall of Fame Inductee.

Here's some insight she shared with us:

  • I am: a kits beach local ­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • I play volleyball with/at: Kits beach whenever I can get out of the office

  • I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: I know how hard it is to gather the financial, coaching and athlete support to pursue beach volleyball at the highest level, and this event is an awesome opportunity to support our westcoast talent

  • If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: to keep your eyes open when you are blocking

  • My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: drinking coffee and eating Seigel's bagels with Juliana Kaufmanis at Kits Beach

  • The person who inspires me the most is: my husband Jesse because he makes amazing sandwiches

  • Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people:  Jamie Broder and I got matching tattoos after playing a world tour event in Thailand in 2010  and they are horrible and don't match and we likely both have Hep C.

 
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