Students and coaches shine at beach volleyball national championships

Several current and former York University student-athletes and coaches came up big at the 2009 Canadian National Beach Volleyball Championships last weekend at Ashbridge’s Bay in Toronto.

The York presence was greatest in the under-21 men’s division, where York students dominated the podium. The gold medal was won by former Lion and current student Tom Podstawka. The youngest of three Podstawka brothers, he teamed with Taylor Hunt of the University of Hawaii to defeat current Lions sophomores Felipe Humana-Paredes of Toronto and Clayton Weyrauch of Carlisle, Ont., in the championship final. Third-year Lion Philippe Charron of Ottawa captured the bronze medal alongside partner Matt Poulin from the University of Western Ontario.

Lions men’s volleyball captain Reid Hall of Georgetown, Ont., and former Lion, current student and partner Adam Podstawka, who recently won the gold medal at the Canada Summer Games, finished fifth in the men’s Senior Division 1, as did Lions alumni Djordje Ljubicic (BA Hons. ’96) and former Lion Paul Podstawka. Another former Lion, Richard van Huizen (BA ’98), ended up fourth.

York alumni could also be found on the sidelines. Rob Dyba (BA Spec. Hons. ’08), the 2007 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) libero of the year, coached the team of Nuguid-Nusbaum to the under-16 boys’ gold medal, while current Lions setter Jessy Satti led the team of Crompton-Saddler to a silver in the under-14 boys’ youth division.

On the women’s side, three member’s of last year’s OUA gold-medal-winning team finished in the top five of their respective divisions. Candice Paulsen of Scarborough, a two-time OUA all-star, finished fifth in the women’s Senior Division 1, while Sarah Sutton, also of Scarborough, and Antonia Stathakos of Brampton, teamed up to finish off the podium in fourth place in the women’s Senior Division 2wo. Three-time OUA all-star Elizabeth Salas ended up ninth in Division 1.

On the officiating front, alumnus Mark Cossarin (BA Hons. ’91) was the director of officials for the event.