Team Nunavut set for indoor volleyball at Canada Summer Games

Women’s, men’s tournaments start Tuesday in second week of national competition

Team Nunavut’s men’s and women’s indoor volleyball teams will make their debut this week at the Canada Summer Games, held in Ontario’s Niagara region until Aug. 21. Pictured are the teams during training in Kelowna, B.C. in May. (Photos courtesy of Volleyball Nunavut)

By Madalyn Howitt

After a triumphant first week at the Canada Summer Games that saw a Nunavut athlete win gold in men’s wrestling and the territory debut its first-ever beach volleyball teams, Nunavut’s indoor volleyball teams hope to make history in week two.

This is the first year Team Nunavut is participating in a team sport at the Canada Summer Games, with both the men’s and women’s volleyball squads taking part.

This year’s competition is being held in Ontario’s Niagara region from Aug. 6 to 21.

In the first week, that team sport was beach volleyball. In week two, the discipline moves from the sand to the gym for indoor volleyball.

Coach Brady Fischer and assistant coach John Legate lead the men’s squad, while coach Beverly Netusil and assistant coach Abigail Dueck head up the women’s.

Players from both teams hail from Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Pond Inlet, Kimmirut, Kugluktuk, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Coral Harbour.

Women’s team member Shawna Kyak is serving double-duty at the games, having also competed for Nunavut in beach volleyball with partner Talia Grant.

The schedule for Tuesday sees the women open preliminary action with a 9 a.m. game against Newfoundland and Labrador. The men play at 11 a.m. against Prince Edward Island, and in Nunavut’s final match of the day the women will play P.E.I. at 4 p.m.

Team Nunavut made its first appearance at the Canada Games in 2001. It entered its first team sport in 2019, with the men’s hockey team at the Canada Winter Games.

On Thursday, Cambridge Bay’s Eekeeluak Avalak won Nunavut its first-ever summer games medal, a gold in 52 kg men’s wrestling.

Team Nunavut previously won one other medal at the Canada Games, a bronze in judo from Eugene Dedrick at the 2007 Winter Games in Whitehorse.

 

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