Iris Fletcher plays a lot of volleyball but loves it when the shoes come off in May for the start of beach volleyball season.
The London native capped off her most successful beach season so far with an 18U National Gold medal, partnering with her provincial teammate, Abbey Thorup from St. Marys, at the Volleyball Canada Beach Nationals in Toronto recently. This is Iris’ third national win after capturing titles in both 14U and 16U divisions.
The girls had a stellar season winning eight of the nine events they entered from 18U to Adult Elite, including the inaugural 20U Beach Canada Cup put on by the Volleyball Canada Beach National Program.
“Being able to share these successes with my partner and friend, Abbey, has made it even more special. We both grew as individuals and as a partnership.The time we spent both on and off the court really allowed our play to elevate in high pressure games,” said Iris.
As a statement to Iris’ commitment and dedication to the sport this summer, she trained with Team Ontario Beach and spent 3 days a week receiving training from the Beach National Team coaches in Toronto.
“I’m always looking for ways to improve.” she says. “I am so lucky to have been guided from the beginning here at home with Beach Volleyball Academy, then Team Ontario and this summer with Volleyball Canada. Everyone along the way has provided valuable advice and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Other London athletes also faired well at the National Championships:
Tia Shum/Sophia Hladyniuk: 15U Div 1 Gold
Aliah Admans/Sarah Pardo-Villacob: 16U Div 1 Bronze
Chloe Shum: 18U Div 1 9th
Ben Kerkhoff/Zack Admans: 18U Div 1 9th
Matt Donovan: Adult 5th