Jhajj and Vernon-Evans are Ontario’s Best
by Nishaan Sodhi
Parvir Jhajj and Sharone Vernon-Evans are once again coming home with gold.
Just two weeks after their fourth place finish at the FIVB U-17 World Championships in Mexico, the duo took to the Toronto beaches to capture their third beach championship gold medal in as many years.
With international experience under their belt the team competed with full confidence throughout the tournament, especially when they were down. They steam rolled through competition up to the gold medal game, where they would match up against Taryq Sani and Jordan Pereira. Sani and Pereira also competed in Mexico, and were confident in their ability to upset the reigning provincial champions.
Entering the tournament heavily favored to win, Jhajj and Vernon-Evans were pushed to the brink by their competition, and for the first time in a long time, there were instances where it seemed anything was possible – even an upset.
“It was a close match from start to finish,” said coach Jessy Satti. “Our boys lost the first set, and were down in both the second and third sets. But they pulled through when it mattered.”
Sani and Pereira led for the majority of the match. Being down 5-10 in the third set, Jhajj and Vernon-Evans understood that the time was now or never. If they didn’t step it up they would be going home with a silver medal. They were 5 points away from being upset. And that simply just wouldn’t do.
The boys cut down on defensive errors, increased on court communication, and used the weather to their advantage to spur a come back. They reeled off 6 straight points to avoid an upset.
“It feels amazing to come out with the win,” says Vernon-Evans. “They had an outstanding block so that really challenged my hitting. It helped that Parvir served aggressively, which took them off their game a bit.”
When asked about his strong play, Parvir gives all the praise to his partner. “He [Sharone] played out of his mind,” says Parvir. “His setting is improving each time we compete and he really gave me the sets I needed. His blocking was unbelievable too. This win feels unbelievable”, he adds. “We really had to earn it.”
The duo is not at all complacent with their success so far. They are looking ahead to the National Championships later this August and are continuing to train each and every day.
Good luck at Nationals, Parvir and Sharone! We know you will do great!