Vernon-Evans & Jhajj ranked fourth in the World!
by Nishaan Sodhi
Pakmen Volleyball’s Sharone Vernon-Evans and Parvir Jhajj are coming home as the fourth best under-17 team in the world. The Men’s Under-16 standouts represented Canada at the FIVB World Championships this past weekend in Mexico and lost a hard-fought battle in the battle for bronze. Despite the blistering heat and packed crowds, the duo remained level headed and played pristine volleyball throughout the competition.
Vernon-Evans and Jhajj came out rolling at the world championships finishing 3-0 in pool play, winning all games without dropping a set. Coming into the tournament ranked second, the duo faced up against competition from Russia, Australia, and Saint Lucia in the opening round. At the end of pool play, the team had allowed only 71 points to be scored on them, showing a fine display of defensive dominance to couple with their powerful offensive attack.
After a first round bye in the playoffs, Vernon-Evans and Jhajj matched up against hometown favorites Eduardo Hernandez and Arturo Martinez. The Mexican pair came into the match with high confidence after coming out victorious in a hard fought match against Jardim and Almeida. But Vernon-Evans and Jhajj were having none of it. The Pakmen players came out swinging on offense and diving on defense, winning in straight sets 21-12, and 21-15. Next were Maciej Lewicki and Adam Lenc from Poland. After winning the first set 21-19, the duo gave up their first set of the tournament in the second, losing 14-21. The teams went toe-to-toe in the third and final set, but Canada pulled through with the 15-13 victory.
Vernon-Evans and Jhajj went on to play last years silver medalists from Switzerland, Yves Haussener and Florian Breer. The Swiss, who were well versed in international competition proved to much for the Canadians , who ultimately lost in straight sets. In the battle for third place, Vernon-Evans and Jhajj fell just short, losing in straight sets 26-24 and 21-19. The thriller lasted 42 minutes and gave rise to a new found rivalry between Canada and France in international competition.
This tournament was the first international competition for not only Sharone Vernon-Evans and Parvir Jhajj, but also former Pakmen Volleyball athlete Jessy Satti who has been a longstanding coach with the club. The world championships are the first of many milestones for the trio, who will no doubt shine on the world stage in the future.
Canada’s Jordan Pereira and Taryq Sani also had a strong showing at the event, landing in the top 10 with a 9th place finish.
Congratulations on the huge tournament boys! You made Canada proud!