Oak Bay duo Kai Higuchi and Lucas Maffia won the recent U16 beach volleyball Sand Series #1 event and are headed to the Vancouver Open next week at Kitsilano Beach. (Wendy Maffia Photo)

Oak Bay duo look to dominate beach volleyball circuit

16-year-olds hope to defend provincial championship

Like many Oak Bay teens, Kai Higuchi and Lukas Maffia plan to spend their summer playing on the sand.

But instead of sunbathing on Gonzales or playing ladder ball at Willows, the two 16 year olds are already in the midst of a successful beach volleyball season.

This week the duo are in Vancouver for a training block ahead of the Vancouver Open, July 12 to 14 at Kitsilano Beach (the pros go July 13 to 15). On June 23 the boys won the Sand Series tournament at Spanish Banks. It was six matches in one day and they ended it by defeating the same team in the final that they had defeated in the final of last year’s 15-and-under provincials.

“By the end of the day you’re getting pretty tired,” Maffia said. “You’re in the sun, it’s a long day, [but actually] once we got to the final it was in the rain.”

READ MORE: Victoria U16 boys in provincial volleyball championship

As indoor volleyball players the two soon-to-be Grade 11 students played on both the Oak Bay junior and senior volleyball teams this year and also won the U16 club championship with the Victoria Volleyball Association team. They have been playing together since Maffia joined Higuchi on the Central middle school boys team in Grade 7.

As a beach volleyball team, they’ve won the right to represent B.C. this summer and are hoping to raise up enough money to visit California and Toronto.

When they’re in town, they can be seen training on the sand courts at UVic’s Ian Stewart Complex.

Volleyball has become the sport of focus for both athletes. They already know they’d like to play at the post-secondary level, with a goal of playing at the national level.

When they play at the provincials later this summer there will be scouts for post secondary sports programs in Canada and the NCAA, where beach volleyball is big. The two aren’t focused on indoor or outdoor yet.

“We’re not closing any doors,” Higuchi said. “Beach is fun because it’s a lot more individual. There’s a lot more touches, and more responsibility, and your play contributes to winning. Also, the coaches for [beach volleyball] aren’t making game decisions, they’re not a big part of the game, you have to coach yourself through decisions.”

You also develop a lot of one-on-one trust factors, Maffia said.

“You have trust your partner to make the play. Plus, beaches are fun.”

The ultimate goal this summer is to travel to nationals in Toronto, which are in August.

They boys plan to visit Hermosa Beach, California, for the U.S. nationals at the end of July.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Esquimalt café cooks up connections for all abilities

A Kinder Cup focuses on positivity, inclusivity and connection

Free bike exchange program available to Greater Victoria kids

The Re-Buy-Cycle Shop in Langford offers free bikes for young learners

Central Saanich sparks up new opening burning bylaw

New bylaw offers ‘balanced approach’ between status quo and tougher provincial regulations

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read