FIVB: Canadians Harvest FIVB Beach Awards
Summer is fading as we move on to fall, and the 2018 beach season is over - and it's awards time. A trio of Canadians - Melissa Humaña-Paredes, Brandie Wilkerson, and Heather Bansley have all been recognized by the FIVB as being at the top of their class.
Heather Bansley - Best Defensive Player
For the third time in four years, Heather Bansley is the Best Defensive Player in the FIVB. This doesn't come to a surprise to anyone as Bansley has made a living and scrambling around in the back row since her days as a Varsity Blue - but this year it was on full-force as it propelled her to a career-best No. 4 Rank in the FIVB World Rankings.
At this point - Bansley is cementing herself as the best Canadian Defender of All-Time - of either gender. As the only one to ever win the award - let alone three - she's basically in a class of her own at this point. When you consider she's won the award with two different partners - you really
Brandie Wilkerson - Best Blocker
It was honestly just matter of time until Brandie Wilkerson won this award as there's little doubt she has the biggest block on tour - pretty much as certain as hearing the "My Block" song while she's playing centre court. In only her second full-season on the World Tour - Wilkerson is now one of the most feared blockers on tour - and she'll let you know when she gets you.
We may be biased, but Brandie could have also won the Most Improved Player of the Year Award (No offence to to Australia's Mariafe Artacho del Solar). Her dominance at the net makes even the best hitters pull out the roll shot - only to have it swatted back.
Melissa Humaña-Paredes - Best Setter
Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, and now Best Setter - Melissa Humaña-Paredes is just collecting them all. Her third award is her first skill-based nod - and there's little doubt Melissa is one of the silkiest setters in the world. In system or in transition, on the net net or off, her dynamic setting opens up the offence.
The most impressive part of her game however