Dec 23, 2019 | NBVL

The team with a website for a name, is making their first appearance in the NBVL. One of only 2 teams that does not enter the season with a kept player from last year, it could be a bit of an uphill battle for Navas. Nevertheless they’ve put their best foot forward, and built a solid first roster that will try to get their names on the NBVL trophy for the 2020 NBVL Vancouver season.

Staff owner Alex Sinanen is Director of Operations at Navas Lab apparel, and has delegated team operations into the very capable hands of GM Jodi McIntosh (Excecutive Director of WeCoBeVo). McIntosh made the team selections on draft night with the help of long time kits beach volleyball local Paul Tudor. The team they came up with will be rocking black and teal in the 2020 season

Felipe humana-paredes – 1st overall

Felipe was a bit of a wild card coming into the 2020 draft. On the one hand, he’s played his fair share of international events, and was one of Canada’s most impressive blockers for a number of years. On the other hand, he retired from international play a year ago and hasn’t been on the sand much since. Navas demonstrated their confidence that he’ll be able to return to form quickly, by selecting him 1st overall, and opting to build their team around his ability to impact a match. Humana-Paredes will be one of the most exciting athletes to watch this season, but will be missing the 1st 2 matches for , so they’ll need him to get up to speed quickly if they intend to make the playoffs in year 1.

Isabela lima – 12th overall

Lima adds her own flair of the international to the Navas team. Originally from Brazil, but now a regular kits beach performer. Isabela may be new to the NBVL, but she will certainly be one of the athletes to watch this season. A regular semi finalist on the KWVC and BC beach tours, is eagerly awaiting the chance to see Lima try her hand at the indoor beach game during the NBVL Vancouver’s 2020 season. Her all around ability makes her a great starting point to build the Navas team, and if she brings the same passion to the game as other Brazilian legends, she’ll be a treat for the team’s fanbase as well.

jaz kim – 13th overall

Immediately following their selection of Lima, chose her future team mate, Jaz Kim. It was likely her cat like reflexes that drew the team to her, both for the solid play it will bring to the team, and for how appropriately they fit in with the Navas Lab logo. Jaz was a member of last year’s Natura Solutions team, and is the only 2nd year NBVL athlete on the team. As such, she’ll be called upon to familiarize her team mates on the NBVL’s subtle differences from summer tournaments. As one of the Inaugural Season league leaders in Aces and Kills, navas’s only choice of vets was a good one.

ben ricketts – 24th overall

Ricketts has been a long time performer on the KBVA tour, with 10 finals, multiple wins, and earning the most points in the 2015 KBVA Season. Somehow, despite the strong resume, he missed out on being drafted in the Inaugural Season. This year he’s been given the nod by, and will look to show everyone that he’s right where he belongs. Having the opportunity to play behind the big block of Humana-Paredes should fit his defensive game perfectly, so I’d expect to see Ricketts thrive this Season.

zeid hamadeh – 25th overall

Simply put, Zeid is a freak athlete. He finished in the top 2 in every Combine metric except height (which makes the jump touches extra impressive), and was unquestionably the fastest in the agility. An import from Ontario, Zeid is a member of the full time Pacific Elite training group, trying to make it to the international level of play. His made his mark this summer medalling at the Parksville Pro and in a KBVA event. Zeid’s speed and athleticism will make him the perfect complement to either the crafty Ricketts or the high flying Humana-Paredes, who he should be eager to learn from over the course of the 2020 season.

zuzana rijken – 32nd overall

The final piece of the puzzle for is Zuzana Rijken. She’ll be ready and waiting for her chance to take the court when called upon this season. Zuzana’s presence has been felt on the tour’s of BC, where her best finish came at the 2018 Provincial Championships, breaking into the quarterfinals to take 5th. It will be difficult for Navas to replace standout performers Lima and Kim, but it happens often I pro sport that a team comes to rely on a standout supporting cast member, so they’ve put their faith in Rijken to be there in force when needed.

Team Summary is a fairly well balanced team, with a possible home run pick if Humana-Paredes comes into the Season with any semblance of his old self. He’ll miss the first 2 matchups for sure, however, but Ricketts and Hamadeh should have no trouble holding their own in his absence. The women’s team should also be top competitors behind Lima and Jaz. Opponents will have a tough time getting the ball to the sand against them, as both are excellent defensively. For them it will come down to whether they can put up enough of a net presence to stop some of the taller, high hitting teams.

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