Back in March of 2020, Moveo defeated Play Beach in the first inter city NBVL Championships. The matchup came down to the bitter end, extra points in the Overtime set. The Vancouver victory proved to be so entertaining that the whole world came to a halt for a few years to consider what had transpired on the court. Both cities were back in action in 2022, but elevated caution kept the two city champions, Skyball and Dome Defenders, from playing the deciding round, leaving the question of inter city dominance unanswered for that year.
Enter 2023, and not only will the NBVL Championships reignite the competitive flame between Calgary and Vancouver champions, a third city champion team will also contend to burn brightest on championship Friday. The emergence of the NBVL Edmonton brings a whole new level to the NBVL Championships. It will still ultimately come down to one Final Championship matchup, but we will first see all 3 teams face off head-to-head-to-head in a 3 team round robin to determine which 2 are most deserving to play for all the glory in the Championship Matchup. The winner’s of that will earn their names being etched in history and on the NBVL’s coveted trophy.
All this happens now, Friday, August 11th, at Kits Beach, Vancouver. The NBVL will be leading off the pro volleyball portion of Kitsfest, and will be followed on Saturday and Sunday by the King and Queen of the Court tournaments, in which many of the NBVL finalists will also compete. Kitsfest info can be found by following THIS LINK. The NBVL Finals schedule is as follows:
NBVL Finals Schedule – Friday, August 11th
2:00 PM – Calgary (CBVA) vs Edmonton (BSS Aspire)
3:10 PM – Edmonton (BSS Aspire) vs Vancouver (Natura Solutions)
4:20 PM – Calgary (CBVA) vs Vancouver (Natura Solutions)
6:15 PM – NBVL Championship Matchup
With all that said, it’s time to meet our champions, starting with our newest addition:
BSS Aspire – NBVL Edmonton
Kaila Janssen Harris and Kim Bolin will represent Edmonton and their NBVL team: BSS Aspire . Janssen Harris had stints playing post secondary volleyball at Florida Atlantic and MacMaster Universities, and also spent time training with Team Canada for beach volleyball. Bolin spent her post secondary career at NAIT and MacEwan and excelled as a middle there. Both women’s athletes have coached with Aspire Volleyball training, making them natural fits for this team.
For their men’s team, Tom Haight is the most veteran athlete in the NBVL Edmonton, having previously played 2 seasons in Calgary. Opting to make the trek south for 2 full seasons, and was named a 2nd team all-star in 2022, before becoming the driving force that put together Edmonton’s NBVL chapter. He is paired with Kai Hesthammer, the Norwegian/American standout. Another MacEwan alumni, Kai also played pro club volleyball in Sweden from 2006-2008. Not only did Tom and Kai contribute to their teams NBVL Edmonton victory, but they also claimed the beach volleyball title at the World Police and Fire Games last weekend in the Open Division.
Also contributing to the BSS Aspire team this season were Jill Mellor and Reece Dixon
CBVA – NBVL Calgary
The pair of Alex Bell-Moratto and Josh Woelfel were who contributed the men’s CBVA results during their NBVL Calgary victory, however of the team’s male roster, only Bell-Mo could make the trip out to compete for the title. He will do so with his Calgary Open partner, and Brewster’s Outlaws member, Hunter Scott. This pair were able to turn heads at the Calgary Open a month ago, taking home 2nd place in the loaded field.
On the women’s side, Ashtyn McKenzie is the only Finals participant to have previously competed in the last inter city championship, and will have her sights set on the top result this go around. Her partner Alyssa Wolf is the only athlete to have played in 2 separate NBVL seasons in the same year, having competed for Dunbar Cycles in the earlier Vancouver season, before making the move to Calgary and playing the summer season with CBVA. The pair has been dominant so far in the playoffs, not dropping a single set in their contribution to the NBVL Calgary title.
Natura Solutions – NBVL Vancouver (replacing Pacific Coast)
Pacific Coast were the NBVL Vancouver Champions, however injuries and trips to Seaside led to none of the PCVC squad being available to play in this weekend’s Final. Thankfully, 3 athletes from the Natura Solutions team, and 1 from Dunbar Cycles have answered the call and will be representing Vancouver this weekend. While not this year’s Vancouver champions, these athletes will have the home crowd and should not be overlooked.
Markiel Simpson is one of only a handful of athletes NBVL wide to have been a part of all 4 seasons in his city. He went undrafted in the inaugural season but his draft stock has continued to rise, and showed his most impactful season yet in 2023. His partner Adam Thompson made his NBVL debut this season for Natura. Thompson, a Manitoba Native, has Team Canada beach experience, and will look to assert his presence during the Finals.
The women’s team of Jaz Kim (Natura) and Jana Weir (Dunbar), know kits beach better than anyone and will use every advantage they can muster. Jaz is another member of the 4 seasons club alongside Simpson. Jaz is a competitor through and through, and will let nothing stop her from a chance to play hard. Jana Weir is an NBVL Champion from the inaugural season in Vancouver with Moveo, while she didn’t participate as an athlete for their repeat in the first inter city championship, she was quite involved in the management of that year’s Moveo team, so she is no stranger to NBVL success. Jana has spent the last two seasons with the Dunbar Cycles squad and never finished a season lower than 3rd.
Kitsfest lasts all weekend long, but NBVL Finals is one day only! Come out and support your favorite athletes, teams and cities!