Monday, August 04, 2014


Bump Bump Kill!



I am quite certain that I do not differ greatly from other scribes when I say that I am gratified when a story literally falls onto the pages.



I have been motivated, in the past week or so, to write about the following: The Rogers Cup, and the success of Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic in Washington at the ATP Championships; the recent success of the Toronto Blue Jays, notwithstanding their struggles in Houston; the Commonwealth Games; the Canadiens’ signing of P. K. Subban, and the fact that he is now paid more than Sidney Crosby; Aussie Rules Football on TSN; Hall of Fame Football Inductions in Canton, Ohio; and the new arrivals to the Buffalo Bills.



All of those suggestions were overruled when I met Landis Doyle and Brendan Wong. They are staying with her parents in our house rental next door, and they presented me with a column that I had to write.



Both are successful volleyball players. It is not a stretch to say that volleyball is most important to them. Consider this: every morning, Brandon sets up 97 nets for the City of Toronto for volleyball players to play in the parks and beaches in Toronto, mostly in the Ashbridges/Bay Beach areas. Landis has just returned from France, where she played professionally. She is nursing a tender knee, and goes under the knife later this month at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto to repair the damage.



They met at Humber College, in Toronto, where they both played varsity volleyball. Landis arrived there due to her stellar play at Dunbarton High School. While at Humber, Landis also played for the Durham Attack. Brendan’s route was through his work in Basketball. He was involved in the Ontario Basketball Association skills development program, and played Club basketball for the Mississauga Monarchs.                                              



I watched in awe as they practised for a couple of hours on the back lawn. I cemented pipe to hold the net posts, and hauled out the old net for them. I think they were amazed at my preparation. They came well prepared themselves, with their own net, and a bag of balls. Think tennis practice. Serves, kills, smashes. You really don’t want to wander all over the acreage for one or two balls, when you are gearing up for an event. Better to bring at least half a dozen.





Brendan is working towards his next event in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the North American Chinese Volleyball Invitational Tournament, for teams from all over North America. Nine players on the court, instead of the usual six. In terms of nationality, one must be one-sixteenth Chinese, he told me. I questioned the nine man idea. Landis told me: “It’s really a fast game. Most kills are saved, due to the number of players on the court.”



Landis set up kills for Brendan, one after another. They even put out the old hockey net on the service line, as a target for the smashes!


They were both highly skilled players, making their mark with the great game of volleyball, in the sunshine of Prince Edward County.



James Hurst

August 4, 2014.  

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