As “wild card” entrant for the 2017 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals, Saxton and Schalk will be competing in the event for the third-straight season after placing seventh in 2015 and fourth in 2016. After posting two 17ths and three 25ths in their first five events in 2017, Saxton and Schalk rebounded to place fifth in the FIVB World Championships earlier this month after losing a three-set quarter-final match to eventual Vienna winners Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola of Brazil. The Saxton/Schalk partnership started in 2013 and the pair placed ninth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the Canadians competed in the “toughest” pool with pairs from Brazil, Cuba and Latvia. While the Canadians have not won a FIVB World Tour event together (one silver and four bronze medals together), Saxton and Schalk have netted two NORCECA gold medals. Saxton, who started competing in FIVB-sanctioned events in 2005 as a 16-year old with his first World Tour event being in 2007, has 86 world tour appearances to his credit. Schalk’s first FIVB event was 2010 with 66 FIVB World Tour participations to date.