Tuesday, 23 April 2024
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AUSSIES PLAYING FOR BEACH PRO TOUR GLORY AT COOLANGATTA

AUSSIES PLAYING FOR BEACH PRO TOUR GLORY AT COOLANGATTA

Credit: volleyball.org.au

Four different Australian pairs have taken out international tournaments on home sand this summer and all will be hoping to taste glory once again on Sunday.

The Beach Pro Tour Futures starts Wednesday at Coolangatta and is the third event to get underway as part of the 10-day Volleyslam Festival.

Women’s top seeds Georgia Johnson (QLD) and Jasmine Fleming (QLD) took out the final Futures event of 2023 in Geelong and finished with bronze last month in Mollymook. Their summer-long rivalry with newly-crowned national champions Stefie Fejes (NSW) and Jana Milutinovic (SA) could continue this week with the Mollymook Futures winners coming into Coolangatta as the second seeds.

Tara Phillips (SA) and Kayla Mears (QLD) along with Lizzie Alchin (WA) and Jasmine Rayner (QLD) are also in the main draw which starts tomorrow, with a further four Australian combinations playing qualifiers today for the remaining four places in the main draw.

One of those combinations is experienced pair Phoebe Bell and Caitlin Bettenay who finished on the podium at the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour in Geelong last November and also at last week’s Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships.

The men’s main draw also features four Australian pairs, led by top seeds Jack Pearse and Paul Burnett who have made the final of the last two Beach Pro Tour Futures tournaments, winning the event in Geelong to round out 2023.

Kiwi combination Thomas Reid and John McManaway made it all the way to the final of last week’s Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships and were also runners up to Pearse and Burnett in Geelong.

Canada’s Jake MacNeil and Alexander William Russell reached the quarter-finals of the Mollymook Futures but fell short in their quest to qualify for the Australian Championships last week.

Six Australian men’s teams are gunning for a place in the 16-team draw, with last week’s bronze medallists Garang Anyang and Justin Schumann hoping to show the form which took them to the Mount Maunganui Futures quarter-finals last month. 

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