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SURPRISE UPSETS AT MAHINDRA AUSTRALIAN BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS SET THE SCENE FOR FINALS 

SURPRISE UPSETS AT MAHINDRA AUSTRALIAN BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS SET THE SCENE FOR FINALS 

Credit: volleyball.org.au

The penultimate day of the Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships set the scene for an epic Super Sunday at Volleyslam, with unexpected results headlining the afternoon’ quarter final matches. 

Tour leaders Paul Burnett and Jack Pearse went down in straight sets to new partners Declan Tiso and Mateusz Zieba after the 3pm game saw the latter pair dominate the court (21-19, 21-15).

While Zieba has experience at the top of the podium at the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships, having won at Coolangatta last year, tomorrow’s games will be Tiso’s first finals matches on the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour.

“Tomorrow will be my first Super Sunday so it just feels incredible to have qualified,” said Tiso.

“It was a bit of a slow start for us in the first couple of games but we got it together and the rest of the afternoon went smoothly,” he said.

Accustomed to playing against Zieba, Tiso is thrilled to be playing alongside him at this tournament. The fifth seeds have taken to the new partnership with ease.

“I’ve played against Mat so many times so to join forces with him is fantastic and we really saw our plan come to fruition in our final game today,” said Tiso.

“I know Mat’s game plan pretty well and there’s no bad blood between us even though he’s knocked me out of the tournament so many times,” he joked.

“We compliment each other and work together quite well, both in finding those perfect sets and working defense, so I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s really helped me improve my game a lot over the years so it really is fantastic to play with him.

“We’ll be focusing on passing consistently and getting into a system off the serve tomorrow. I think that was a big difference in that last game, we were passing well and from there were able to open up options for setting,” finished Tiso.

After his 2022/23 partner Daniele Acconci returned to Italy, Zieba has paired up with several players this season, with his best result being third at the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour in Mollymook.

For Zieba, partnering with Tiso for the Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships was an easy choice.

“It’s great to be back in Coolangatta and be playing with Declan. Coolangatta beach is one of the best places to play beach volleyball and I’ve got a good record here, so I’m very happy to be back,” said Zieba.

“We’re doing well and looking forward to our semi…

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