​The Australian Volleyball Academy impresses in Cobram

​The Australian Volleyball Academy impresses in Cobram

The Australian Volleyball Academy has had an incredible start to 2021, by medalling in their first two tournaments at the ABVT Cobram and the U19/21’s beach volleyball championships. The athletes braved all types of weather during the week, ranging from extreme heat during the ABVT, to heavy rain on the second day of competition for the U19/21’s.

WA AVA athletes Tessa Browne and Sarah Burton had a dream run in the ABVT, making it to the semi-final before losing to eventual tournament winners and Beach Volleyroos Nikki Laird and Becchara Palmer.

“Whilst I’m disappointed in the result, I’m really proud of how Sarah and I played”, said AVA athlete Tessa Browne.

“We’re really looking forward to the next few tournaments together”.

On the men’s side, AVA athletes Sam Flowerday and Lorenzo Pope won division 2, against Victorian pairing Johannes Shaufler and John Stock.

The U19/21’s tournament was underway from Monday, with conditions reaching a sweltering 39 degrees during the pool matches.

Youngsters Kiefer Sinclair and Lucas Josefsen sailed all the way to the final, before defeating QAS pair Jack McIntosh and Shaun Andersen in straight sets for the gold.

“It’s been great to see these two bring home the gold after a big week together”, said men’s AVA head coach Brendan Garlick.

“I’ve been really impressed with not only how our athletes have conducted themselves on the court here, but also off the court”, he added.

“They should all be really proud of their efforts, and it is a great way to start off what is going to be a great year at the AVA”. 

The men’s U21 final was a hotly contested match between AVA WA athletes Korben Phillips and Tom Dempsey, and QAS athletes Connor O’Neill and Ruben Gale. Phillips and Dempsey won enthusiastically in straight sets, before promptly cooling off in the nearby Murray River courtesy of their AVA teammates.

“I had such an amazing time playing through such tough and changing conditions but thanks to my partner and the coaching team, we were able to pull through with an amazing result”, said Phillips on his win.

AVA beach coach Anne Meijnderts was really happy with how the week played out, saying, “This really has been an amazing week for our AVA athletes”.

“I’ve seen our athletes make a lot of progress throughout both the national tour event and the junior championships, which is just another reminder of how important competition is for athletic development and how grateful we should be to be able to return to competition in these times”.

The primary objective of the Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA) is to identify and develop Olympic potential athletes for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. It is the High-Performance Development Program for volleyball and beach volleyball athletes who aspire to reach the elite level of their sport.

For any enquiries, please contact the AVA team at

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