ABVT Finals Repeat Crowns New Women’s Champion on Mollymook Beach
The Women’s Elite Division gold medal match at the Mollymook Australian Beach Volleyball Tour (ABVT) was a repeat of the Cobram final two weeks earlier, going down to the wire in three sets.
But unlike Cobram, it was #3 seeds Caitlin Bettenay and Alisha Stevens who won the title on the NSW South Coast, defeating top seeds Phoebe Bell and Stefanie Fejes 2-1 (20-22, 21-15, 15-13).
“It feels so amazing to get the win, we worked really hard, we’re dealing with injuries, have been training individually, but we just stuck together through these tough conditions and made it work,” Stevens said
“We really trusted each other,” Bettenay added. “We had a strong game plan coming in and when it mattered we executed every single time. We played quite intuitively and together, and you could really tell with the windy conditions.”
Stevens said the pair gained a lot from their previous finals match-up two weeks earlier.
“We really learnt a lot, we looked at our stats from the last tournament, really hustled and pulled through,” she said.
“[Fejes and Bell] played absolutely awesome as they always do,” Bettenay added.
“We know every time we go up against each other it’s going to be a battle so it’s always great when playing against them.”
Earlier in the Women’s Elite bronze medal match, Rio 2016 Olympian Nikki Laird and her new partner Jessyka Ngauamo made a successful return to the National Tour, winning bronze in their first 2022 ABVT event, and first tournament together since 2017.
They came up against #2 seeds Georgia Johnson and Jasmine Fleming, with Laird and Ngauamo taking the win 2-0 (21-16, 21-19).
Rio 2016 Olympian Laird said it’s great to be back on the National Tour, and teamming up with Ngauamo.
“It feels good to be able to get back out there to compete,” she said.
“Both Jess and I have had a couple of long years with covid and Jess’s injuries, so it hasn’t been as smooth sailing as we would have liked, so it’s definitely nice to get back out there.”
Having both stood on the ABVT podium several times previously, Ngauamo said today’s bronze medal result has lit a fire in them to strive for more at their next tournament.
“We definitely came in with high expectations of ourselves and I think we’ll use this event to drive ourselves for more at the next on.”
The Australian Beach Volleyball Tour will now make its way to Manly, NSW on 4 – 6 March for the third stop of the ABVT, which doubles as the 2022 Australian Championships.
See all results HERE
Replay all the Mollymook ABVT Centre Court Matches HERE