Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour touches down in Wollongong
The third and final leg of the Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour hits Wollongong on Wednesday with some of the best young players in the country vying for glory.
Western Australia’s Cassie Dodd will be aiming to make it three straight women’s under 21 tournament victories, having claimed the opening leg in Canberra alongside Lizzie Alchin (WA), before winning in Brisbane alongside Stefanie Fejes (NSW).
Dodd and Fejes come to Wollongong as the top seeds, ranked just above the pairing of Alchin and Kayla Mears (QLD) who finished third at the last tournament. Brisbane runners-up Brianna Mears (QLD) and Jasmine Rayner (QLD) round out the top three seeds.
Queensland pairing Ben Hood and Lucas Josefsen didn’t drop a set on their way to winning the men’s U21 event in Brisbane and come to Wollongong ranked number one. They were beaten in the Canberra final in January by Kaia Clarkin (ACT) and D’Artagnan Potts (SA) who enter the tournament as second seeds after finishing third in Brisbane.
Killian Donovon and Jett Rocker-Graham from NSW beat South Australia’s Rory Hart and Aidan Kelly for the bronze medal in the opening tournament of the season, with the pairs seeded third and fourth respectively coming into this round.
It is tough work trying to read the form guide of the women’s under 19 tournament with six different combinations taking home the medals from the opening two tournaments.
Georgina Vanloo (SA) was runner-up at the opening tournament of the season alongside Cameron Zajer (SA), and she comes into Wollongong as the top seed alongside fellow South Aussie Leilani Burnell.
Local combination Mali Towers (NSW) and Lara Limbrick (NSW) claimed the bronze medal in Canberra and the second seeds will be keen to do well on home sand. Lina Mueller (QLD) and Lauren Brasell (QLD) are seeded fifth but will be hoping to go one better than their home tournament in Queensland where as second seeds they finished runners up.
Another local player, Adax Brienen (NSW) will be keen to keep the Wollongong fans interested in the men’s under 19 competition where he pairs again with Adam Fejes (NSW). After entering the opening tournament as top seeds, the NSW combination were knocked out in the semis before winning bronze, but had redemption in Brisbane where they didn’t drop a set on the way to gold.
Felix Birke (NSW) was a runner up to Brienen and Fejes at the last tournament and enters Wollongong as second seed with new partner Asher Gill (NSW) who won bronze in Brisbane. Fourth seeds Charlie Beard (NSW) and Jay Tregeagle (ACT) have already shown they are a combination to be reckoned with, making it all the way to the final in Canberra.
AJBVT Wollongong starts at 8am on Wednesday 8 March at North Wollongong Beach, with the medals set to be decided from midday on Thursday.