Beach Schools Cup Champions Crowned to Round Out Volleyslam Festival
After three days of fun, enjoyment and friendly beach volleyball competitions, the 2023 Scape Australian Beach Volleyball Schools Cup came to a close on Sunday, with medallists celebrated across the 15 divisions on Coolangatta Beach.
For the second consecutive year, Brisbane’s Kelvin Grove State College was named the Overall School Champion on 645 points, with 18 top-10 results, including three silver medals and three bronze from their 24 teams.
Brisbane teams dominated the overall school pointscore, with Craigslea State High School in second on 610 points, and The Gap State High School third on 540 points, having entered an impressive 24 teams.
In the blue ribbon events, Wesley College (Melbourne) and King’s Christian College (Gold Coast) were crowned winners of the Girls Year 12 Pairs and Boys Year 12 Pairs respectively.
In the Girls final, Melbourne-based sisters Milla and Ruby Smith defeated HK Pittwater 2:1, which Milla said was a fantastic ending to her school beach volleyball career.
“It’s my last beach tournament for year 12 and it’s really great to play with my sister, she carried me through it as my big blocker,” Milla said.
“I just wanted to play well and have fun with my sister, and obviously I like winning so that was a bonus.”
Looking ahead to her post high school volleyball ambitions, Milla is eyeing off the chance to play in the green and gold.
“I’ll be playing a bit of indoor now, but hopefully next season I can play on the ABVT [Australian Beach Volleyball Tour] and maybe eventually a Futures will be in my next few years.”
The 2023 Schools Cup was the first tournament the sisters had been paired together, with Milla’s younger sister Ruby only in Year 9. Ruby said that while at first she was nervous to be playing against athletes three years her senior, by the end of the tournament, the sisters had found their groove.
“At first it was stressful, because everyone being older I felt a bit intimidated, but then I realised we’re all just playing for fun so I got used to it and it ended up being really enjoyable,” Ruby said.
“We didn’t really know how we played together at first, we started off a bit rough but then we got used to playing with each other and sorted out what we needed to do on the court.
“It was good to see all the other schools, get to know all the other players around, and good to play with my sister.”
In the Boys Year 12 Pairs final, Gold Coast locals from King’s defeated the Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah in three sets.
The Schools Cup victory marked the end of 10-days of competition for Jerome Mak, who also competed in the Australian Championships and Scape Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships at Volleyslam 2023, and seven days of competition for his partner Carter Forrester who also contested the Youth event.
“I’ve just played 10 days of volleyball in a row, it’s been a long week, so it feels good to end on a high,” Mak said.
“Aside from this gold medal, the highlight has just been having fun. It’s a great comp to socialise with students from other schools.”
“I’ve really liked getting to know the NSW boys, it’s always great to meet new people,” added Forrester.
With the duo ending their Schools Cup careers with a gold, they will now turn their focus to their post-schooling volleyball careers. Mak is already progressing his career as he prepares to travel to Thailand for a National Development Program Tour, playing in a local Thailand tournament.
“My goal is to play for Australia, which I get to do in 10 days in Thailand. I think my goal next year is to make the U19 Asian Championships,” he said.
“I would love to make a career of Volleyball,” Forrester added. “Olympics would be a good place to get to.”
The Schools Cup was the last event of Volleyslam 2023, the biggest beach volleyball festival in Australia’s history which over two weeks brought together the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event, the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships, the Scape Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships, and the Schools Cup.
For full results from the 2023 Scape Australian Beach Volleyball Schools Cup – click here
2022 Scape Australian Beach Volleyball Schools Cup Champions
Year 12 Boys Pairs – King’s Christian College
Year 12 Girls Girls – Wesley College
Year 11 Boys Pairs – Balgowlah/Woonona
Year 11 Girls Pairs – Moorefield/Kirrawee
Year 11/12 Boys Fours – Craigslea State High School
Year 11/12 Girls Fours – Cleveland District State High School
Year 10 Boys Pairs – The Scots College
Year 9/10 Girls Paris – Benowa State High School
Year 9 Boys Pairs – Waverley College
Year 9/10 Boys Fours – Cannon Hill Anglican College
Year 9/10 Girls Fours – The Gap State High School
Year 7/8 Boys Pairs – Cannon Hill Anglican College
Year 7/8 Girls Pairs – Craigslea State High School
Year 7/8 Boys Fours – King’s Christian College
Year 7/8 Girls Fours – Gap State High School