Double gold for Fejes on Thompsons Beach wraps up Cobram-Barooga Classic
The Cobram-Barooga Classic has wrapped up on Thompsons Beach with Wednesday’s finals of the Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour (AJBVT).
After winning gold with her partner Phoebe Bell in the Women’s Elite division of the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour (ABVT) on Sunday, Stefanie Fejes has won gold again in the Women’s U21 division, this time joining forces with Kayla Mears for the first time.
Mears also competed in the Elite event over the weekend, placing fourth with her senior partner Jana Milutinovic.
After advancing to the quarterfinals without dropping a set in this week’s AJBVT, Fejes and Mears’ toughest game came against Kayla’s twin sister Brianna Mears and her partner Jesse Mann, which went to three sets; 18-21, 21-19, 15-10.
In the gold-medal match, they faced Sarah Burton – who won bronze at the Cobram ABVT – and her Junior partner Allysha Sims, with Fejes and Mears winning in straight sets 18-21, 16-21.
Feje said it was fantastic to stand on the top step of the podium at both Senior and Junior events in Cobram.
“It is truly amazing to win both! I had so much fun playing with both Phoebe and Kayla as we explored the ways for our team to thrive and flow,” she said.
“I love the challenges and pressures of competing, it’s my happy place, as well as the opportunity to explore the game with a new partner for each tournament who I had never played with before!”
Coming into the Junior event with Mears provided an opportunity for Fejes to expand her skills as the team’s blocker as the duo played together for the very first time.
“It was really exciting to play full-time blocker, I have never done it before so it certainly had its challenges but we figured it out along the way,” she said.
“I think we were both very open to playing a variety of offensive plays, to spread the attack across the net and to try to find flow in our game. This shared interest and intention really helped us gel as a team throughout the tournament.”
The Women’s U21 bronze medal match was won by Annelies Jones/Brodie Baker 2-1 (15-21, 21-12, 15-11) against Lucy Knight/Kendel Haslett.
Cassie Dodd and Charlotte Duncan took the win in the Women’s U19 division 2-0 (21-15, 21-11) against Brielle Kettleton/Ella Schabort.
Bronze was won by Olivia Zajer/Dayna Taylor in three sets against Coco Farrow/Sophia Soderberg (21-23, 21-15, 15-6)
The final of the Men’s U21 division was a very tight contest between D’Artagnan Potts/Henry Clapp and William D’Arcy/Tom Dempsey.
Potts and Clapp came out firing to win the first set 21-17, but D’Arcy and Dempsey bounced back to take the second set 21-15.
When fatigue started to set it, it was Potts/Clapp who were able to hold on to take the third set 15-13.
South Australia’s Potts said it was great to get the win on Thompsons Beach with his new partner in a competitive field.
“It’s such a competitive age group, with plenty of athletes from the AVA [Australian Volleyball Academy] and Emerging Australian group who were playing, and so being champion of the division is a great feeling,” he said.
The duo made it to the quarterfinals of the Challenger Division in the Men’s Open ABVT event over the weekend, and have the goal of qualifying for the Elite division during the 2022 ABVT season. Potts said their developing performance in Cobram was a great confidence boost for their next event.
“Comparing the start of the first tournament to how we played in the last game on Wednesday, I think we’ve matched up really well as a team and we played really well together in the final,” he said.
“Unlike when we started and I wasn’t able to set properly because he ran at different speeds to other people I’ve played with, but now we’ll be better from when we next play together in Manly. Plus we’re great mates who have a good time off the court as well.”
Kaia Clarkin/Kiefer Sinclair won the bronze medal 2-0 (21-10, 21-17) against Matthew Watkins/Declan Burns
In the Men’s U19 division Toby Bergh and Ben Hood were the dominant team throughout the tournament, winning the gold-medal match 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) without dropping a set through the whole tournament.
They faced Timothy Ebbs and Benjamin Farley who also had a very strong competition, remaining undefeated until the final match.
Bronze went to Benjamin Schickinger/Harley Sinclair with a 2-0 victory (21-13, 21-17) victory over Jett Rocker-Graham/Adam Fejes.
The Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour now travels to Manly for the Australian Championships and AJBVT Final, running 1 – 3 March.
Nominations close on 17 February, register HERE.