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Dramatic deciders determine Junior Tour champions in Mollymook

Dramatic deciders determine Junior Tour champions in Mollymook

The fifth day of VolleyMook was when the medals were decided in round three of the 2024 Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour. While most of the semi-finals presented straight sets results, three of the four gold medal matches went the distance in a pulsating end to the tournament.

SEMI-FINALS

The U19 men’s semis saw Cooper Ryan and Levi Beard advance to the final with victory over Maximillian Edvardsson and Rayan Lincoln while Tom Bergemann and Ethan Grocott beat Bryce Cover and Oliver New.

In the U19 women’s semis, Mirellie Smith and Remy Song kept their undefeated record intact with victory over Emily Retschko and Olivia Jury while Hilary Hannagan and Lara Maric also accounted for Sautualasi Heron and Oirwa Noble in straight sets.

Lizzie Alchin and Jasmine Rayner won their semi-final in quick time to set up a decider against Leilani Burnell and Cameron Zajer who won through to their second straight final.

The men’s U21 final would be a showdown between two of the favoured sides after Jett Rocker-Graham and Killian Donovan along with Harley Sinclair and Finley Bennett outclassed their semi-final opponents.

FINALS

The Women’s U19 Final was a see-sawing contest, with momentum first with Smith and Song before Hannah and Maric sent the contest to a decider. In the end it was Smith – who won in Caloundra with Yasmin Ramos – and Song – who won in Cobram with Oriwa Noble – winning the last set by five points to take top spot on the podium.

The U19s men’s final was the only gold medal match not to go to three sets, with Bergemann and Grocott going to another gear, seemingly hitting harder and jumping higher than they had in the tournament to win 21-15, 21-16.

After finishing runners-up at both Cobram and Caloundra, Rocker-Graham and Donovan were keen to go one better and the anticipation of the U21 men’s final saw a crowd gathered on the hill overlooking the court. 

Sinclair and Bennett drew first blood, winning the first set in a sideout game that was back and forth until the very last point. However Rocker-Graham and Donovan hit back in the second to win by four.

A late burst of back-to-back points from Rocker-Graham and Donovan in the third set helped push them over the line for a final score of 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-12).

The last match of the tournament drew all eyes as Cobram champions Burnell and Zajer came up against the top seeds.

Alchin and Rayner were dominant from the outset to win the first set by 12 points, however their South Australian opponents got back on track to force a third.

Burnell and Zajer built an early advantage, the lead fluctuating between two and three points. Try as they might, the top seeds couldn’t respond with Burnell and Zajer claiming back-to-back titles.

VolleyMook has now hit the halfway point with day six presenting qualifiers for the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures on Wednesday.

Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour
Round 3 | Mollymook NSW
26-27 February 2024

U19 Men

Gold Medal Match: Ethan Grocott/Tom Bergemann d Levi Beard Cooper Ryan (NSW) 2:0 (21-16, 21-15)
Bronze Medal Match: Rayan Lincoln/Maximilian Edvardsson d Oliver New/Bryce Cover 2:1 (21-9, 17-21, 15-8)

U19 Women

Gold Medal Match: Mireille Smith/Remy Song d Hilary Hannagan/Lara Maric 2:1 (21-14, 13, 21, 15-10)
Bronze Medal Match: Oriwa Noble/Sautualasi Heron d Emily Retschko/Olivia Jury 2:1 (15-21, 21-19, 15-11)

U21 Men

Gold Medal Match: Killian Donovan/Jett Rocker-Graham d Finley Bennett/Harley Sinclair 2:1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-12)
Bronze Medal Match: Felix Birke/Asher Gill d Lucas Fletcher/Samuel Garvin 2:0 (22-20, 21-15)

U21 Women

Gold Medal Match: Leilani Burnell/Cameron Zajer d Lizzie Alchin/Jasmine Rayner 2:1 (9-21, 21-19, 15-13)
Bronze Medal Match: Georgina Vanloo/Gemma Mcnamara d Brooke Ronan/Lauren Brasell 2:0 (21-19, 21-16)

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