First leg of Australian Beach Volleyball Tour wraps up an exciting Beach Volleyfest
The first weekend of December marked the return of the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour with Australia’s best beach volleyball players gathering in Torquay, VIC.
The first leg of the 2022/2023 tour was the perfect finale for the Great Ocean Road Beach Volleyfest, which also included two Beach Pro Tour tournaments over the two weeks.
In hot and breezy conditions, a spectacular Australian Beach Volleyball Tour Super Sunday crowned the first two champions of the summer in the elite divisions in Lucia Michalovicova (AUS/NSW) with Sarah Richter (AUS/NSW) and the young French of Arthur Canet (FRA) with Teo Rotar (FRA).
In the women’s Final, Michalovicova and Richter had to chase in the first set before a big swing of momentum allowed them to turn the set around. Mears and Phillips were clinical in the second set, going up 15-9 with Tara Phillips confidently patrolling the net and Mears eventually hitting the winner to capitalise on their third set point. Contrary to the first two sets, the decider was one-sided, with Michalovicova and Richter going up 6-3 and holding the lead all the way to win the set and the gold medal.
“It was hard today, it was a big fight. Kayla and Tara played really well, so we had to switch strategy towards the end and we are very glad we made it. Kayla was doing such a good job in defense and Tara, she is just so tall,” she said.
After getting acquainted with the Torquay sand during the Beach Pro Tour, the young French duo of Canet and Rotar showed the Australian public why they are pegged as one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents on the tour. The French secured the first set against Garang Anyang (AUS/VIC) and Justin Schumann (AUS/VIC) and confidently responded when the Aussies came out firing back in the second set. A massive 9-1 run leading into the technical timeout put the set and the match out of reach for Anyang and Schubert, who had to settle for silver.
Teo Rotar said: “It is very good for us. We are very happy to be here and to participate at this event. It was amazing to play here in Torquay, against good teams so we are very happy.”
“We have been here for two weeks and it has been just unbelievable,” echoed his teammate Arthur Canet. “Torquay is an incredible spot. [Today] we played in our third competition here in Torquay, and it’s been great to play at the best level.
“Now we are going home and we will take a little time off for holidays. We are really happy to finish the season off here in Torquay.”
Earlier in the day Sarah Nolet and Karoline Froehlich had all the answers needed to defeat Elizabeth Alchin and Kyla Sanchez in straight sets in the women’s bronze medal final, including a dominant display in the second set.
The men’s bronze medal went to Samuel Halley (AUS/NSW) and Mateusz Zieba (AUS/NSW) who defeated Joshua Howat (AUS/WA) and Jack Pearse (AUS/SA) in straight sets.