Hodges and Guehrer looking for “revenge” in Sunday’s Mollymook ABVT Finals
Australia’s best beach volleyball athletes have descended on the NSW South Coast for the inaugural Mollymook Australian Beach Volleyball Tour.
The second leg on the four-stop National Tour has brought 85 teams (45 men’s and 40 women’s) to the Shoalhaven, and while the temperature has been cooler than the sweltering days at Cobram ABVT earlier in the month, the competition has been red hot.
The Men’s Elite number one seeds Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett advanced through their Pool rounds and the Quarters without dropping a set to lock in their spot in the medal matches.
They will face #4 seeds James Takken and Mateusz Zieba in the semi-finals at 8am on Sunday, after Takken/Zieba also advanced to the final day undefeated.
The quarter final match of the day was between Max Guehrer / Tom Hodges and Garang Anyang / Justin Schuman.
It was a slow start for the #2 seeds Hodges and Guehrer who dropped the first set 12-21, however they came back firing to claim a 21-15 victory in the second set.
The third set could have been anyone’s game with both teams working tight angles in attack and Anyang’s height in defence blocking several attempts from Hodges.
After both teams faced multiple match-points, much to the delight of the vocal crowd on Mollymook beach, it was Guehrer and Hodges who eventually took the tie break 20-18.
“Going into that match, I always knew it was going to be a tough battle against Justin and Garang,” Hodges said after the match.
“They’re both great players and Justin’s got that fighting spirit with the crowd behind him.
“We dropped the first set and I knew it was going to be an uphill battle from there, but we were able to stick it out and after a few long rallies at the end, we managed to get the win which was good.”
The 2021 Australian Championships silver medallist said it’s the tough fights and excited crowd that he loves in the sport.
“It’s a lot of fun, you want those tight, close battles, and there’s nothing better than after a really long rally having the crowd go wild like that.
“I think they would have cheered whoever won the point, they’re just excited for good volleyball,” Hodges said.
Guehrer and Hodges have now lined up a semi-final rematch from Cobram ABVT against Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis.
Hodges said he’s hungry for “revenge” against Charracher and Nicolaidis, after they lost the semi final clash two weeks ago 0-2 (16-21, 18-21).
“We played them in this round last time in Cobram, so we’re looking for revenge,” he said.
“They had a great game last round, so I’m looking for another epic battle out there – hopefully shorter than the one we just had – and to come out on top this time.”
The Women’s Elite number one seeds Phoebe Bell and Stefanie Fejes sailed through their Pool games, before facing a battle against #5 seeds Kayla Mears and Jana Milutionovic in the quarter finals.
The Tour Leaders lost the first set 19-21 before bouncing back to take the second set 21-17. Mears and Milutionovic didn’t go down without a fight, but Bell and Fejes took the third set 15-11 to book their spot in Saturday’s semi-final.
They will face #4 seeds Nikki Laird and Jessyka Ngauamo in semi final 1 at 9am on Sunday. Laird and Ngauamo have made their return to the national tour in Mollymook this weekend, and it’s set to be a fierce battle, with Bell and Ngauamo very familiar with each other’s playing styles, having been partners previously.
The second Women’s semi final will be a clash between #2 seeds Jasmine Flemming / Georgia Johnson and #3 seeds Alisha Stevens / Caitlin Bettenay. Both teams are currently undefeated in Mollymook, and haven’t yet met each other in the first two rounds of the ABVT.
Follow all the centre court action live on the AusVolley YouTube
- Men Semifinal #1 – Chris Mchugh / Paul Burnett v James Takken / Mateusz Zieba
- Men Semifinal #2 – v Thomas Hodges/Max Guehrer v Izac Carracher / Mark Nicolaidis
- Women Semifinal #1 – Phoebe Bell / Stefanie Fejes v Jessyka Ngauamo / Nikki Laird
- Women Semifinal #2 – Alisha Stevens / Caitlin Bettenay v Georgia Johnson / Jasmine Fleming
Medal Matches – all to be streamed live on AusVolley YouTube
- 11:00am: Men Bronze Medal
- 12:00pm: Women Bronze Medal
- 1pm: Men Gold Medal
- 2pm: Women Gold Medal
- 3pm: Medal presentation