Local teams ready to rock Geelong this weekend
Pool matches wrapped up at the Beach Pro Tour on Rippleside Beach today as Geelong Beach Volleyfest continued to build towards the final weekend.
Twelve teams remain in each draw going into Saturday, with Australian teams certain to make their presence felt in both the men’s and women’s draws.
Men’s No.2 seeds Jack Pearse and Paul Burnett are straight through to the quarter-finals after topping their pool, as are sixth seeds James Takken and Solomon Bushby.
With the Pearse/Burnett combination only playing their first tournament together last week in the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour, they are happy with how their game is starting to come together.
“We didn’t perform as well as we wanted to in the national tour event but I think we’ve regrouped as a team,” said Pearse. “We’ve only been playing together for about a month now so it’s good that we’re doing some really good things and have gelled more.
“We definitely worked out things that worked, and things that didn’t and what we need to do better, and things that we can continue doing.”
Having equalled his career-best result by making it to the quarter-finals, Pearse is keen to go a step further in Geelong.
“I’ve never made a Super Sunday before for a Futures – my best is a fifth – so let’s see if I can beat a fifth and get on the podium or get into a medal match,” he said. “That’s definitely our goal – to get into a medal match and play Super Sunday.”
In the women’s draw, Stef Weiler and Bec Ingram dominated by knocking off the seventh and second seeds in the space of 24 hours.
After beating Canada yesterday, the Australian Championships bronze medallists came from a set down today to beat New Zealand’s Shaunna Polley and Kiana Stevenson.
The back-to-back wins have landed Weiler and Ingram straight into Saturday afternoon’s quarter-finals alongside two more Aussie teams after third seeds Tara Phillips and Kayla Mears and top seeds Georgia Johnson and Jasmine Fleming who also topped their pool.
Having had a scare in their opening match, the Queenslanders put in a much more assured performance today to beat Vanuatu’s Loti Joe and Linline Matauatu.
Johnson said post match that are relishing having international teams on home soil.
“We are really fortunate to be able to travel a lot and play overseas. But to have international teams here in Australia is really great… and to see so many of our Australian teams doing really well.
“It’s been a great event… and great for Australian Volleyball as well. We just really want to keep progressing and have the chance to be there on Sunday,” she said.
Fleming echoed Johnson’s comments, adding that they have their sights set on another gold medal to go alongside their Australian Beach Volleyball Tour win last weekend.
“It’s always the goal [to be in the gold medal match]. But we really do just have to take this one match at a time and make sure we stick to our processes.
“The rain can change a bit how you play, but generally we enjoy playing in all conditions and that’s what we have to be prepared for,” she said.
The Beach Pro Tour continues tomorrow at Geelong Beach Volleyfest with FREE ENTRY to all courts at Rippleside Beach.
The Round of 12 commences at 10am AEDT with the winners progressing to the quarter-finals, the losers eliminated.
The quarter-finals begin at 2pm AEDT with SBS On Demand broadcasting the action LIVE.