Medals decided at Scape Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships
The 2023 Scape Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships have come to a close today with medals decided across ten categories from Under 14s to Under 18s.
Some of the best young players from across the country descended on Coolangatta Beach on Queensland’s Gold Coast across four days, competing for a place in today’s medal-deciding matches.
Almost 200 teams represented their states, with the last two days coinciding with the Volleyball World Coolangatta Beach Pro Tour Futures event featuring some of the best players from Australia and around the world.
The competitive nature of the tournament was evident by the fact that just eight of the 28 athletes to stand atop the podium today defended their title from 2022.
Two of those were Queenslanders Ben Larsen and Luka Sazdov who claimed the Under 17 Boys title with a 21-10, 21-16 victory of Felix Birke and Asher Gill (NSW) in the final.
“There’s been lots of preparation for it so it feels good to bring it home,” says Sazdov. “It’s quite insane. First starting volleyball, then making a Queensland team to begin with and then finally being here in the Under 17s final and winning gold means quite a lot.”
The other athletes to claim titles in back-to-back years were Jett Rocker-Graham and Killian Donovan (NSW U18 Boys), Ethan Grocott and Tom Bergemann (QLD U16 Boys), Allegra Conlon (QLD U15 Girls) and Samuel Stumer (QLD U15 Boys).
Saskia Naismith and Cameron Zajer (SA) were out for redemption in the U18 Girls final against the 2022 U17 champions Jasmine Rayner and Kayla Stevens (QLD). Having lost in the final last year, the South Australians jumped out to a set lead, but that was quickly eroded with Rayner and Stevens winning the second convincingly.
However the 2022 runners-up were able to regroup and win the decider to claim the national youth title, with Naismith believing that falling just short last year provided the perfect motivation.
“I think we went in with the same mindset, but because of last year – because we lost – we definitely put every single bit that we had into it,” she said.
Zajer added, “we were definitely a bit more nervous just because of last year, and especially during the game when we lost that second set, it felt a bit like last year. It still doesn’t feel like we won yet, it’s so weird.”
Jess Turner and Ruby Smith were another team to climb further up the podium in 2023, turning their Under 15 bronze into Under 16 gold in the only all-Victorian final of the event.
“It feels really good to have won – the matches were really tough, but it was fun all around,” said Smith.
Smith said the whole week had been enjoyable. “The social part of it is a big part of the event, not just playing. Teammate Tuner concurred: “You make friends here that you’ll have for the rest of your life.”
Queensland were the dominant state at the Championships, taking out the President’s Shield. Points were awarded the medallists in all divisions on a 3-2-1 basis, with Queensland scoring 27 points ahead of Victoria (15) and NSW (12).
Many of the players who competed this week will now turn their attention to the 2023 Scape Australian Beach Volleyball Schools Cup which starts tomorrow and runs through to Sunday.
For all results, click here
Scape Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships
Coolangatta Beach QLD
27-30 March 2023
Under 18 Girls
Gold Medal Match: Saskia Naismith/Cameron Zajer (SA) d Jasmine Rayner/Kayla Stevens (QLD)
Bronze Medal Match: Emma Hannagan/Gemma McNamara (VIC) d Jessica Hunter/Anna Le Blang (NSW)
Under 18 Boys
Gold Medal Match: Killian Donovan/Jett Rocker-Graham (NSW) d Jerome Mak/Tim Phillipe (QLD)
Bronze Medal Match: Adax Brienen/Adam Fejes (NSW) d Finley Bennett/Jay Trowbridge (SA)
Under 17 Girls
Gold Medal Match: Matisse Conlon/Charlotte Hansen (QLD) d Hilary Hannagan/Lucy Mullan (VIC)
Bronze Medal Match: Oriwia Noble/Remy Song (NSW) d Molly Clark/Chloe Sumich (QLD)
Under 17 Boys
Gold Medal Match: Ben Larsen/Luka Sazdov (QLD) d Felix Birke/Asher Gill (NSW)
Bronze Medal Match: Ayush Kharel/Luke Huddleston (SA) d Wil Fearnley/Jack Weeden (QLD)
Under 16 Girls
Gold Medal Match: Jess Turner/Ruby Smith (VIC) d Ellie-May Jury/James Lycett (VIC)
Bronze Medal Match: Caitlin Northmore/Avaiya Moller (WA) d Elena Hillard/Eliza Titley (NSW)
Under 16 Boys
Gold Medal Match: Tom Bergemann/Ethan Grocott (QLD) d Cooper Ryan/Rohan Kumar (NSW)
Bronze Medal Match: Sebastian Galindo/Amarlin Altanshagai (NSW) d Bauer-Ludbey/Raiden Kyaw (QLD)
Under 15 Girls
Gold Medal Match: Allegra Conlon/Charlie Hannan/Donya Kamali (QLD) d Ella McDonnell/Rosie O’Brien/Shelly (Shiyu) Ge (VIC)
Bronze Medal Match: Georgia Maragiannis/Madhu Mahen/Zahra Addison (NSW) d Ana Taylor/Erin Bielanowski/Sienna Bird (QLD)
Under 15 Boys
Gold Medal Match: Cameron Jagga/Christian Nguyen/Clement Chan/Samuel Stumer (QLD) d Kennedy Evans/Lincoln Mowen/Oliver Morgan/Ryan Edgar (QLD)
Bronze Medal Match: Justin Ng/Kyle Lonsdale/Sam Huddlestone (SA) d Finn Moriarty/Hudson Symes/Matthew Marshall/Thomas Turner (QLD)
Under 14 Girls
Gold Medal Match: Adele Curtis/Ellie Mellings/Izabella Cheng/Mayra Pacioni/Ediri Ukoko (VIC) d Keisha Moss/Jewel Moss/Sibona Beckitt/Taylah Tulloch-Juleff (QLD)
Bronze Medal Match: Ivy Sazdova/Laura Harcourt/Matilda McLean/Nicolette Kioupelis (QLD) d Ava Twomey/Daisy Grinlaubs/Jacinda Smith/Lily Miller (QLD)
Under 14 Boys
Gold Medal Match: Ashton Shaw/Ben Kelly/Finley McGowan/Jye Turner (QLD) d Ethan Luo/Lenny Wong/Leo Pellone/Sebastian Gelt (VIC)
Bronze Medal Match: Arvis Altanshagai/Jayden Waldao/Luca Giddins/Sora Syrett-Lay (NSW) d Aulivier Liddell/Jai Saini/Thomas Chippendale/Willem Nicoll/William Green (QLD)
Queensland 27, Victoria 15, NSW 12, South Australia 5, Western Australia 1