Medals Decided on Super Sunday of Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships

Medals Decided on Super Sunday of Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships

Crowds packed into Coolangatta beach for the Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships today to witness Super Sunday in its finest.  

The women’s gold medal game rounded out a sensational three days of action, with Stefanie Fejes (NSW) and Jana Milutinovic (SA) getting their redemption, going one better this year to claim the Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championship crown.

After finishing with the silver medal last year, Fejes and Milutinovic came into this weekend’s tournament ranked as the number one seeds and in red hot form. The final saw them take on Queenslanders and seventh seeds Phoebe Bell and Caitlin Bettenay to claim the match 2:0 (22-20, 21-19).  

Milutinovic was overcome with emotion as she reflected on not only a great day of competition, but a stellar 2023-2024 Australian Beach Volleyball Tour that saw the pair win at three of the four stops.

“I’ve got no words for this moment right now. The last five weeks have been a lot but we’ve really pushed and given it our all and I’m really proud of us for the way we’ve been able to back it up every week,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot of trust in our team. Credit to Caitlin and Phoebe, they really pushed us today, made us grind it out and fight for those couple of points that in the end, made the difference. It was a really good game,” said Milutinovic.

Fejes echoed her partner’s sentiments and said that today’s result is the culmination of a “dream” beach volleyball season.

“We’ve really pushed, and I couldn’t be happier or prouder with our result, I really can’t believe it. Thank you everyone for the support, we’re so happy, I’ve got no words.

“Defense is always a puzzle that you’re trying to solve throughout the game, so just piecing it together as best as we could out there today was our aim. We really played our best game and this is just such a great end to a great season for us,” she said. 

The women’s bronze match earlier in the day saw international wildcards Maya Gessner and Delaney Peranich deny Aussies and second seeds Georgia Johnson and Tara Phillips the bronze medal, taking out the match 2-1 (16-21; 21-17; 15-10). The pair from the USA played through qualification to make it to the bronze medal match, playing nine games over the tournament.

Manly duo Declan Tiso and Mateusz Zieba staged one of the biggest upsets of the season this weekend, winning the gold medal and the men’s 2024 Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Champions crown.

It’s back to back Australian crowns at Coolangatta for Zieba, this time with new partner Tiso, with the pair coming together to compete at the final stop of the 2023-2024 Australian Beach Volleyball Tour. 

After knocking out top seeds Paul Burnett and Jack Pearse in the quarter finals, Tiso and Zieba carried the momentum into Super Sunday, earlier in the day defeating Victoria’s Justin Schumann and Garang Anyang to progress through to the gold medal match. 

The first Super Sunday outing for Tiso, he admitted they were able to use the energy of the crowd to spur them onto victory over New Zealand’s Thomas Reid and John McManaway.

“This honestly is just such an incredible moment to me, I’m speechless, this is a dream. It’s my first Super Sunday let alone a national tour gold medal so it feels unreal,” said Tiso.

“It makes it so much more special with everyone here as well. Even though I’m focused on the sand the whole game, I can really feel the vibe around me and really feel the support. Thanks to everyone who came along today, you really pushed us through!

“The New Zealand boys were incredible, we were trying lots of different things on our serve, and they were just coming back at us every time, running quick balls through the middle and as a defender, it’s literally 50/50,” he said. 

While Zieba knows what it takes to win on the big stage, he was aware it would be a tough game before they even stepped onto the sand.

“It’s amazing, it’s the best feeling ever. Winning today proves that plenty of hard work can get you a long way, it’s amazing to go back to back,” said Zieba.

“I can’t remember too much of the game, it feels like a blur. The New Zealand team is so amazing, they really impressed me with how they play, so I’m still a bit surprised that we won,” he said. 

There was not a lot separating the two sides, with the match pushed to a thrilling three sets. The Aussies managed to grind out the first set with a 21-19 win, but the Kiwis came back with a vengeance, taking the second set comfortably 21-15.

The third set went down to the wire but the crowd were determined not to let the Kiwis walk away with the win, pushing  Tiso and Zieba to hold on and narrowly edge out the opposition with a 16-14 win.

Earlier in the day, the men’s bronze medal match saw fourth seed Victorians Justin Schumann and Garang Anyang take home the win over third seeds Ben Hood and D’Artagnan Potts 2:0 (21-18, 21-15). 

For full results – click here

Today’s finals brings to a close the Mahindra Australian Beach Volleyball Championships, which doubled as the final of the 2023-2024 Australian Beach Volleyball Championships. 

The Volleyslam action continues from tomorrow at Coolangatta beach with:

  • 18-21 March – Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships
  • 20-24 March – Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures
  • 22-24 March – Australian Beach Volleyball Schools Cup
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