Rayner & Zajer through to Gold Medal Match
Image and words courtesy of Commonwealth Games Australia
Jasmine Rayner (QLD) and Cameron Zajer (SA) have earned a berth in the beach volleyball gold medal match at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinbago, with the Aussie men’s team securing fifth place.
Taking to the sand in the semi-final against the New Zealand team of Kiana Stevenson and Tineke Hinton, Rayner and Zajer fought for every point, with the tenacious pair determined to claim the win.
Up against wet conditions, the tight competition saw the women take down New Zealand in two sets, both finishing 22-20.
“We’re stoked, that was so cool to get the win,” Rayner said.
“I was just trying to hold on. In the second set, we were down a bit and we just kept fighting, kept our eyes off the score to calm ourselves down and we’re stoked to get the win.”
“The rain was a surprise, but we held in there, the ball got a little bit heavy and slippery but it’s all right, but we’re used to playing in the rain, so it was cool.”
Their attention now turns to the gold medal match, where they’ll line up against Calinda Kok and Katarina Drozd of Canada.
The decider will take place on Friday morning at 5am AEST.
Meanwhile, Jett Rocker-Graham (NSW) and Mitchell Croft (VIC) defeated Rwanda’s Tristan Kayiranga and Francois D’assisse Mugisha in the first of their classification matches, before defeating South Africa’s Jayden Chrisitano Cupido and Deloshen Valaitham in their fifth-place playoff later in the afternoon.
“It was another game of volleyball and we’ve played tons this tournament, but it was good to be back out on the sand, against a team with really great sportsmanship and we had a blast,” Croft said.
“This one was our favourite match by far. It was good, happy vibe on the court, and it was really fun to play against them,” Rocker-Graham said.
VII Commonwealth Youth Games
Beach Volleyball – Pigeon Point Beach, Tobago
5-11 August 2023
Day 1 – Pool Game 1
Jett Rocker-Graham/Mitch Croft d South Africa 2:0 (21-13, 21-15)
Jasmine Rayner/Cameron Zajer d England 2:0 (21-18, 21-8)
Day 2 – Pool Game 2
Jasmine Rayner/Cameron Zajer v Rwanda 2:0 (21-14, 21-10)
Jett Rocker-Graham/Mitch Croft d St Kitts & Nevis 2:0 (21-13, 21-9)
Day 4 – Quarter-Finals
Jasmine Rayner/Cameron Zajer d Scotland 2:0 (21-15, 21-12)
England d Jett Rocker-Graham/Mitch Croft 2:0 (21-19, 21-18)
Men’s 5th-8th Classification – Jett Rocker-Graham/Mitch Croft d Rwanda 2:0 (21-16, 23-21)
Men’s 5th-6th Playoff – Jett Rocker-Graham/Mitch Croft d South Africa 2:0 (21-14, 21-15)
Women’s Semi-Final – Jasmine Rayner/Cameron Zajer d New Zealand 2:0 (22-20, 22-20)
Friday 5am AEST Women’s Gold Medal Match – Jasmine Rayner/Cameron Zajer v Canada