It was a tournament where the favourites largely lived up to their rankings when the Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour hit Brisbane over the weekend.
In the four categories contested, three of the top seeded pairings went all the way and were in dominant form throughout the tournament.
The Under 21 women’s event saw the number one-ranked team Cassie Dodd (WA) and Stefie Fejes (NSW) defeat fourth seeds Brianna Mears (QLD) and Jasmine Rayner (QLD) in the gold medal match 2:0 (21-14, 21-19).
Dodd and Fejes topped their pool and didn’t drop a set on their way to the title. It was the second straight tournament win for Dodd who successfully teamed with Lizzie Alchin (WA) to win in Canberra in January. Alchin claimed the bronze medal this time with Kayla Mears (QLD) after defeating Ruby Vanloo (SA) and Ella Schabort (WA) in straight sets.
In the men’s Under final, Ben Hood (QLD) and Lucas Josefsen (QLD) went one better than last tournament, defeating Mitchell Croft (VIC) and Timothy Ebbs (NSW) in the gold medal match 2:0 (21-12, 21-13). It was redemption for Hood and Josefsen who lost a match point in the Canberra final before eventually having to settle for silver. The Queenslanders didn’t miss a beat in their home state, never dropping a set on the way to the title.
Canberra champions and second seeds Kaia Clarkin (WA) and D’Artagnan Potts (SA) were forced to a tie-breaker before eventually winning the bronze medal against WA pair Oliver Oaten and Jed Walker.
In the Under 19 women’s tournament, Matisse Conlon and Charlotte Hansen defied their ranking to make it through to the gold medal match, eventually defeating second seeds and fellow Queensland pair Lauren Brasell and Lina Mueller 2:0 (21-19, 21-17).
The seventh seeds hadn’t dropped a set on their way to the semi-finals where they overcame top-seeded Oriwia Noble (NSW) and Remy Song (NSW) in a deciding set before going on to claim the title.
Noble and Song defeated Queensland’s fifth seeds Molly Clark and Chloe Sumich for the bronze medal.
Under 19 men’s champions Adax Brienen and Adam Fejes were another of the top seeds to run through the tournament undefeated, and didn’t drop a set along the way. In a draw which held to form with the top four seeds progressing to the semi-finals, the top two pairings made it to the gold medal match.
Brienen and Fejes were too strong for second seeds Felix Burke (NSW) and Tyson Dagenais (NSW) in the final, while third seeds Samuel Garvin and Asher Gill beat fourth seeds Dave Brown (QLD) and Cooper Sharpe (QLD) in straight sets to claim bronze.
The third and final round of the 2022/23 Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour takes place in Wollongong on 8-9 March. For entry information, click here.
Story Courtesy – Volleyball Australia