Volleyball Empowerment beneficiaries claim two Futures medals in GeelongCEV-FIVB : Infos mar 28 novembre 2023
Two of the six medals at last week’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Geelong Futures event in Australia went to teams benefitting from FIVB Volleyball Empowerment assistance. New Zealand’s Thomas Reid and John McManaway finished runners-up to Australia’s Paul Burnett and Jack Pearse in the men’s tournament, while the bronze went to Türkiye’s Hasan Huseyin Mermer and Safa Urlu. Vanuatu’s Loti Joe and Linline Matauatu took the women’s bronze and made the podium alongside winners Jasmine Fleming and Georgia Johnson of Australia and silver medallists Alison Mckay and Katharine Wuttunee of Canada.
Through the Volleyball Empowerment programme, New Zealand’s beach volleyball has so far been allocated a total of CHF 252,000 in coach support, CHF 28,000 of volleyball equipment supportt, and another CHF 5,000 for referee development. Their representatives Reid and McManaway reached Sunday’s final in Geelong and celebrated their second Beach Pro Tour medal, after the Qidong Futures silver in August. On the way to the gold medal match in Australia, 27-year-old Reid and 22-year-old McManaway won four of their five matches played in straight sets, including a 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) sweep of their semifinal against the home pairing of Garang Anyang and Justin Schumann. In the final showdown (pictured in the main photo; credits: Volleyball Australia), the fourth-seeded New Zealanders fell to second-seeded Burnett and Pearse in straight sets, 2-0 (21-14, 21-13).
The 2023 Geelong Futures men’s podium (Photo credits: Volleyball Australia)
25-year-old Burnett and 21-year-old Pearse marked their Beach Pro Tour debut as a team with an emphatic gold. They dropped only a set within their five-game winning run to the top of the podium, and that was in their 2-1 (18-21, 24-22, 15-13) hard-fought semifinal victory over fifth-seeded Mermer and Urlu.
Following their semi-final loss, the 29-year-old duo from Türkiye bounced back with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) sweep of the third-place match against Anyang and Schumann and celebrated their first-ever Beach Pro Tour medal.
Vanuatu’s women’s beach volleyball has been granted a total of CHF 225,000 worth of Volleyball Empowerment coach support and last week that paid off with a Geelong bronze medal from 26-year-old Joe and 32-year-old Matauatu, the first-ever podium at a world-level competition for either member of the duo. The two athletes have both previously made FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour appearances, but this was their first time on the Beach Pro Tour as a pair.
Loti Joe in action in Geelong (Photo credits: Volleyball Australia)
Eighth-seeded Joe and Matauatu lost only two of the six matches played in Geelong, both to home favourites, top-seeded champions-to-be Fleming and Johnson. First, the pair from Vanuatu lost to the Australian duo in the Pool A winners’ match, and then again in one of the semifinals, by 2-0 (21-15, 21-19). They managed to recover with a 2-1 (21-17, 15-21, 15-13) victory over USA’s Madison Shields and Delaney Peranich in the third-place match to rejoice on the podium.
20-year-old Fleming and 25-year-old Johnson cruised through the tournament on the wave of five consecutive wins, dropping only a set along the way. In Sunday’s final, they mastered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-12) win over seventh-seeded Canadians Aly and Katie to pick up their first Beach Pro Tour gold, after collecting two silvers and a bronze earlier this year.
28-year-old Aly and 30-year-old Katie, on the other hand, collected their first-ever Beach Pro Tour medal. They started the tournament with a loss and finished it with a loss, but in between, on the way to the silver, they put together a four-game winning streak, crowned with a 2-1 (21-19, 11-21, 15-12) semifinal victory over Shields and Peranich.
The 2023 Geelong Futures women’s podium (Photo credits: Volleyball Australia)
A total of 44 teams representing 12 different countries took part in the Geelong Futures.
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