The Volleyball England Beach Tour was back on the road this week as a sun drenched Weston-super-Mare welcomed the VEBT back for a second year. The setting was perfect as a mix of new and familiar faces descended on the busy south west coast.
Top seeds Mark Garcia-Kidd and Carl Butcher were on court relativel early, making light work of newcomers to the tour this year Rodriguez/Barrios Aquino although the losing pair had just come through a tough three setter in the first round. Fellow newcomers Janer Perez/Pavon Ponce were unlucky not to make it further in the contender’s bracket, losing out to the experienced pair of Bobus/Gartshore 15-12 in the third. The semi-final line up saw Garcia-Kidd/Butcher edge a three set thriller, 18-16 in the third. Not to be out-done, Sheaf/Lasocki won their semi 15-13, keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats throughout. The final was a show case of speed, agility, power and athleticism as both pairs chased down every ball. Garcia-Kidd/Butcher, appearing in their first tour final, were unlucky not to sneak a win having led in the third. Sheaf/Lasocki fought back, edging ahead and sealing the win 15-13.
Jake Sheaf, Beach Volleyball Advisory Group player representative and Weston-super-Mare 2013 winner, said “After being crowned champions at Weston last year, I was determined to defend my crown. My normal team mate Chris Gregory was absent due to injury but Tomek was a great replacement. It was a tough couple of days in the heat but we managed to battle through and take home the title against some tough opposition. Big thanks to Volleyball England, the supporters, volunteers, players and especially the council who put in a lot of hard work to make this a great event”.
In the women’s draw, former professional indoor player Vicky Palmer teamed up with Skegness runner-up Laura Plonka. They were pushed all the way in their first match against Bednarova/Rogat, narrowly missing out on what would have been a huge upset. Top seeds Ferretti/Mierture were surprise losers in the fourth round, going down in three sets to Seyfert/Orszaghova 15-12 in the third. They had another shot at making the semi finals via the contender’s bracket, but Bednarova/Rogat had other ideas as they despatched the top seeds in straight sets 21-19, 21-19. This gave them the chance to have another crack at Palmer/Plonka the following day, however Palmer/Plonka once again proved too strong and they won in 2 sets. They faced Grimson/Dyakiewicz in the final, another of the stronger pairs on the tour. It looked to be all over at 20-15 in the second set, but a run of 5 straight points from Grimson/Dyakiewicz brought the scores level. Palmer/lonka regained composure though, and took the next two points to take the 2013 Weston-super-Mare title.
Thank you to all the players, staff, volunteers and officials for supporting the event, and to North Somerset council for all their hard work in building the site to such a high standard.
News article photo courtesy of Rich Collar (aerialcircus.webs.com).
2,380 total views, 1 views today