The inaugural champions of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event on the Gold Coast were crowned yesterday, with Aussies coming away with gold.
Australia and USA have been crowned inaugural champions of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event on the Gold Coast yesterday, after a thrilling afternoon of finals.
The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour has brought 50 teams from 15 nations to Coolangatta Beach, for the third of four events in the Gold Coast 2022 Volleyslam – Australia’s largest Beach Volleyball festival with almost 450 teams competing over 11 days.
Having met earlier in the competition, Aussies Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis matched up against fellow Commonwealth nation Canada’s, Jake MacNeil and Alexander Russell, in the gold medal match.
With the Aussies claiming victory in their first meeting and making their way through the draw undefeated, they were in prime position for another victory.
Nicolaidis started the game strong for the Aussies, scoring a commanding opening point that set them up
“That game went really quickly for me – thinking back to that first point feels like 10 seconds ago,” Nicolaidis said.
“To get that first point, and flush out all the nerves at the start, and be really in the game from then on, right through until the end.
“We’ve been working really hard back in South Australia, and doing all the work in the lead up to make sure we can put together tournament after tournament.
“It’s really rewarding to see some of that progress that we’ve been able to make over the last few months pay off,” he said.
Carracher couldn’t have been happier with a gold medal in his debut World Tour event.
“We came up against a really tough Canadian side, we played them in the first round of pool play in some really tough conditions as well,” Carracher said.
“We know their blocker Alex is a big boy, and their defender Jake is an absolute machine, so we knew we had to bring our A Game, and be really strong on the service line.
“Mark absolutely brought it in that facet of the game, so our defence came easy and we just needed to side out to get the win.
“To be able to get the gold, in front of a home crowd here at Coolangatta is pretty awesome,” he said.
Top-seeded Australian pair Nikki Laird and Phoebe Bell, played off against USA’s Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss for the women’s gold medal.
Both teams were eager to get the win, translating to a three-set thriller on Coolangatta Beach.
In the end, it was the USA team who managed to claim the win 2-1 (19-21, 21-9, 15-7).
“This has been a whirlwind of a trip for us, and an awesome end result for myself and Taryn,” Nuss said.
“It was our first event of the season, and we were just super excited to get out here and play.
“All throughout AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) we kind of came through the qualifiers, so we’d done the grind before.
“The Aussies are a fantastic team, and this is their home court so they had more of a motivating factor there.
“There was a lot of wind out there, so we just had to manage on the bad side, and execute on the better side.
“So we were just focused on that and we’re really happy to get the win,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Aussies Max Guehrer and Thomas Hodges, and USA’s Toni Rodriguez and Susannah Munro won bronze in the men’s and women’s events respectively.
The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures will now head to Songkhla, Thailand for the second event of the season.
VOLLEYBALL WORLD BEACH PRO TOUR GOLD COAST FUTURES RESULTS
Men’s gold – Carracher/Nicolaidis (AUS) d MacNeil/Russel (CAN) 2:0 (21-11, 21-16)
Women’s gold – Nuss/Kloth (USA) d Bell/Laird (AUS) 2:1 (19-21, 21-9, 15-7)