The competition was as fierce as the summer conditions at last weekend’s Waikato Beach Volleyball Open, the second event in the Volleyball New Zealand National Beach Tour.
The tournament ran over two days with the Lake Karapiro Beach Volleyball Centre hosting top domestic players including recently crowned national champions Rene Kapa and Morgan Seymour, as well as a number of international players from Denmark, the United States of America, Guam, the Cook Islands, Fiji and Spain.
New Zealand women’s senior representatives Julia Tilley and Alice Bain took the women’s title, winning the final in straight sets against Danielle Quigley and Melissa Ruru.
Play was tight in the first set with Tilley and Bain snatching a 21-18 win, however Quigley and Ruru couldn’t match their unrelenting opponents in the second set, with Tilley and Bain confirming their title victory with a 21-14 win.
National Champions Rene Kapa and Morgan Seymour also took the men’s top spot in straight sets against Daryl Lewis and Giffin Muller.
Kapa and Seymour found their groove midway through the first set, winning with 21-16. The second set featured some impressive cat and mouse plays, but Kapa and Seymour proved dominant with a 21-13 victory to clinch the men’s title.
The men’s Commonwealth Games trial also concluded, with Bay of Plenty brothers Ben and Sam O’Dea rising to the top of the table after knocking out Mike Watson and Tom Hartles in a sudden death match.
The O’Deas will now be officially nominated for selection to the New Zealand Olympic Committee to decide whether they will be New Zealand representatives at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, where beach volleyball will be making its Games debut.
Further information on the Volleyball New Zealand National Beach Tour can be found on the Volleyball New Zealand website or Facebook page.