13 athletes from WA set off to Manly Beach this past weekend to compete for U19 and U21 Australian Beach Volleyball titles. 10 athletes returned home with a medal.
In the week leading up to the U19 & U21 Australian Beach Volleyball Championships, Sydney was hit hard with some wild weather. With damage to the beach and limitations in space available, it was not looking good for the competition.
With the help and hard work from the Northern Beaches Council, Volleyball New South Wales and Volleyball Australia staff, the beach was rebuilt to be competition ready. Volleyball WA thanks all involved in getting their hands dirty to assure that this event was put on for all the eager and dedicated athletes.
While the associations were hard at work on rebuilding the beach, the WA athletes were back home putting in their own work on the sand.
In the U19 State-based competition, WA had two men’s teams representing the black and gold:
- Samuel Bateman & Jackson Barnett (Gold Medal)
- Tom Dempsey & Lewis Peach (Silver Medal)
Both teams fought hard to claim the top two spots in their division and made it into the grand final on Sunday.
“All the WA athletes played amazing this weekend. I could not have been happier to see a WA vs WA grand final.” Said gold medallist, Sam Bateman.
“The biggest thing for Jackson and I was to just go out and have fun. We knew that if we were enjoying ourselves that the result would work itself out.” Bateman added.
Bateman and Barnett took out their fellow WA competitors, Tom Dempsey and Lewis Peach in the U19 Men’s grand final, leaving WA with a gold and silver medal in that division. Both teams were assisted on the weekend by former WA athlete and current coach for the Australian Volleyball Academy, Sam Halley.
“I was very happy to have the opportunity to help the guys out and give back to the State that taught me how to play volleyball.” Said Halley.
For the U21 Men’s competition, two WA athletes competed with interstate partners across two different teams, claiming two out of the three medals up for grabs:
- Caleb Lampard (Silver Medal)
- Griffin Bateman (Bronze Medal)
On the women’s side, WA’s Kyla Sanchez collected her second gold medal in two years in the U21 Division with her partner, Nina Pavlova.
In 2019, Sanchez won the U19 gold medal at the Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Championships in Bunbury, WA with her former partner, Jasmine Serra. Shortly after that competition, Kyla suffered an ankle injury during an indoor volleyball game, keeping her off the court for months.
“Although my ankle injury set me back, with the support of some great people in WA and putting in the hard work, it all came together and payed off this weekend.” Said Sanchez.
Sanchez and Pavlova did not drop a match all weekend, defeating another WA team and Sanchez’s former partner, Jasmine Serra with her teammate Sarah Burton in the semi final. Serra and Burton went on to win the U21 Women’s bronze medal, the sixth addition to WA’s collection.
“My partner and I went into this competition with an open mind. We wanted to have fun but our main focus was on being competitive. We both gelled well together on and off the court.” Added Sanchez.
“These competitions bring great athletes together in some amazing locations, and I truly love each experience I get to represent WA on a national stage.”
Congratulations to all 13 of the WA athletes who competed. Below is the full list of the 2020 U19 & U21 Australian Beach Volleyball Championship medallists from WA:
- Samuel Bateman & Jackson Barnett (U19 Men’s Gold Medal)
- Tom Dempsey & Lewis Peach (U19 Men’s Silver Medal)
- Caleb Lampard (U21 Men’s Silver Medal)
- Griffin Bateman (U21 Men’s Bronze Medal)
- Kyla Sanchez & Nina Pavolva (U21 Womens Gold Medal)
- Jasmine Serra & Sarah Burton (U21 Women’s Bronze Medal)
For more information about national events please contact the Volleyball WA State Teams & Events Coordinator at [email protected]