LET THE GAMES BEGIN!


Australia’s Beach Volleyball elite have begun their quest to show national selectors why they should represent Australia at next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The best of the best have converged on Manly Beach this weekend to kick off Volleyfest, a week of high level national and international competition.

This weekend is the opening of the Australian Beach tour and doubles as the first of 3 Commonwealth Games selection events around the country.

Hot favourites to be our men’s team, Damien Schumann and Chris McHugh (pictured) got off to shaky start losing their first set of the tournament to 16th seeds Dallas Keith and Jake Macniel but recovered to win in three sets.

Volleyball Australia high performance director John Boultbee said pressure on top seeds is a good thing.

“Our top men performed as expected which was good to see but the best part was the pressure coming from the next group, the younger ones coming through testing the older athletes was pleasing.”

“Marcus Ferguson and Max Guehrer seeded 8th really took it to Chris and Damo in three very close sets”

The other top men’s pairing of Zachery Schubert and Cole Durant cruised through as expected while Josh Court and Paul Burnett did a really good job against the highly fancied French team despite going down in a tight three setter.

All the Aussie Commonwealth Games hopefuls are still alive in the competition with a real test coming tomorrow when they face fellow Commonwealth nation Canada who have two teams in the Quarter finals.

In the Women’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar showed her class despite missing partner Taliqua Clancy with a toe injury.

Artacho del Solar teamed up with Phoebe Bell who reminded selectors that she has plenty to offer and won’t let anyone down if picked.

Stef Weiler from the Centre of Excellence has put her hand up, after a lot of injury is back on court and playing well and didn’t go unnoticed by selectors.

A big day for our Aussie hopefuls tomorrow with a real international flavour in the quarter finals with teams from Slovenia, Germany, Japan and Austria all through.

Action starts at 7.30am on Manly Beach.