Aussie Beach Volleyball - Dawn of a golden era?

What an event! What a sport ! What a result!

Beach Volleyball practically stole the show on the Gold Coast at it’s first ever appearance at a Commonwealth Games and the future looks very bright indeed for a sport that is as Aussie as you get.

Sold out stadiums, crowds going nuts and on court action that had fans on the edge of their seats, what more could you want?

The unpredictability, the drama and then the ecstasy when Damien Schumann (pictured) and Chris McHugh fought back from 9-12 down in the third set of the final at GC2018 to beat hot favourites Canada for the first ever Gold Medal awarded at a Commonwealth Games.

“Beach volleyball is one of those games when you are down 9-12 in the third set, you shouldn’t really win those ones,” Schumann said after the win.

“To Chris’s credit, he came up with some clutch serves. He came up with a massive block. We just hung in there.”

The Aussie women of Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, who have only been together as a team for 6 months, went toe to toe with the world No 1 duo also from Canada Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Peredis to claim the Silver Medal.

The top Aussie women then flew straight to China, showing no post Commonwealth Games fatigue, to take on the world's best at the Xiamen four star FIVB World Tour event and claimed a bronze medal. 

There's plenty of heat coming from other Volleyroos as well, Jess Nguamo and Phoebe Bell making the podium at the FIVB Word Tour event at Langkawi Malaysia with a Bronze medal performance.

While the sport is clearly in great shape at the very top level what about at the junior level? Well the news there is that the young talent coming through is equally as exciting.

Australian girls Carrie Van Rensburgh (pictured) and Rebecca Ingram who won Gold at last years Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas continue to develop and mature as players.

Van Rensburg, now 19yo, continues to play on the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour , and is a coach of the Victorian Junior State team.

Ingram continue to develop her game overseas having moved to the USA for a Beach Volleyball Scholarship.
The pairs next opportunity to represent Australia will be at the Asian under 21 championships next year.

But wait there’s more! Youth Commonwealth Games Bronze medalists, Mark Nicolaidis(QLD) and James Takken(QLD) are the current stand out junior boys combination.

This week they took out both the under 19yo Australian Championships held in Bunbury WA as well as the under 23yo Australian championships, an incredible effort when you consider they are still both just 17yo.

Ky Landers from WA is another outstanding young men’s prospect having teamed up with Mark Nicolaidis to win gold at Oceania U19 Champs in Canberra in March earlier this year.

That event doubled as the Qualification Tournament for the FIVB world under 19 championships to be held in in China in July as well as the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina coming up in October.

Some other rising talent to look out for include Queenslanders Aimee Coleman and Tiaan Smith who matched their male counterparts by taking out both the under 19 & under 23 championships for the women.

Coleman and Smith also won the silver medal at the Oceania under 19 championships to qualify Australia for the U19 FIVB world championships.

This week’s junior competition in WA was a massive success and was the last event as part of the selection process for the FIVB under 19 world Beach championships

The players now eagerly await selectors announcement.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Youth Olympic Games are in sight.
Yes the future of Australian beach volleyball looks very bright indeed.