Sixteen teams, the largest number of teams in recent years, competed in four divisions at the Inverloch Beach Volleyball Tournament on Sunday 24 January. Hosted by the South Gippsland Volleyball club, this tournament is in its 28th year and is known as the longest continuously run beach volleyball tournament in Victoria. The high level of participation demonstrates that players are ready to hit the courts this season.
Teams from Dandenong, Bundoora, Latrobe Valley, Tarwin, Korumburra, Wonthaggi, Leongatha played along the magnificent Inverloch foreshore.
For some players, this was their very first tournament while others are highly experienced, playing in Volleyball Victoria’s State League, Australian Volleyball League and Australian Junior Volleyball Championships.
After competing strongly in the earlier pools, Eastside Hawks earned the top division’s Grand Final in the best of 3 sets, defeating Sore in 2. (21-11, 21-19). Congratulations to Jimmy Carlyle, Lachlan Newel, Locky Morland and Ash Vogt.
Six teams played in two pools to determine their division. In the second of the pooled divisions, the Orange division Grand Finalists were Rusty who narrowly defeated Empire Strikes Back (31-27). Congratulations to Andrew Burgess, Rod Alexander, Duncan McDonald and Adam Rogers.
The Pink division was an all mighty battle amongst five teams. Three times tied for second place in this division with only a few percentage points separating them. After a tight game, Loshen by the Ocean defeated Lethal Liberos 32-30 in the Grand Final. Congratulations to Tony Sheng, Kim Lo and Tom Tom.
The Blue division highlighted the strength of Junior volleyball in South Gippsland with five teen-aged teams playing. The Lanky Lads; Annika Webster, Hamish Box, Lexi Scott and Ashton Westwood, defeated Beach Combers to win the Grand Final 31-22.
The strong performances exhibited by local teams in the tournament sets the scene for a strong Junior program and social competition this season. The Fun Night is Thursday 28 January, 7:30 pm at Splash Leongatha. The competition begins 4 February and the Junior program begins 11 February. New players, of all levels of experience, are welcome.
Follow the club on Facebook (South Gippsland Volleyball). Contact Secretary Jess Sanders 0447 262 522, Tom Saario 5658 1043(BH) or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
The tournament was sponsored by Nagels Pharmacy and Saario’s Garage. The Inverloch Lions Club treated players and spectators to a BBQ.