THORISO PHASHA AND CARLI-ANN FURNO
The two-day first round of the Flying Fish Beach Volleyball tournament kicked off on Friday 27 August on UP’s LC de Villiers campus. UP was unable to make the final in what is the first of eight rounds.
Gershon Rorich, director of Beach Volleyball SA, was pleased with the outcome of the event, saying “Tuks is a great venue. We’ve had two years in a row now at Tuks, and we haven’t been disappointed.”
First place went to the men’s duo Leo Williams and Grant Goldschmidt, who were able to defend their title at the Flying Fish Beach Volleyball Pretoria tournament when they beat Colin Pocock and Casey Augoustides, who came second.
The female team of Lianne Vink and Dieke Hessels were disappointed when they were unable to defend their title, and were overtaken by Martina Bonnerova and Palesa Masinga. UP’s Nicky Wenhold and her partner Margrit Springer made it to the quarter finals.
Perdeby spoke with Wenhold to gain insight into her experience.
What do participants hope to gain from competing in a tournament like this?
South Africa unfortunately did not have a team participating at the Olympics this year, and all the players that are playing [in] the series want to see South Africa competing internationally. So at the moment, we as a group of beach volleyball players would definitely want to improve the level of South Africa so that we can compete internationally. Also, we’re hoping that through these tournaments there are going to be more and more people joining volleyball.
What has been you’re favourite part of the tournament so far?
Playing is always the highlight, and what’s very nice is to get the opportunity to play [against] people from all over the country. We know the Gauteng players quite well because we play against each other in the Gauteng league, so it’s nice to get some of the Cape Town players coming up and playing against us too. When you have different opponents you have different ways of playing.
As you noted how you play against different players from across the world, is there any specific team that you play against that you feel inspired by?
Martina, who is playing with [Masinga], represented the Czech Republic at international level here in South Africa and she actually won the tournament, so it’s very nice to play against people of that calibre.
In terms of your performance, was there anything that you and your partner want to perhaps improve on for the next leg of the tournament?
Well, we didn’t train enough for this one, so definitely for the next tournament we need to have some sessions before the tournament and really work on specifics. We know now that our passes were a problem. So we’re going to definitely work on getting the basics back where they should be.
Photo: Wesley Human.