VEBT Finals Results
18th August 2014
After a summer packed full of beach volleyball action, the VEBT Finals provided a fitting high quality end to the 2014 Volleyball England Beach Tour. After a long season travelling around the country, the players gathered for the final time in Margate to provide a thrilling finale to the season.
In the run up to these finals the Tour has visited several seaside resorts nationwide including Skegness, Great Yarmouth, Weston-Super-Mare and Weymouth, and now these two action-packed days in Margate brought the 2014 VEBT to an end. The two days competition in Margate featured the top 8 ranked teams in the country, the top Juniors and for the first time the VEBT 2014 Challenger Event.
In the Women's pool Division 1, it was a good day for the number 1 seeds Katja Gless/Elfi Holt as they won all three of their matches dropping just the one set. They took their final pool match in a convincing manor, beating Katarzyna Drozdziel / Sandra Rogat 2-0 (21-19, 21-13). This took them straight through to the Semi- Finals on Sunday. Denise Austin who was victorious at Weymouth, partnered Laura Morgantini for the first time this summer and they took second place in the pool, seeing them through the the Quarter Finals where they beat Petra Jurikova/Jo Healy
2-0 (21-17, 21-13).
3rd seeds Jess Grimson and Vicky Palmer were in great form throughout the day as they confidently beat Ferretti/Mierture 2 - 0 (21-12, 21-6) and Jurikova/Healy
2-1 (21-15, 20-22, 15-8). Their final pool match pitted them against Vajdova/Thornton who had earlier beaten Jurikova/Healy 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-13) in one of the closest games of the weekend. Vajdova/Thornton justified their place as 2nd seeds, beating Grimson/Palmer 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-12).
The opening round of matches in the men's Finals saw the Weymouth winners Phil Smith and his partner Oli Kimber take their first two matches 2-0 (21-9, 21-6 & 21-19, 21-19) against Dawid Skora/Kuba Korczyk and Aldo Rendon/Marek Biczysko respectively. Their final match in the pool was a rematch of the final from the Weymouth leg. In that instance it was their opponents Mark Garcia-Kidd/Taylor Wilson who were victorious, however it was Phil Smith and Oli Kimber who won today with a thrilling 2-0 victory.
The wildcard entry of Chris Gregory and Aden Tutton stormed their pool group with only the 1 set lost in their 3 matches. They were victorious over Andrew Clayton/Carl Butcher 2-0 (21-10, 21-10), Mark Baechli/Chris Datler 2-0(21-11, 21-11) and Tomasz Lasocki/Davide Grandolfo 2-1 (25-27, 21-12, 15-8). These 3 victories ensured their safe progression to the Finals day on Sunday.
The complete semi-final line up was:
Smith/Kimber VS Garcia-Kidd / Wilson
Gregory/Tutton VS Baechli / Datler
Grimson/ Palmer VS Austin/ Morgantini
Holt/ Gless VS Palmese/ Pessotto
A cloudy start to the day didn't dampen any spirits or levels of performance as the semi-finals got underway first thing. The opening game of the day saw 1st seeds Elfi Holt and Katja Gless face off against the Italian pairing of Antonella Palmese and Michela Pessotto. Elfie and Katja found their rhytm early and won the game 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).
The second Women's semi- final was played in much the same vein as the previous match. This time it was experienced Beach Tour player Denise Austin and her partner Laura Morgantini playing against the Wessex LeAF pairing of Jess Grimson and Vicky Palmer. Unfortunately for Denise and Laura, Jess and Vicky were in great form and won the match 2-0 (21-14, 21-17).
Once the women's matches were finished, it was the men's turn to take centre stage. The first semi-final saw Phil Smith and Oli Kimber take on the pairing of Mark Baechli and Chris Datler. Smith and Kimber wasted little time in becoming the first Men's finalists. They took both sets in quick time with some big hits and great communication. 2-0 (21-14, 21-17).
Once that match finished, it was the turn of Chris Gregory and Aden Tutton to face off against Mark Garcia- Kidd and Taylor Wilson. Unlike the previous matches, this match went to 3 sets. Both sets of players were desperate to reach the final, but it was Chris and Aden who held their nerve to come out as winner. 2-1 (21-13, 16-21, 15-13)
The next matches that took place was the Challenger finals. Both were exciting matches which continued the high standard of performances. The matches saw Jose Martinez and his partner Richard Payne take on Ryan Poole and Harry Jones. Harry and Ryan were to later compete in the Junior Finals. On this occasion it was Jose and Richard who prevailed in a fiecly contested match 2-1. In the Women's final it was Katarina Bednarova and her partner Emma Crane playing against Jana Orszaghova and Ania Scigala. Much like the Men's challenger final, this match was also a contest between two strong pairs. However in the end it was Katarina Bednarova and Emma Crane who won the final with a 2-1 set victory.
Now that the finalists were decided it was the Juniors who took to the court. The first Junior Final was that of Issa Batrane and his partner Sam Allen against Harry Jones and Ryan Poole. This game meant a lot to both pairs and it showed, as the standard of Volleyball was high throughtout. The match was decided in the third set. After taking it in turns to take the lead, it was Issa and Sam who finally took control and saw out the third set and the match with a 2-1 set victory. (21-16, 19-21, 15-12)
While the Junior boys had a full crowd and sun shining, the girls were caught up in torrential down pour and strong winds. However due to their sheer desire and will, they continued and battled away. The conditions made life difficult for both pairs, but in the end it was Ellie Austin and Yasmin Kaashoek who dealt with the conditions better and saw off the challenge of Emma Hebbes and Sophie Szyszko 2-0 (21-13, 21-17).
The Men's and Women's took place late in the afternoon with neither disappointing. First up was Elfi Holt and Katja Gless vs Jess Grimson and Vicky Palmer. This was a match that was highly anticipated and lived up to all expectations. Elfi and Katja took the first set 25-23, but when facing down the barrel, Jess and Vicky turned the game around and kept battling until they won the match 2-1 (23-21, 22-24, 12-15).
The final game of the VEBT Finals weekend was that of the Men's final between Chris Gregory and his partner Aden Tutton against Phil Smith and Oli Kimber. The first set went in the way of Chris and Aden, who took it 21-15. The second set saw some big hits and as the pressue built on Smith and Kimber. Upon seeing this Chris and Aden ramped up the pressure and took the title in convincing fashion 0-2 (15-21, 13-21).
A huge thank you must go to Thanet District Council for their effort and support in hosting the VEBT Finals, as well as Red Bull, SideOut and the official partners of the VEBT, itsu. We would also like to give a huge thanks to the countless volunteers and officials who contributed towards the smooth running of the event over the course of the weekend.
For further information on the tour, please click here