Round up of The Margate Masters 2012
8th July 2012
Day one of the Margate Masters, the penultimate stop on the 2012 Volleyball England Beach Tour started brightly with a total of 12 courts in play, making it the biggest event of the 2012 series ahead of the finals.
During the early rounds on Saturday in the men’s competition Watson/Smith, Grandolfo/Suklys, Jaguszewski/Kiedrzynski and top seeds Gregory/Sheaf all sailed through the qualifying rounds without losing a game. While in the women’s competition Coutts/Austin and Smith/Jurikova were amoungst the teams who also went though having not lost a game.
On day two in the women’s competition Palmer/Grimson worked their way into the semi finals by beating Vajdova/Gless in the first game of the day. The teams went point for point for much of the first set as the third seeds put up a good fight – but it was Palmer/Grimson who had the edge taking the first set 25-23. Palmer/Grimson then found their rhythm as they stormed ahead to secure a semi final spot the score 2-0 (25-23, 21-13).
In the pick of the women's semi finals it was a battle of the top seeds as the number one’s Brown/Czinegeova went up against the new pairing of Jurikova/Smith. Some excellent blocking by Smith broke down Brown/Czinegeova’s attack but it was the two-time champions Brown/Czinegeova who managed to retain momentum and close out the game 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) to book their place agaisnt Coutts/Austin for a second time on the 2012 tour.
In the women’s final number one seeds and winners of back to back titles in Weston-Super-Mareand Skegness Brown/Czinegeova faced Coutts/Austin – in what was a repeat of last weeks final. As the rain started to come down and conditions worsened Austin/Coutts eager for revenge having lost out to the pair in Skegness held their nerve and confidence to edge out Brown/Czinegeova in the opening set, the score a close 22-20. In the second set Coutts/Austin used their experience and the two time Margate Masters winner proved too difficult to beat as they closed out the set and championship 2-0 (23-21, 21-9).
In men’s competition Jaguszewski/Kiedrynski took on winners of the Great Yarmouth and Skegness Grand Slams Smith/Watson in the quarter finals. Second seeds Smith/Watson started the stronger of the teams and with the momentum secured the first set 21-16. In the second set Smith/Watson seemed in control until Jaguszewski/Kiedrynski found some form and saved four match points to cling on to their semi-final hopes. However, it was all too late as Smith/Watson kept their cool and eventually close out the game on the fifth time of asking, the final score – 2-0 (21-16, 21-18).
In the pick of the men’s semi final game number ten seeds Vatolik/Silva pulled off a huge upset. Vatolik/Silva who have never made it past the quarter final stage before took the first set off the reigning champions and number two seeds Watson/Smith 21-17. After the break the favourites who have won back to back tour titles rallied and an all round solid set from Phill Smith kept them in the title race 21-12. But with cheers from the crowd the underdogs rose again as Vatolik/Silva dug deep to take the deciding set and book their place in their first ever Volleyball England Tour Final in what was one of the best games on in the series so far – the final score 2-1 (21-17, 12-21, 15-
In the men’s final from the opening serve the game showed all the signs of a classic. The number ten seeds Vatolik/Silva burst on to the scene, clearly working off the adrenalin of their semi final victory over second seeds Watson/Smith. Top seeds Gregory/Sheaf looked like they didn’t know how to handle Silva and his partner Vatolik – one of the big characters on the tour. The underdogs continued to serve big and held their nerve to take the first set 18-21, much to the excitment of the crowd. In the second set Silva pulled off some huge crowd pleasing hits but Gregory’s blocks were equal to them as Gregory/Sheaf clung on to the title forcing the game into a decider 21-16. In the third and final set it seemed one step too far for Vatolik/Silva in this their first final. Gregory/Sheaf capitalised turned up the heat in the closing moments to take the set convincingly and take their second title on the 2012 tour, the final score 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-6).
The Margate Masters also played host to the third Junior VEBT event of 2012, open to pairs in the U17 age group. There were some impressive rallies played out and as the rain came down the juniors battled on. Walrond/Roberts emerged winners in a close final game against Lawson/Torrens 2-0 (15-13, 15-13).
The next and final stop on the tour will be the unmissable Bournemouth Finals held on Boscombe beach over August bank holiday weekend - we'll see you there!
Thank you to all the volunteers and staff for their hard work over the weekend and congratulations to all the winners.
All results and seedings for the weekends competition can be found here.