UWC Beach Volleyball Club started the year on a high when the men’s team won the first Flying Fish National Beach Volleyball Series and the women’s team narrowly lost in the semi-finals.
During a thrilling final under a sweltering sun at UWC on 31 January, the pair of Leo Williams and Grant Goldschmidt convincingly beat their opponents to demonstrate why they have won the tournament consecutively. The pair of Bejancke Della and Liezle Peterson came out fourth after some good performance in the event.
The Flying Fish National Beach Volleyball Series is a national tournament league played at eight different venues around the country throughout the year, and featuring 48 teams made up of 24 male and female teams respectively. Each three-day tournament begins with knock-out rounds on Fridays and Saturdays, with the semi-finals and finals played on Sundays.
The tournament is in its third season this year, and Williams and Goldschmidt, ranked number one in the country, have won the men’s category since its inception. The pair has their sights set firmly on this year’s Rio Olympic Games, and the win on Sunday was a boost for their dream.
Williams said of their performance: “We are trying to be consistent and improve on every game in the tournaments and go from strength to strength. We are gelling nicely together now, this is the fourth year together (as a pair) and we haven’t lost a tournament yet. I think it’s good form for us and we want to take it to international events if we can.”
He said he hoped the win will inspire other beach volleyball players at UWC to want to do more and want to play the sport, and offered their services to help train them. “Whoever wants to come and play with us is free to join. It’s always nice to have other people to play with.” The pair is competing at the Cape Town 10s this weekend and is intending to continue their winning streak.