Bay grabs swag of age group medals

Beach volleyball

A larger than normal field of 80 teams turned out on the Mount Main Beach for the annual VNZ National Age Group Beach Volleyball Champs held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Teams came from Aoraki to Northland, Taranaki to Gisborne but the Bay of Plenty pairings cleaned up in most categories, winning most of the medals.

Day one saw pool play in all the divisions and in two of the smaller grades medals were awarded after some great competition.

The under-15 boy's championship was won by North Harbour's Ashton Howard and Matt Howe-Smith, while the under-23 women's grade was taken out by locals Beniece Douch and Holly Boyle.


Bay of Plenty was well represented in all quarter-finals, as was North Harbour, with these two regions developing a fierce rivalry over the past years for beach volleyball bragging rights. By the end of the finals Bay of Plenty had taken four of the five titles up for grabs on day two, with Harbour winning the other.

Many of the top athletes will compete in the International Beach Volleyball series in Mairangi Bay this weekend, then travel to Hamilton City, before the big finish on the Mount Main Beach for the NZ Open on February 1-3.

VNZ National Age Group Beach Volleyball Champs

Under 15 boys

1st Ashton Howard/Matt Howe-Smith (NHB)

2nd Jack Gallivan/Liam Fannin (NHB)

3rd Keegan Joe/Jonah Naborisi (TAR)

Under 17 Boys

1st Cam Stewart/John Ward (BOP)

2nd Perry Preston/Fletcher Swann (BOP)

3rd Joel Ropitini/Takiwa Maxwell (BOP)

Under 17 Girls

1st Emma Bain/Kiana Tawa (BOP)

2nd Michaela Wooler/Alex Campbell Smith (BOP)

3rd Lydia Fookes/Jessie Meiklejohn (NHB)

Under 19 Boys

1st Brad Fullerton/Liam Matheson (BOP)

2nd Thomas Reid/Daryl Lewis (BOP)

3rd Mitch Hallett/Alani Nicklin (NHB)

Under 19 Girls

1st Alice Bain/Alex Lawerence (BOP)

2nd Maro Venter/Bex Story (HWK)

3rd Julia Hartley/Abbie Meredith (BOP)

Under 23 Men

1st Tom Hartles/Jesse Hawkins (NHB)

2nd Thomas Heijs/Manaia Harris (NHB)

3rd Jesse Kempf/Cameron Keelty (AOR)

Under 23 Women

1st Beniece Douch/Holly Boyle (BOP)

2nd Jana Furlan/Charlotte Venter (GSB)

3rd Beatrice and Anne-Marie Petty (TAR)

- Bay of Plenty Times

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