Redemption will be playing on the minds of Mount Maunganui's Julia Tilley and Shaunna Polley after their first beach volleyball tournament together.
The pair placed second in the New Zealand Beach Volleyball Champs, held at Mount Maunganui's Main Beach on Saturday and Sunday, after a hard-fought final match against Olivia MacDonald and Francesca Kirwan.
It was the Bay pair's first tournament together, having a successful first day winning all three of their matches before suffering their only loss of the tournament in the final going down 15-30 in the third set, against some gusty winds.
Although they didn't come away with the win they know what they have to work on and hope to redeem themselves at their next competition, this coming weekend.
"It was a really good game," Tilley said.
"We hope to get them next time," she said.
To prepare for the next few weeks, Tilley said they would have a day off from training today before getting back into their daily trainings, with a focus on game fitness.
"The legs are pretty heavy."
The national championships, which included New Zealand players competing in 1st and 2nd divisions as well as an under-19s division, saw New Zealand's top athletes battle it out over the two days as part of the National Beach Volleyball Tour.
Among the competitors were Commonwealth Games stars Sam and Ben O'Dea, who played their first tournament together since winning bronze at the Gold Coast games in April.
Although the pair were focused on using the weekend's tournament to get back into competition mode, they took out their Division 1 final against against Tauranga's Mike Watson and Auckland's Johan Timmer in a match that went the full three sets on Sunday afternoon.
Ben said the final was a tough game. They managed to win the first set, before their opponents took the second. However, they managed to claim back the third set and win the final.
"It was good, it was awesome actually, the level was great," Ben said of that final.
He said although they weren't focused on winning, it was nice to take the win in their first competition back.
"We had a couple of very close games which was what we kind of expected," Ben said.
Ben, 26, underwent surgery on his shoulder about six-and-half months ago. He said he didn't use his shoulder at 100 per cent during the competition, he did use it "here and there" and was feeling fine at the end of the two days.
Next up for the National Beach Volleyball Tour is the Mount Maunganui Beach Volleyball Open tournament at Mount Maunganui this coming weekend, followed by the Waikato Beach Volleyball Open at Karapiro on January 19 and 20 and the New Zealand Beach Volleyball Open in Auckland on January 26 and 27.