Tahunanui hosts beach volleyball tournament


The top seeds showed their class at the New Zealand Challenger beach volleyball tournament at Tahunanui Beach on Saturday, with Teryn Proracki and Patrick Shone winning the men’s title and Holly Chandler and Alice Zeimann taking out the women’s final.

Ten men’s pairs and 14 women’s pairs turned up to earn some New Zealand Tour points with teams coming from Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Hamilton and Germany.

Although there were some big upsets in both competitions, the top seeds prevailed in the scorching hot conditions.

Patrick and Teryn won their pool before winning the quarter-final in straight sets against Tom Taikato and Nick McDonald-Davis.

beach volleyball
Holly Chandler returns a serve during the NZ Challenger beach volleyball tournament.

The top seeds then secured a 15-9, 15-7 straight set victory in the semi against Jack Robb and Nathan Irvine to reach the final against Matt Heyward and Tane MacDonald.

Matt and Tane had earlier won their quarter-final, upsetting Seth Emerson and Dion Keetley in straight sets before winning their semi-final against Oscar Baden and Jack Silke 15-13, 15-4.

In a veteran versus young guns final, Matt produced some big blocks to help take the first set off their more experienced opponents 21-19. Teryn and Pat battled back in the second with some timely points from Teryn to win 21-12, before putting service pressure on Matt and Tane to take the set 15-7 and the final 2-1.

Holly and Alice produced a big serving game to defeat German sisters Anneke and Merle Hinrichsen in the final in straight sets 15-4, 15-6.

Holly and Alice had earlier defeated Holly Madden and Ellie MacIntyre 2-0 in the quarters and Anilise Fitzi and Georgia Davis in a very close semi-final 15-6, 7-15, 11-2.

Three of the women’s junior pairs were playing back-to-back beach tournaments after taking the top three placings at the South Island junior beach volleyball championships in Christchurch on Friday.

Nelson College for Girls Jess Williams and Lydia Swaney beat Waimea College’s Grace Young and Alex Bloomberg in the division two final, with Harriet Ogilvie and Flo MacIntyre third.

Organiser Josh Ovsenek says the women’s competition was “the best level of women’s beach that the event has seen in three years, with so many talented young beach stars of the game on display.”