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New Zealand Beach Volleyball Nationals boost interest ahead of international series

Sam O’Dea and Mike Watson took the men's title in the New Zealand National Beach Volleyball Championship

Auckland, New Zealand, January 13, 2014 - Sam O’Dea and Mike Watson have won the Men’s National Beach Volleyball Championship, played at the Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre over the weekend, while North Harbour's Danielle Quigley teamed with Rotorua's Melissa Ruru to take the women’s title.

In mild overcast conditions a small but animated crowd enjoyed two close finals. The New Zealand Beach Championships are the precursor to the International Tour starting next week at the Mairangi Bay.

The women’s final saw Daniel Quigley and Melissa Ruru win 2-0 (21-15, 24-22) against the experienced Sonia Dunne/Carli Botes from North Harbour. Ruru and Quigley had earlier beaten 2013 champions Julia Tilley and Shaunna Polley in a close semifinal.

Quigley, a former student of Orewa College won her first National Beach Volleyball title with new partner Ruru, who was named New Zealand Police Sports Woman of the year for 2013.

The men’s final saw a power game evolve between Sam O’Dea, defending his 2013 title with new partner Mike Watson. They were up against Sam’s younger brother Ben and new partner for the summer Thomas Hartles, from North Harbour.

The O’Dea/Hartles combination hung on to win a torrid first set 21-19, but the score was reversed in an equally tight second set, to take the match to a tie-breaker final set, which the experienced Sam O'Dea/Watson combination took 15-8.

Upcoming events

- North Harbour Open – January 17 to 19, Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre, Mairangi Bay

- Waikato Open – January 24 to 26, Lake Karapiro Domain, Karapiro

New Zealand Open – January 31 – February 2, Mt. Maunganui

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