Top seeds finalists in Pacific Mini-Games Beach tournament
Mata-Utu, Wallis and Futuna, September 9, 2013 – The finalist teams for the ninth Pacific Mini-Games Beach Volleyball tournament were decided on Saturday after challenging playing conditions ensured that the top four teams from each gender were put through their paces.
The Vanuatu women were given their hardest test so far as they went up against a strong serving Solomon Islands team. After an even start to both sets Vanuatu pulled away to win 2-0 (21-11, 21-12).
Next up were the Tahiti men against Tonga. Tahiti dominated the match initially taking the first set comfortably. However, late in the second set their nerves started to show and some soft points allowed Tonga to close the gap. Nevertheless, Tahiti rallied to take the set and the match 2-0 (21-15, 21-18).
The second women’s semi saw a rematch of the opening game of the tournament, as Papua New Guinea played against Palau in what was the closest three setter match of the pool phase. But Saturday was a different story as Papua New Guinea, growing in confidence throughout the tournament, comfortably over powered Palau 2-0 (21-13, 21-9).
The last match of the day saw Samoa take on Papua New Guinea in the men’s competition. Samoa held a distinct height advantage, but in the blustery conditions Papua New Guinea countered with a fast low attack. This lead to a number of long rallies but in the end Samoa’s greater hitting power prevailed, with another 2-0 win (21-16, 21-18).
Tuesday’s finals start at 10am (local time) with the women’s bronze match followed by the men’s bronze. The women’s gold medal match will see the two undefeated teams of Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea face off, where Vanuatu will be keen to continue their reign as the top team of the Pacific and Oceania region. While in the men’s competition, two teams from Pool A, Tahiti and Samoa, will be battling for gold, with No. 1 seeds Tahiti hoping for a repeat of the last time they met.