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New Zealand Beach Volleyball Open wraps up in Aukland

Auckland, New Zealand, February 22, 2015 - After three days of high quality play in the New Zealand Beach Volleyball Open, held at Stanley Street Tennis Centre in Auckland, The Hamilton women's pair of Julia Tilley and Shaunna Polley came through from the 3rd seed position to take the women's title, while 2014 Oceania Men's titleholders Sam O'Dea and Mike Watson added their home title to their growing resume.

Tilley and Polley had a low-key lead-up to the tournament, with Tilley injured and out of action for some weeks, causing the pair to drop to 3rd ranking going into the event. Perhaps the break did them some good, with the pair overcoming leading Oceania team Matauatu & Joe from Vanuatu in a tight semifinal, and then downing top seeds Melissa Ruru (Rotorua) and Danielle Quigley (North Shore) narrowly in a two-set final 2-0 (21-19,21-19). Quigley and Ruru took out the Series title.

The pair plan to compete in the Asian Circuit commencing in the southern autumn, where they had some success in 2014.

On the men's side of the draw, Tauranga's Mike Watson and Sam O'Dea remained unbeaten domestically for the season with their fourth title for the New Zealand Series, although they faced their toughest domestic challenge yet with the up-and-coming Rene Kapa (Whakatane) and Tom Hartles (North Shore) fighting back to take the second set off the champions, before succumbing in the tie-breaker third set 2-1 (21-19,21-23,15-10).

The pair are growing in confidence with a string of excellent results over the summer, and will look to make podium positions regularly on the upcoming tough Asian circuit.

Final results:
Women's final:  Tilley/Polley def Quigley/Ruru 2-0 (21-19, 21-19)
Men's final:  O'Dea/Watson  def Hartles/Kapa 2-1 (21-19, 21-23, 15-10)


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