Best teams progress through Australian Tour semifinals
Manly, Australia, March 19, 2016 – The best male beach volleyball players in Australia have progressed through to the semifinals of the Australian Tour finals at Manly Beach on Sunday.
At stake on Sunday will be a psychological edge as three of the four semifinal teams eye possible Rio 2016 Olympic Games selection this year.
Joshua Court and Damien Schumann, who are unbeaten all summer, will take on young guns Max Guehrer and Zach Schubert on the first semifinal, while the other semifinal will match up two-time Asian champions and Australia’s top-ranked international team of Chris McHugh and Isaac Kapa, against the experienced Bo Soderberg and Casey Grice.
All four team have looked untroubled heading into the finals, but the heat will be turned up on Sunday. The finals will be the start of an intense race for the top Australian male players, as they strive to prove to national selectors they should be given the chance to go to Rio de Janeiro, if Australia can qualify a team in June.
In the women’s draw, top seeds Becchara Palmer and Sarah Battaglene will take on Manly locals Sabine Link and Alexandra Friedrich, while the two most successful teams of the Australian summer will face off in the second semifinal match.
Sydney’s Christie Jenkins and her American partner Brittany Tiegs will take on European pair Michaela Vorlova and Lucia Michalovicova.
After this weekend, the players will be back up for the Asian Championships, also at Manly Beach, before they head off to contest in a series of Asian tour events. The Asian Olympic qualifiers will be held in June.
The Australian Tour final is the first event of the inaugural Manly Volleyfest, which continues with the Four-Nation Challenge featuring Australia, Brazil, USA and Japan on Monday and Tuesday, and wraps up with the Asian Championships over the Easter weekend.