|Posted by Dan Anderson on May 10, 2015 at 6:50 PM|
Latrobe Valley athletes featured in both of Victoria’s gold medals at the Australian Junior Beach Volleyball titles held in Glenelg, South Australia recently.
A record 10 Latrobe Valley junior men and women qualified to represent Victoria for teams across all age groups.
Ainsley White from Moe backed up from gold last year with a second gold medal in the Under 15 girl’s competition. Going through undefeated, her team of three held off a strong challenge from South Australia to win the gold medal in straight sets.
Maffra based Latrobe Valley athlete Rebecca Ingram also went through undefeated in the girls Under 17 pairs competition. Making her debut at National Beach titles, she also won her gold medal match in straight sets. So impressed were Australian officials watching, Bec was invited to stay on to train with the Australian Junior beach squad. Two other Latrobe Valley girls represented Victoria, with Bronte Scott and her partner finishing 9th, after getting on a late run and winning 3 consecutive games, while Alice Shaw and her partner finished 13th after being second in her pool after the opening rounds.
Bottom age Under 17 boys, Jack McIntosh and Linus Rodda returned after competing in the under 15 competition last year. Both were regulars in the state series competition at South Melbourne this summer and this showed with strong performances. Rodda, paired with another bottom age boy from Geelong played very consistently to take out an excellent 5th place. McIntosh and his partner also won several games, eventually finishing 11th.
Monica Harasimiuk and Meg McIntosh competed in the very strong U19 women’s competition. Both girls had strong tournaments, regularly pushing much taller teams. McIntosh and her partner finished strongly winning their last three games to finish 9th while Harasimiuk eventually finished 18th.
In the U15 boys, Joey Rodda’s team of three finished fifth, a highlight being their defeat of the bronze medalists in the round robin competition. It was a great experience for young Rodda who has just turned 12 and has a further 2 years at under 15 level.
Finally, local state league gun Lachie Morland made his debut on the beach in the Under 23 mens competition. Unfortunately for Lachie, his partner suffered an injury during the tournament which meant that they could not finish out the final games together, but it will serve him well for future opportunities for this strong spiker.
Latrobe Valley Secretary, Brian Scott, said the number of athletes and excellent results showed the benefits of the strong junior development programs in Maffra and the Latrobe Valley, and blooding the athletes in senior competitions. “When you recognise that we don’t have a sand court anywhere in the Latrobe Valley, to have 10 athletes selected in the state side is an outstanding result”. “It shows the capability of that athletes we are producing, along with their commitment to the sport”, said Scott.