Fireball hosts a winning weekend in Wales!
The Cardiff Open saw teams battle it out in a brutal double elimination format last weekend, as Victoria Park played host to the second event of the series. Read below for a full recap of Sunday's medal matches.
After a long day of intense volleyball on Saturday, 8 men's and women's teams remained to fight it out for a spot in the medal matches!
On the men's side, JJ and Cole & Haydn and Peter progressed through the winners bracket to the semis, facing Ian & Derrick & Sam and Jonathan, who had been knocked into the losers bracket earlier in the tournament.
Both semi finals went to 2 clear points in the 3rd set, with Sam/Jonathan and JJ/Cole heading through. In the bronze medal match, Ian and Derrick managed to get revenge against Pete and Haydn, with some brilliant athleticism and great blocking from the split blocking pair.
In the final, Sam & Jonathan came out firing in the first set, racing to a 4-point lead. Cole Durant then turned up the heat with some key aces to reel the lead back; an ace down the line saw them take the set 21-19. The second set was a dominant display from both Cole and JJ, with Cole stamping his authority on the block and winning 21-16.
In the women's, Flora/Angelika took down Anna/Elena in two sets in a tightly fought semi-final, while Gaia and Patrycja battled hard to overcome Saskia and Izzy. The bronze match was a big clash, with Izzy Tucker the standout player. Her transition rate after making a dig was the difference, bringing her firepower to use against a shorter team.
In the final, it was Gaia and Patrycja's consistency and decision making that decided the day. Gaia in particular was excellent from the service line, able to exert pressure on the Brazilian team's pass. They wore the experienced Brazilian pair down, winning 2-0 and getting their name etched on the dragon trophy!
Tournament organiser and silver medallist Sam Dunbavin said:
"We were really proud to host the Cardiff Open this year, the latest of our annual elite events in Wales. The level was fantastic, we were blessed with brilliant weather and were able to put on a show to the Welsh public! Big thanks to Cardiff Beach Volleyball and to all the staff and volunteers that helped make the event happen."
All of Sunday's centre court games are available to watch back with full professional commentary on the Cardiff Beach Volleyball YouTube page.