Lindsay-Brown's great season continues

Marlborough's Greg Lindsay-Brown has completed the top of the south beach volleyball treble, partnering with Nelson-based Latvian Armins Vensbergs to win the Brightwater Grand Slam.

After winning both the preceding Nelson and Marlborough Challenger events, Lindsay-Brown, along with Vensbergs, held off a powerful challenge from the Heath brothers, Brendan and Dan, at the Brightwater Beach Club on Saturday.

The final was a hotly contested three-setter, with a mix of power and precision shown by both sides on the sand. Top seeds Lindsay-Brown and Vensbergs navigated strong defence from their opponents with well-placed cut shots to score at key times.

The Heath brothers, including former Nelson Giants basketballer and New Zealand beach volleyball representative Brendan, took out the first set 21-17. Lindsay-Brown and Vensbergs battled back in the second, keeping the game alive with a 21-19 victory.

The final set to 15 was closely contested, but Lindsay-Brown and Vensbergs clinched it 15-13 for a 2-1 victory.

Earlier, in the semifinals, Lindsay-Brown and Vensbergs beat Nelson College young guns Harry Fergusson and James Anderson 2-0 (21-10 21-8).

Fergusson and Anderson head to Australia next month to contest the Australian Juniors Beach State Championships, and their preparation is going well. The students had a top-drawer 2-1 win over the experienced Teryn Proracki and partner Jeremy Ditzel to make the semis, but the win left them with little in the tank for their semifinal.

The second semifinal was a family affair, with the Heath brothers taking on the Jeffries brothers, Bede and Andrew. After cruising to a 21-13 first-set win, the Heaths were made to work in the second but came through 21-18.

In the women's draw, Marlborough's Micah Lindsay-Brown and Abbey Greenwood defeated the young but skilful Nelson pairing of Katie Ditzel and Hannah Davenhill 2-0 (21-12 21-15).

The Blenheim duo were far too experienced for the 15-year-olds from Waimea College, and although they never looked like causing an upset, Ditzel and Davenhill made the practised pair work for every point.

Ditzel and Davenhill, who won the women's grade at the South Island championships last weekend, showed they will be a real threat to tournament titles in the not too distant future.

In the semifinals of the women's division, Lindsay-Brown and Greenwood beat Sara Reidie and Alex McCreary 2-0 (21-5 21-11), while Ditzel and Davenhill stopped Lucy Ingham and Brittani Harrington 2-0 (21-12 21-17).

The next beach volleyball event will be held next Saturday, December 29 at the Brightwater Beach Club. It is the second King of the Beach event for the men, while the women will turn out for the first time.

The Marlborough Express