Nelson College duo hold too many guns

Harry Fergusson and James Anderson remained unbeaten to win Sunday's inaugural Tasman secondary schools' beach volleyball championships at Brightwater.

Fresh from their creditable fifth placing in the boys' under-19 division at the New Zealand age-group championships, the Nelson College duo eventually outclassed Caleb Laing and Josh McDonald-Davis 2-0 in Sunday's final to also take out the Nelson Bays secondary schools title.

Holly Mace and Tali Uia also went unbeaten in the girls' competition, beating Mae Merritt and Mimoko Kobyashi for the title.

The tournament also gave teams some valuable match play ahead of the New Zealand schools' beach volleyball championships to be played at Mt Maunganui early next month.

Seven boys' and five girls' pairs contested the titles. In both divisions, the format involved pool play, leading into the playoffs and finals. In the boys' competition, a best of three-set format was played initially, while the girls played to a one-set format. As the weather deteriorated, the boys' pool matches were shortened to one set.

In the boys' division, the three teams in pool A were initially to be joined by the top team in pool B as the four semifinalists. However, the withdrawal of Jack Robb through injury left Nathan Irvine without a partner, consequently promoting the top two teams from pool B into the semifinals.

Fergusson and Anderson emerged as top seeds from pool play, with Laing and McDonald-Davis through as second seeds. Oscar Baden and Zaw Tin won pool B to take the third spot, Matt Heyward and Tane McDonald taking the fourth spot.

Opting to play a one set to 21 format for the semifinals, Fergusson and Anderson beat Heyward and McDonald 21-12 while Laing and McDonald-Davis beat Baden and Tin 21-17. The final was a best of three set format, Fergusson and Anderson outclassing Laing and McDonald-Davis 21-14, 21-1 to secure both the Tasman and Nelson Bays boys' secondary schools titles for 2014.

In the girls' division, Mace and Uia went through pool unbeaten, leaving the pairings of Mae Merritt and Mimoko Kobyashi and Olivia Dennis and Nadja Baden tied with two wins each.

However, on a points for and against basis, Merritt and Kobyashi went through in second place to meet Mace and Uia in the final.

With conditions worsening, the teams agreed to play a one set to 21 final which Mace and Uia took comfortably 21-7 to also claim both titles. Throughout the competition, they displayed a stronger service game and tighter allround skills in the difficult conditions.

The next Tasman event is the Tasman Open championships at Tahunanui on Thursday February 6. Entries available from volley nelson bays facebook page. For further information contact Allan Brodie on 02754 857 336.

Results - boys: Harry Fergusson/James Anderson 1, Caleb Laing/Josh McDonald-Davis 2, Oscar Baden/Zaw Tin and Matt Heyward/Tane McDonald 3 equal, Chris Chamberlain/Reuben Orange and Jack Silke/Tukz Busby 5 equal, Jack Robb/Nathan Irvine DNF; semifinals: Fergusson/Anderson bt Heyward/McDonald 21-12, Laing/McDonald-Davis bt Baden/Tin 21-17; final: Fergusson/Anderson bt Laing/McDonald-Davis 21-11 21-15.

Girls: Holly Mace/Tali Uia 1, Mae Merritt/Mimoko Kobyashi 2, Olivia Dennis/Nadja Baden 3, Sarah Wagner/Brooke Matheson and Harriet Ogilvie/Lydia Swaney 4 equal; final: Mace/Uia bt Merritt/Kobyashi 21- 7.

The Nelson Mail