Four New Zealand combinations have reached the main draw of the first-ever Beach Volleyball Pro Tour Futures event held in New Zealand in Mt Maunganui.
After Thursday’s qualifying event, second-seeded Kiwi women Meile Rose Green and Maria Hanabadi progressed straight through to the main draw along with Australian top-seeded duo Kayla Mears and Tara Phillips.
In the afternoon battle for the remaining two spots in the main draw, former World Tour player Anna Harrison and Holly Isherwood grabbed their place courtesy of a come-from-behind, three-set victory (18-21, 21-19, 15-9) over Americans Logan Beitler and Jessica McGuire.
Susan Imhasly and Melissa Ruru then joined Harrison and Isherwood in the main draw, winning their own tight three-set encounter with fellow Kiwis Sydney Clough and Ariane Pola 21-14, 11-21, 15-13.
Thursday’s results ensure six New Zealand teams will contest the women’s main draw in the 16-team event, headlined by Asian Champions and number one seeds Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley.
Meanwhile, six Kiwi men’s teams started the day looking to qualify for one of the four remaining places Friday’s main draw of the competition.
Juraj Krajci and Calum Stewart cleared their first hurdle in an all-New Zealand match-up to open the tournament on Court 1, seeing off James Sadlier and Kyle Smith in tight three-set contest 21-15, 19-21, 15-11.
But their afternoon clash against the number one-seeded Australian pair of Matthew Abela and Christopher Blake proved a step too far, the young Kiwis falling 21-9, 21-12.
That result left 11th-seeded Campbell Forsyth and Greg Vukets as the last Kiwis in the qualifying draw in late afternoon matches having seen off fellow Kiwis Charlie Dalton and Mike Watson 21-11, 21-16 in the morning.
And the Kiwis delivered, downing the fourth-seeded Australians D’Artagnan Potts and Kaia Clarkin 23-21, 21-18 to advance into the main draw.
Forsyth and Vukets become the fifth New Zealand combination in the 16-team main draw with third-seeded Ben and Sam O’Dea topping the Kiwi entry list.
Earlier on Thursday, qualifying seventh-seed Kiwis Giles Black and Joshua Tiplady were sent out by American 10th seeds Ben Vaught and David McKenzie, losing 21-19, 21-15. Vaught and McKenzie, who qualified for the main draw with a second victory in the afternoon, were finalists at the Auckland stop of the G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Beach Tour presented by Tip Top in late February.
Tyran Gillespie and Perry Preston were beaten at the first hurdle by Japanese pair Ryo Shindo and Ryota Oda (21-13, 21-16) who eventually qualified for the main draw.
For full qualifying results from Thursday and all tournament information, click here.
Beach Pro Tour – Futures
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
March 16-19, 2023
Kiwis in action
Qualifying – Thursday 16 March, 2023
(NZ teams in bold, seeding in brackets)
Women’s – Round 2
- Anna Harrison/Holly Isherwood (3) bt Logan Beitler/Jessica McGuire (USA) (6) - 18-21, 21-19, 15-9
- Susan Imhasly/Melissa Ruru (4) bt Sydney Clough/Ariane Pola (5) - 14-21, 21-11, 15-13
Men’s - Preliminary Rd
- Juraj Krajci/Calum Stewart (10) bt James Sadlier/Kyle Smith (9) – 21-15, 19-21, 15-11
- Ryo Shindo/Ryota Oda (JPN) (4) bt Tyran Gillespie/Perry Preston (13) – 21-13, 21-16
- Ben Vaught/Dave McKenzie (USA) (10) bt Joshua Tiplady/Giles Black (7) 21-19, 21-15
- Campbell Forsyth/Greg Vukets (11) bt Charlie Dalton/Mike Watson (6) – 21-11, 21-16
Men’s - Round 2
- Matthew Abela/Christopher Blake (AUS) (1) bt Juraj Krajci/Calum Stewart (10) – 21-9, 21-12
- Campbell Forsyth/Greg Vukets (11) bt D’Artagnan Potts/Kaia Clarkin (AUS) (3) – 23-21, 21-18
Photos courtesy www.phototek.co.nz