Published on July 11th, 2016 | by Denise Austin0
Turkey trip for England pair
Antalya, Turkey played host to the 2016 running of the CEV U20 Beach Volleyball Championships, a tournament which sets out to find the top Junior Beach Volleyball players from across Europe. North Devon’s Ellie Austin and Anaya Evans donned the England badge for the first time as a pair at a European tournament and got stuck into their first fixture against a strong Norwegian side in the opening pool play rounds. Austin, 14 and Evans, 17 showed maturity, passion and focus in a topsy-turvy opening set to the match, which the Norwegians edged. 22-20. The must-win second set saw the Norwegian pair throw everything they had and more at the young English pair, but clinical attacking play from Austin and inspirational defensive work from Evans saw them come out on top, 21.18, meaning a tie-break was required to separate these two evenly matched teams. As the match neared the hour mark, the Norwegian pair began to pull away, and in the shortened deciding set, the English pair couldn’t claw back the deficit, going down 15-12, losing the match 2-1.
Day 2 arrived, and Austin and Evans had to pick themselves up for two crucial games in an attempt to stay in the tournament. The first hurdle to overcome were the experience German team, who began well in their clash with the English pair. The Germans played aggressive and efficient volleyball which saw them run out 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) winners over the Austin and Evans, despite some inventive and exciting play. This left the North Devon duo, who compete with the Academy of Beach Sports, in a must-win situation. An Austrian pair stood in their way of escaping the pool. It was, unfortunately, a step too far for the English pair, who couldn’t find any serving rhythm, which countered their hard work in side out, as the Austrians backed up a run-away first set with a much tighter second set victory (2-0, 21-11, 21-18), which meant an end to Austin and Evans Turkish adventure.
The girls will be looking forward to a number of national and international tournaments across the summer, and we will follow their progress, and the progress of all of our other North Devon based National team athletes across the 2016 summer.