The 2015 Scottish Student Sport Championships saw what may be a record turnout for a Scottish beach volleyball event. No less than 19 men’s pairs, 16 women’s pairs, and 13 four-aside recreational teams turned up at St Andrews to duke it out on West Sands.
After a brief shower during set-up it remained sunny but windy and cold all day. The quality of play remained remarkably high – especially given the windy conditions – with some very talented players fighting to be named Scottish Student Beach Champion.
The men’s contest saw Veselin Vasilev and Donatas Repecka overcome their fellow Glasgow University colleagues Simone Marcigaglia and Krisjanis Kurska to reach the final. They faced up against Kristaps Baumanis and Peppe Rosso from Strathclyde University – despite being nowhere near a beach, the city of Glasgow was well represented in the final!
Vasilev and Repecka had beaten Baumanis and Rosso in their pool match, but the fired up Strathclyde pair were determined to get their revenge and won a hard fought match to 14 and 19 – celebrating by racing to the water and hurling themselves into the North Sea for a victory dip!
In the women’s contest, Glasgow Caledonian match up Katie Moores and Laura Zwicker couldn’t overcome the all-Greek pairing of Pallagiota Vlaserou and Emily Tasouli, who produced some stunning volleyball to take the win and progress to the final where they faced up against local girls Hannah Berwian and Emma Fox, who defeated Melissa Yates and Alex Baldock in their semi-final.
A fascinating match saw some at times breathtaking displays from Vlaserou,
In the recreational contest, Aberdeen University took the top spot and Edinburgh second, both winning teams securing boxes of chocolate to munch on the journey home. who was lightning quick over the sand and had a wide array of shots in her arsenal. However, Fox and Berwian played very sensible volleyball, keeping the ball low and in control, taking advantage of the gusty conditions to make second and even first-ball attacks, and making very few errors. The St Andrews pair won a hard-fought two set victory to 11 and 15. With both girls graduating and moving on, there could have been no better way to end their university volleyball careers. Despite their evident euphoria, however, Fox and Berwian decided against celebrating with a swim……!
Despite the chilly conditions it was a superb day, with great displays of volleyball, lots of new talent to threaten established players on the Scottish Tour, and high spirits from all participants. A big thank you to Dundee University and St Andrews University volleyball clubs for helping set up and take down afterwards, and to Jamie Salvin and Jack McKeown for their time and effort in administering the event.
Students who enjoyed the day are encouraged to play on the Scottish Tour – LINK for dates and entry.