Fejes & Milutinovic defend Coolangatta gold, Burnett & Pearse and Reid & McManaway take men’s silver and bronze

  • Australian beach volleyball has received CHF 180,000 of Volleyball Empowerment coach support
  • New Zealand’s beach volleyball has been allocated CHF 280,000 of Volleyball Empowerment support
  • Australia’s Fejes & Milutinovic defend Coolangatta Futures women’s trophy
  • Australia’s Burnett & Pearse and New Zealand’s Reid & McManaway line up with men’s silver and bronze
  • Teams from Canada, USA and Japan collect remaining medals

FIVB Volleyball Empowerment beneficiaries Stefanie Fejes & Jana Milutinovic of Australia (pictured in the main photo; credits: Rogue Gun Photography) defended their women’s Coolangatta crown from 2023, repeating their success at the 2024 edition of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event. Their win made it three podiums in a row for the pair since the start of the season, after also winning a Mollymook Futures gold and a Mount Maunganui Futures silver. Meanwhile, their compatriots Paul Burnett & Jack Pearse and New Zealand’s Thomas Reid & John McManaway, who also receive support from the Volleyball Empowerment programme, took silver and bronze, respectively, in last week’s men’s tournament in Australia.

Alaina Chacon & Mariah Whalen of the USA continued their climb from the fourth place in Mollymook and the third place in Mount Maunganui to a second place finish in Coolangatta. Suzuka Hashimoto & Reika Murakami of Japan completed the women’s podium. In the men’s competition, Jake MacNeil & Alexander Russell of Canada picked up the gold medal, the pair’s second ever medal in the Coolangatta competition. MacNeil and Russell picked up their first-ever world-level medal with a Coolangatta Futures second place two years ago.

watch Finals

Volleyball Australia has so far been allocated a total of CHF 180,000 worth of coach support for their national beach volleyball teams. Australian Olympian and 2007 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship bronze medallist Joshua Slack is in charge of the women’s duos, while Joey Yigit is at the helm of the country’s men’s pairs.

New Zealand’s beach volleyball has been granted a total of CHF 252,000 of Volleyball Empowerment coach support, in addition to CHF 28,000 worth of beach volleyball equipment. Jason Lochhead has been coaching the country’s national teams since 2021.

Third consecutive final for Fejes & Milutinovic

19-year-old Stefanie Fejes and 22-year-old Jana Milutinovic cruised to the semi-finals on a perfect run of three straight-set victories. In the battle for a spot in the final, however, the top-seeded Australians lost the first set to fifth-seeded Suzuka Hashimoto & Reika Murakami. It was the only set they lost all tournament. Bouncing back to a 2-1 (18-21, 21-12, 15-8) turnaround, they advanced to their third Futures final in a row.

Unlike the previous event in New Zealand, where they conceded the gold to the top-seeded home team in the only match they have lost on the Beach Pro Tour this year, Fejes & Milutinovic delivered an emphatic 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) sweep of Sunday’s gold medal match against fourth-seeded Alaina Chacon & Mariah Whalen. Their win saw them retain the Coolangatta title from last year and delight the home fans in Australia.

After winning their three matches on the way to the semis, 25-year-old Chacon & Whalen of the USA secured one spot higher from the first Tour podium they earned with the Mount Maunganui bronze. They made it to the final through a 2-1 (21-18, 16-21, 15-6) semifinal victory over 13th-seeded compatriots Delaney Peranich & Maya Gessner, who made it to the main draw from the qualifiers.

Suzuka & Reika of Japan have been regular partners since 2021, but never made it to a Beach Pro Tour podium during the first two seasons of the competition. In 2024, however, they have already secured two in two after adding a Coolangatta bronze to their Mollymook silver from three weeks ago. In the third-place match, the pair produced a convincing 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) victory over Peranich & Gessner.

Burnett & Pearse fall just short of securing double Australian gold

Top-seeded Paul Burnett & Jack Pearse cruised to the men’s final without dropping a single set in four matches played, but fell just short of the men’s gold. However, by mastering a 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) semifinal victory over ninth-seeded Netitorn Muneekul & Wachirawit Muadpha of Thailand, the pair secured their third consecutive final on the Tour. At their previous two appearances, Burnett & Pearse claimed a Geelong Futures gold in November and a Mollymook silver earlier this month, meaning that every time the two have participated on the Tour as a pair, they have reached the final.

watch Semifinals

Second-seeded pair from New Zealand, Thomas Reid & John McManaway’s victorious run in Coolangatta was stopped in the semifinals by third-seeded Canadian pair Jake MacNeil & Alexander Russell, who achieved a narrow 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) victory to advance to the final. Reid & McManaway won the third-place match against the duo from Thailand by forfeit to climb their third Beach Pro Tour podium, after the Futures silvers from Qidong and Geelong last year.

MacNeil & Russell started off their Coolangatta campaign with a defeat in their first pool match, but then recovered with a five-game winning streak crowned by a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) sweep of the gold medal match against Burnett & Pearse. The two Canadians are in their third Beach Pro Tour season together. This was the second time they claimed a medal and the first time they topped the podium. Their first medal, a silver, was also achieved in Coolangatta at the inaugural Futures event in 2021.

28 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams representing 10 different countries took part in the Coolangatta Futures. The next two Futures events will be held in Pirae Tahiti, French Polynesia – a men’s tournament from 2 to 6 April and a women’s tournament from 9 to 12 April.

Coolangatta Futures results and standings


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