Port Villar,Vanuatu,December 26,2018-Vanuatu have defended their Oceania Women’s Beach Volleyball title, denying Tahiti a clean sweep of the podiums in Papeete, Tahiti.

Top seeds Miller Pata and Sherysyn Toko defeated Tahitian’s Emere Maau-Boutry and Vaihere Fareura 21-17 21-17 in the final, having also beaten the hosts top pairing in the pool stages.

The President of Vanuatu Volleyball, Debbie Masauvakalo said the result maintained their winning run in Oceania and was also a chance to give junior player Sherysyn Toko (Tini) some experience.

“This is our third Oceania in a row, we won the 2015 in the Cook Islands with Miller and Linline (Matauatu),” she said.

“There was no event in 2016 (because) it was an Olympic year then we won the event in Fiji last year with Linline and Loti (Joe) and Miller and Tini won this event in Tahiti.

“Miller played with a junior – she’s only 21 – and it’s the first time the junior has won an international medal so yeah very excited.”

Vanuatu’s victory caps off a memorable year, eight months after Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.

“Miller had a baby at seven months of age so we had to get her fit and game ready so we made it to the Commonwealth Games,” Masauvakalo said.

“Then they made it all the way to the semi final: beating England in the quarter final and then we lost a close match in the semi final against Australia – a three setter – and then we beat Cyprus in the bronze medal match and won the bronze medal – the first team event medal ever for Vanuatu at the Commonwealth Games.

“The rest of the year we basically just trained and we’re lucky that we’ve got support from the FIVB, who has funded a coach for us so now we have a German coach Michel Bargmann, which is really great because we have never had an international coach based in Vanuatu to train the girls consistently,” she said.

“He arrived in September for three months and now he’s back home in Germany for Christmas. Michel will return to Vanuatu in January 2019  with a new contract to coach the Vanuatu girls on the FIVB World Tour and Olympic Qualification events”.

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