Port Vila, Vanuatu, December 12, 2017 – Hosts Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea brushed off inexperienced rivals for consecutive two wins on the second day of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games beach volleyball competition here on Tuesday.
On a hot, sunny day at the Korman Beach Stadium, strong teams enjoyed field day which saw every match end in comfortable straight sets.
In the men’s competition, Papua New Guinea’s Mea/Kilarupa, Fijians Korowale/Elliot, fresh from claiming their victory at the Oceania Commonwealth Games Qualifiers, and Vanuatu’s Maki/Mael continued their unbeaten run in the five-day competition to move to the top of their respective A, B and C pools.
On Tuesday, Vanuatu’s Maki/Mael posted a win over Wallis and Futuna’s Moleana/Sekeme 21-18 21-17 in 35 minutes in front of a vocal and vibrant local crowd that spurred them onto victory. The competition was almost as colourful as the great dancing provided by the Vanuatu’s local cultural group, Napen Napen Dance Group from Tanna Island.
The other men’s encounters saw Mea/Kilarupa from Papua New Guinea spend only 22 minutes in thrashing Faireka/D. Heath from Cooks Islands 21-3 21-10, Nuopule/Waneasi from Solomon Islands outclass Taro/Dwight from Palau 21-14 21-5, Fijians Korowale/Elliot showed no mercy to Iwane/Angexetine to crush the New Caledonians 21-10 21-4 and Tui/Lesoa from Samoa, who went down to Korowale/Elliot the previous day, made amends by claiming their first victory following their 21-16 21-12 win over Kiribati’s Anro/Manuera.
Beach spikers from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea also made their marks in the women’s competition on Tuesday to seal two victories in a row.
Vanuatu’s veteran Linline Matauatu, who partnered Miller Pata to contest the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the 2015 World Series of Beach Volleyball, where they pulled off a stunning victory over the 2015 FIVB world champions from Brazil, Agatha/Barbara, teamed up with young Loti Joe this time. The Linline/Loti duo spent only 21 minutes in mercilessly crushing Tufele/Tiale from Wallis and Futuna 21-6 21-11.
In the other matches, Fijians Nima/Ratudina powered past Kiribati’s Taakam/Batio 21-11 21-8, Papua New Guinea’s Bae/Walo defeated Guam’s Byrd/Sablan 21-16 21-19, Solomon Islands’ Gwali/U’Una downed Peter Maike/Taliu Taimanuga from Tuvalu 21-6 21-6.
However, Peter/Taimanuga recovered from their first match down against Solomon Islands to win their second encounter of the day against Wallis and Futuna’s Mampasse/Qazing. Peter/Taimanuga proved too strong and were able to fight through the tough challenges at the end of the first set and finally secured the hard-fought set 26-24 and carried that momentum into the second set, which they won easily 21-11.
After two days of the competition, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Papua New Guinea are starting to stake their claim for a spot in the finals.
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