The Vanuatu Women’s Beach Volleyball squad is all set to hit the sand in Victoria, Australia with a 3-week international beach volleyball event in Torquay, on the popular southern surf coast.
The squad of four players includes Sherysyn Toko, Loti Joe, Majabelle Lawac and Chantale Willie, with coach Steve Anderson in charge on the sidelines.
VVF is very pleased that Loti Joe has been able to join the squad from Queensland where she has recently taken up temporary residence as part of the Seasonal Workers Scheme in Stanthorpe.
The Great Ocean Road Volleyfest is part of the Volleyball Australia Summer tour and will this year include two FIVB World Tour tournaments.
The FIVB Beach Pro Tour Challenger event, 23-27 December, kicks off on Wednesday with the Qualification round in which Team Vanuatu’s Loti Joe and Chantale Willie will be competing.
Sherysyn Toko and Bella Lawac are already in the Main Draw to be played following the qualification rounds.
From 29 November to 3 December, the FIVB Beach Pro Tour ‘Elite 16’ tournament will happen where the lead Team Vanuatu pairing of Toko and Lawac will play in the Qualification round, looking to continue into the main competition.
In the lead-up to this 3-week run, the team was due to compete on the weekend in Round 4, the State Open, of the local Victorian Beach Volleyball series in Melbourne. Unfortunately, the recent extreme weather being experienced across eastern Australia continued and the event had to be cancelled on the day.
The team’s Australian run will finish with a Volleyball Australia Summer Series Tour event, from 2-4 December, with Lawac and Willie listed to compete at this stage.
Coach Steve Anderson, is keen for this hit-out for the women as the first major competitive stretch since the Pacific Mini Games in June and the Commonwealth Games in July.
“Now that we’re into the Olympic qualification period, we’re keen to begin the process in full, but conscious of the need to balance rest and recovery with the qualification requirements,” he said.
With each athlete needing 12 events in the two-year qualification period leading up to an Olympics, the task ahead for Vanuatu requires full focus.
Obviously, the pandemic has impacted that output over the past 12 months, so for Team Vanuatu the serious work leading to the all-important Paris 2024 qualification has already started this year and will continue through to mid-2023.
VVF will keep all Team Vanuatu results updated on its Facebook page.