Teens tune up for rallies at national under-19 beach volleyball titles 

Beach volleyballers Tess Swift and Louise Findlay hope to learn quickly in the under-19 national championships beginning tomorrow at South Melbourne Beach.

The championships will be the first time the Bendigo duo have represented Victoria together in beach volleyball, although Swift played Australia’s best juniors at under-17 level last year at Surfers Paradise.

Swift, who celebrates her 18th birthday today, is a regular player at South Melbourne Beach and hopes local knowledge will count for something in the tricky conditions.

“I will have an advantage there because it gets quite windy, the Queensland beach last year wasn’t very windy,” she said.

The former Catholic College Bendigo student finished eighth with Melbourne’s Madeleine McCrum in the under-17s last year, but is not sure what to expect in the five days of matches this time.

“We don’t know who’s playing for the other states this year, and this year’s the first proper tournament we’ve played together,” Swift said.

Swift and Findlay, 17, have both represented Victoria in indoor volleyball, although the latter is only new to the outdoor version of the sport.

“This is my first tournament as such,” Findlay said. 

“It was something a bit different that I wanted to try.

“It’s a learning experience.

“I reckon, a couple of wins would be nice.”

Despite only teaming up recently, Swift and Findlay won two of three trial events to earn a spot at the championships.

The 18-year-olds are both graduates of the Bendigo Bank Academy of Sport volleyball program.

The national championships begin with an opening ceremony tomorrow, with matches held from Monday to Friday.

SET FOR BATTLE: Louise Findlay and Tess Swift. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

SET FOR BATTLE: Louise Findlay and Tess Swift. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN