The National Independent Schools’ Beach Volleyball Tournament is a sure sign that summer is here and our volleyball teams were brimming with sunshine when they brought home the silverware from this year’s tournament, held in Brighton on Wednesday 26 June.
Ten Sixth Form boys, forming two U18 teams, headed down to the Yellowave sand courts on Brighton beach for the four-a-side round robin competition against teams from Brighton College, Hampton, Reeds, Epsom, Sevenoaks and the London Academy of Excellence. The boys played seven timed matches and both our A team (Anhad Singh, Charlie Hicks(c), Kayde Sylvester, Ryan Apps and Paul Smith), and our B team (Michael Phillips, Lucas Inman(c), Chris Broens, Tom Chambers and Bryn Williamson) played some outstanding volleyball before to reach the semi-finals.
The opening stage for our A team saw a tense game against Reeds ending with a 19-17 win. Some close games followed, but the team’s cohesion and competitive edge resulted in wins against Hampton (23-20) and Epsom (22-19). The B team demonstrated their quality by winning four of their seven games, including winning their game against Brighton College (22-20) and narrowly losing to our own A team (21-25) in a warm-spirited yet hard-fought game. Both Bedford School teams qualified for the semi-finals, which saw Bedford B team placed 4th, Epsom 3rd and our A team through to play Sevenoaks in the final. Having been a couple of points short in their earlier match against a strong and skilful Sevenoaks team, this was going to be a tough match. However, the Bedford A team, who had been praised by the Brighton Coach earlier in the competition for their creativity, responded to the challenge by demonstrating their grit and dynamic athleticism. Upper Sixth Form monitor Charlie Hicks set the tone for the day and led the team to victory; the Bedford boys had no intention of leaving Brighton without that cup! Having been presented with their medals and the winners’ cup, the Bedford School squad returned home U18 National Beach Volleyball Champions!