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Beach volleyball back on the scene


by SSN Staff

 
Zina Stone and Becchara Palmer, on the left, before training with Lou Bawden and Taliqua Clancy for the Renault National Beac...

Zina Stone and Becchara Palmer, on the left, before training with Lou Bawden and Taliqua Clancy for the Renault National Beach Volleyball series, which is on this weekend. Picture: Keryn Stevens. Source: News Limited

A NEW season alway brings new hope but for Adelaide beach volleyball pair Becchara Palmer and Zina Stone this year also brings a sense of urgency.

The duo will start their 2014 campaign at Glenelg Beach for round one of the National Series from today desperate to bank both ranking points and prizemoney.

Not funded by the Australian Institute of Sport, Palmer and Stone say 2014 could make or break their dream of going to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The pair must get results this year to build their world ranking, but also to attract sponsors and funding.

"We're so excited to play Glenelg to put in to place what we've practised but it's more than that for us,'' Stone said.

"It's our lifestyle now and we need to get some money behind us so we can afford to play the next one. There's a lot on the court for us."

The pair came together eight months ago, after Stone talked Palmer out of her post-London Olympic Games retirement.

Lou Bawden, left, and Becchara Palmer training on Glenelg Beach. Picture: Keryn Stevens.

Lou Bawden, left, and Becchara Palmer training on Glenelg Beach. Picture: Keryn Stevens.

Stone was a former Youth Olympic beach volleyball medallist who temporarily had her career derailed by a serious knee injury.

She and Palmer have shown massive potential since coming together but are now desperate to get results.

Standing in their way at the Bay is Louise Bawden, Palmer's partner from the London Olympics.

Bawden is now playing with Taliqua Clancy the pair are hot off a stunning debut year which saw them climb to world No.9.

The pair, who are based in Adelaide as part of the AIS, dominated last year's national series.

The action kicks off at Glenelg today with the finals to be held on Sunday.

Chris Mchugh and Isaac Kapa are the No. 1 ranked men's seeded pairing.