New Zealand Beach Volleyball team named for Commonwealth Games debut

Shaunna Polley and Kelsie Wills.
Shaunna Polley and Kelsie Wills. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwi duo Kelsie Wills and Shaunna Polley have been named as New Zealand's first female beach volleyball team to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

The pair have been selected following a successful international season which included a bronze medal performance at the 2017 Ulsan 1 Star World Tour Event in Korea.   

Beach volleyball will be making its debut at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games when the tournament gets underway in April, and Polley can't wait to be one of the first New Zealanders to compete.

"It's a huge honour and it's going to be pretty special to represent our country on the international stage against some great teams," the 24-year-old said.

"We've put in a huge amount of work to make it to this point, so we're really pleased to be named."   

Polley has competed on the Gold Coast before and says the conditions can be tricky.   

"The sand's really deep over there and that makes it harder to jump high, so that's a factor to consider and we'll be training to mitigate that."

Wills, 25, who has played indoor volleyball professionally in France, is expecting stiff competition.   

"Australia, Canada and Vanuatu are some of the really strong teams, they're some of the best in the world, but we're up for the challenge," she said.   

"After a year of working full-time and travelling to competitions and trying to meet criteria, it's such a great feeling to be named to the team and to get to represent New Zealand and wear the fern".


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