Toko and Lawac won their first match against Singapore’s team


Vanuatu beach volleyball duos Sherysyn Toko and Majabelle Lawac are ready for another round of battle in Thailand.

The AVC Beach Tour Samila Open in Songkla coincides with the Songkaran Festival and will see 12 participating countries.

Vanuatu has been placed in Pool F alongside Australia 3 Mears/Phillips and Singapore Two with a team of ANG.H.Y/Lim H. Toko and Lawac have won their first match against Singapore’s team of Ang H.Y/Lim.

Thisyear’s AVC Beach Tour has attracted big names including Chinese second seeds Ha Likejiang/Wu Jiaxin, who last month captured the men’s title at the season’s first Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event, the first-ever world-level tournament hosted by New Zealand.

Early this month, the Chinese duo also claimed gold in Coolangatta, Australia following their solid 2-0 victory against Thailand’s Pithak Tipjan and Poravid Taovato in the final showdown for their third back-to-back Futures gold after topping the podiums in Sohar, Oman and New Zealand.

Pithak, 24, and Poravid, 21, are top seeds at the Samila Open here. Aside from picking up silver in Australia, the Thai pairing have already made the podium for the first time in December with gold at the Subic Bay Futures in the Philippines.

The tournament technical meeting was held on Thursday where players strutting their stuff at the Samila Beach, a white sand beach in this popular tourist town, in the four-day event consist of China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Hong Kong China, Malaysia, Singapore, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Vanuatu and hosts Thailand.

In both men’s and women’s events, all participating teams were similarly split into 8 pools comprising Pools A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H with 4 teams apiece in each pool.

Teams will play pool round-robin preliminaries this weekend with only top two teams from each pool through to the round of last 16. Quarterfinals and semifinals in both events will take place on April 16, with the third-place playoffs and final showdowns being held the following day April 17.