Issa Batrane and Freddie Bialokoz, Team Deep Dish, finished 2nd Place at the Win2Day Austrian Beach Tour, Wolfurt Trophy.
Issa and Freddie entered through a Wildcard into the main draw, and were seeded at number 9 in the tournament. The Austrian Beach Tour is considered one of the top few national tours in Europe due to the high level of teams competing internationally from Austria and the understanding/love for the game in that country.
"For us this tournament was important in terms of playing consistently in higher level games and putting together a string of solid performances including the things we have been working on in training to add to our game."
What was your toughest match?
Our quarterfinal match up was most likely our toughest match due to a mix of the level of the team we were playing against along with the really hot conditions right in the middle of the day adding to the factor of physicality that was needed against a team like this. We won this game 2-1 in a match that went on for 68 minutes.
What challenges (if any) did you face on and off the court?
I think our biggest challenges came on the court with the battle for consistency. It is something a lot of teams in world volleyball face and it continues to be a challenge we will face which is why we are competing in events like this.
What was the highlight of the tournament?
The amazing crowd from Wolfurt in the arena we played in was definitely a highlight and just generally the atmosphere of the entire event.
A piece of advice to anyone looking to compete at this level?
Just be relentless in your drive to get better. Believe in yourself and try to surround yourself with the right people to push you forwards more.
Most memorable thing from this tournament?
The crowd of 15-20 guys at the back of one end who were there for 2 days in a row, drunk and adopted us as their favourite team haha! Best group ever haha!
Any final thoughts on the event and/or whats next on the horizon for you as a team/player (upcoming tournaments, where you'll be training etc)
Training will continue this week back at home in Deep Dish Crystal Palace, London and then we will be travelling next week for our next Beach Pro Tour stop in Brno, Czech Republic
Pictures courtesy of Win2Day Austrian Beach Tour