By Max Hall
Battersea beach volleyballer Daisy Mumby said she and partner Jess Grimson had left everything on the court as they were knocked out of the Commonwealth Games by New Zealand in the quarter finals.
A chilly, windy night at Birmingham’s Smithfield Market saw Mumby and Grimson’s campaign come to an end 21-13, 21-15 despite a late rally by the hosts to try and ward off the inevitable.
“We always knew it was going to be a very difficult match-up, with a very physical pair on the other side of the net,” Mumby said of Kiwis Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley.
“Very strong serves so we knew we were going to have to push really hard on our side-out.
“I think we focused on the parts we had to focus on and their strengths just shone through, really. They were better than us at the things that are important but I think we still put up a good fight.
“One thing going into this match – just no regrets. Chase down every ball, enjoy it and try to play some beach volleyball that we’re proud of, which was the case.”
The 30-year-old former conventional volleyballer said the crowds who packed the court in the centre of Birmingham had been intimidating at first and demonstrated there is a passion for the beach version of the sport in the UK.
“I’m hoping [the games] will boost [beach volleyball] a little, just like the Olympics did,” said Mumby. “I think the fact that a lot of matches were sell-out events just proves that there’s an interest.
“I know for a fact that a lot of people have come to watch who have never seen beach volleyball before and wished that they’d bought more tickets so I’m sure it’s gonna grow the sport in this country.
“Just to play on a world stage like this in front of this many people has been intense but I think each match got more and more comfortable. First match, I was very, very nervous to go out in front of so many people but at the end of the day it’s the same sport, the same ball, the same court, the same partner so we were kind of able to zone in on that.”
And the 6’1” blocker said the tournament and the reception the players received had overcome her initial reservations about holding the games in England’s Second City.
“It’s been great. Birmingham’s great, much better than I thought it would be,” she said. “No offence!
“Everyone’s been super-friendly. When they announced [the games were] going to be in Birmingham, I was a little bit wondering why but now I get it.”
Pictured top: Daisy (left) with team-mate Jess Grimson during the clash with New Zealand (Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire/PA Images)