Sydney University Sport and Fitness Elite Athlete Program member Izac Carracher is pushing his beach volleyball career into the realms of his academic career.
The Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws student has a Distinction average on the academic front, and he’s aiming for the World Championships and the 2004 Paris Olympic Games on the sporting front.
Carracher, a 1.99m blocker, and his teammate Mark Nicolaidis were solid performers on the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour from 2019 before breaking into the world circuit in April last year with a win at the Gold Coast Beach Pro Tour Futures event. It was their first international event as a pair, and they came away with a 21-11, 21-16 win over Canadians Jake MacNeil and Alex Russell in the finals.
The win opened the way for the world circuit with more Beach Pro Tour events across Europe, South Africa and Qatar, resulting in a 9th-place finish at the 2022 World Championships in Rome. Carracher’s passport now includes trips to France, Italy, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Qatar, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, the US and the United Arab Emirates.
He and Nicolaidis are now in Mexico preparing for their first Beach Pro Tour Challenge event of the year, which also doubles as the start line for Olympic qualification for the Paris 2024 Games.
“Last year was our first year on the Pro Tour and was for sure a breakout year for us,” 23-year-old Carracher, a former Sydney Grammar School student, said. “We went from having no points and playing the Coolangatta Futures at the start of the year to playing World Champs and Elites.
“Last year, we learnt a lot about the Pro Tour and, more importantly, about our game. We are always looking to improve our game technically, tactically and physically, but our team dynamic is our best strength. Bringing that energy and enjoyment to every event is when we are successful, and that’s the goal for every game this year!”
After the La Paz Beach Pro Tour Challenge in Mexico, the pair will contest the Tepic, Mexico Elite 16 event in late March and two Challenge events in Brazil in early April before the Uberlandia Elite 16 at the end of the month. They’ll then take on the European circuit with the aim of qualifying for the 2023 World Championships in Tlaxcala, Mexico, in October.
“Our ultimate goal is to qualify for both the World Championship and Olympic Games,” Nicolaidis said. “For us, this means a focus on consistency and getting a number of great results at the best tournaments.”
And for Carracher, that means competing with distinction.