The 49th Club Championships has concluded with two epic 5 set finals.
Mauao Warriors (Mt Maunganui) have come from 0-2 to defeat defending champions the ProVolleyball Pines (Nelson) in just their 4th visit to the Club Championships.
The Mauao team was (lead by Paora Morunga, who has transitioned from a middle blocker to setter this season) were put under pressure by the vastly experienced ProVolleyball Pines, who took the first two sets 23-25. However Mauao were able to regroup and played with more variety on attack and more aggression in defense to turn things around. The final score was 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-8).
For the women it was a familiar sight in the final, with Harbour Raiders taking on Tauranga A, at least 1 of these teams have featured in the last 6 club finals. This time it was Harbour Raiders time to shine. Having lost their main hitting weapon Dani Quigley in the Semifinal to an ankle sprain, Raiders went in as the underdogs. But out of necessity the attacking prowess of the rest of the Raiders team came to the fore. Lead by Dani Tuagalu and Ariane Pola they twice came from a set behind to clinch their 2nd ever title.
Rounding out the top 3 places, Shirley women's defeated NZIS to claim another medal, while Harbour Raiders A Men's fought hard to claim the bronze against Playaz. These 2 teams have now 11 from 12 times in the top 4 without collecting a gold!