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Watson/O'Dea prepare for World Champs Debut

 Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea will begin their 2015 World Championships campaign over the weekend. The tournament, which is being held in the Netherlands, will be split over 4 different cities. This is new concept for beach volleyball and will see Mike and Sam play their pool matches in Amsterdam.

The first matches of the tournament are on Friday night local time, with NZL scheduled to take the court against USA at 7am Sunday (New Zealand time). The USA team they were scheduled to play were the daunting Dalhausser/Rosenthal combination, but due to an injury to that team the replacement team is the far less experience Doherty/Mayer.

Mike and Sam’s other 2 pool matches are against teams they know very well from the Asian Tour, on Sunday night at Midnight they will face McHugh/Kapa from Australia, then Monday night at 10pm they will battle Sidorenko/Dyachenko from Kazakhstan.

Mike Watson says “Sam and I have been working really hard in preparation for the World Champs. We both feel we are ready to take on the biggest tournament of our careers’ and make New Zealand proud!”

The 48 teams per gender at the World Champs have been split equally into 12 pools of four teams, with the top two teams from each pool automatically advancing to the first knockout round, along with the eight best third-ranked teams (based on match points, sets ratio and points ratio). This sets up a single elimination 32 team draw, where the team could be relocated to another of the 4 host cities.

New Zealand will also continue our fine representation at the top level in coaching. Jason Lochhead, since retiring from full time international competition, has been coaching a number of top teams, and he will be looking after the Vanuatu Women’s team of Pata / Manauatu, and the Canadian Men’s team of Schalk / Saxton. This will be a tough job considering they are playing in different towns for pool play.

Lochhead and partner Kirk Pitman have had an excellent World Champs record themselves, regularly out performing their seeding at their 4 visits to the pinnacle bi-annual event. In 2005 they finished 25th, in 2007 & 2011 they finished 17th and in 2009 they had a career highlight finishing 9th.

Follow the teams’ results at or

 Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea will begin their 2015 World Championships...
New Zealand Senior Men's start Australian Tour today

 UPDATE: The New Zealand Senior Men’s team have arrived in Canberra, Australia, where they will play the Australia University team, the Australian Institute of Sport team and the Papua New Guinea National team. The matches will be played Monday to Friday of the coming week, with a final on Friday. The team then then travels to Sydney where they will play the Australian University team as part of the build up to Australia battling Brazil in the World League Intercontinental round.

The New Zealand team will be led by Captain and setter Patrick Shone who said: “it is an exciting time and series for the New Zealand team, as it is a start of a new journey with the recent appointment of Coach Colin Redpath. The program he is putting together is well step up; we are all behind him and can't wait to get amongst what he has installed. Colin is great at building a team and myself personally am looking forward to being a part of that culture with this series in Australia”

The New Zealand team features a lot of players in their early 20’s so should be evenly matched with the Australia University team who are preparing to attend the World University Games in Korea. PNG should be a extremely tough opponent as they are in there final preparations for the Pacific Games (they are currently the defending champions of the Pacific Mini Games held in 2013).

The New Zealand Senior Men’s team have are coming off the back of a win at the Eastern Oceania Zone Championships held in April, since then the players have been back with their club teams preparing for the VNZ Club Championships in August.

The 13 man strong New Zealand Squad includes: Patrick Shone (Captain), Ben Glue (Vice Captain) (Nelson Pines),Griffin Müller, Max Schroder, Daryl Lewis, Sonny Hirini (Mauao), Charlie Stewart, Jack Redpath, Simon Petersen, Liam Munday, Tom Hartles (North Harbour), John Gibbs, Jake Darling (Shirley). Coach: Colin Redpath, Assistant Coach: Mark Doyle.

 UPDATE: The New Zealand Senior Men’s team have arrived in Canberra,...

Junior Champs Underway


A large turnout of Year 9 & 10 school volleyball teams will be vieing for the 'Island Champion' titles at the Volleyball New Zealand North and South Island Junior Secondary School Championships, being held simultaneously in Tauranga and Christchurch.

The North Island Championships take place at the ASB Baypark Arena in Mount Maunganui from Monday 25th to Friday 29th November, with a field of 49 Girls' teams and 42 Boys' teams participating. Favourites for the top division Girls' title are a raft of local Tauranga teams from Otumoetai, Bethlehem, Mount Maunganui and Tauranga Girls Colleges. Their main challenge is expected to come from Whakatane's Trident High, North Harbour's Rangitoto and Orewa Colleges, and Rotorua's Western Heights High. The dominance of Bay of Plenty sides in the top seedings is expected to draw large crowds throughout the week.

The top Boys' section features a wider spread of teams, with Western Heights leading the way from Orewa and North Harbour's Westlake Boys High, with South Auckland side Manurewa High, and Otumoetai, Bethlehem and Rangitoto all expected to mount a credible challenge. Also featuring at the event will be Girls' and Boys teams from Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay/Poverty Bay, Manawatu and Wellington.

Down south, the Island event will be played in Christchurch at Pioneer Stadium, and Middleton Grange school, with 39 Girls' and 22 Boy's teams in action from 25th to 28th November.

Girls favouritism is shared equally between Tasman region schools Nayland and Waimea Colleges, and Nelson and Marlborough Girls Colleges, and Christchurch teams from Riccarton, Burnside and Aranui High Schools, and Middleton Grange school.

The southern Boys' title is expected to be fought between schools from the same regions – Nelson, Nayland and Waimea Colleges, with Riccarton and Shirley High being joined from further south by Timaru and Otago Boys High teams in the top seeded positions.

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