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CANTERBURY’S Burnside High School had to travel a rocky road before locking down their maiden division one girls’ volleyball title with a pulsating 3-2 win over Waimea College Gold (Tasman), in the 47th New Zealand secondary schools senior championships at Arena Manawatu last Friday.


A day after coming from two sets down to beat Otumoetai College 3-2 in the semifinals, Burnside showed all their fighting qualities to get home 19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 20-25, 15-12 over defending champions Waimea in an all-South Island affair at the NZ Community Trust sponsored event.


Led by outstanding spikers, tournament MVP Alice Zeimann and Petra Manderson, with class setter and captain Nicky Pio cleverly pulling the strings, Burnside’s quest for an elusive title ended in a jubilant pile of bodies and lots of emotion.


And the players have been waking on air since then as Canterbury’s biggest school celebrated their success.


Burnside coach Sam Ryburn was full of praise for both sides after an epic final.


“They had a game plan and really took it to us, it was a humdinger.’’


He said the experienced Burnside side had been a “phenomenal group of young ladies who had worked extremely hard all year’’ and were close on and off the court.


“That showed through in both the final and semi … they were never going to roll over and die.’’


Ryburn also praised the huge support from parents and school staff, with many watching a livestream showing of the match in the Burnside staffroom.

Top Waimea setter Hannah Davenhill and dangerous middle hitter Georgia Davies were constant threats, their blocking and hitting causing major damage, but gracious losers Waimea ultimately came up just short.

IN THE senior boys’ final, Western Heights HS (Rotorua) clinched their 10th national title with a stellar 3-0 (25-23 25-21 25-20) win over Adelaide’s Heathfield HS.

Heathfield had a great run into the final, but could not stop Western Heights from surging away.


“The boys have come a long way and all of the coaching staff are really proud of them,” said Western Heights assistant coach Dave Apete, as they sealed their first title since 2012.


Three Western Heights players, Billy Johnstone, Taiwere Morrison and setter Kahurangi Robinson (MVP), were selected in the NZSS tournament team.  







Waimea players make NZSS national tournament team

 By Ashlee Butler Photo by Julie Fitz-Gerald

Three Waimea players, Captain Katie Ditzel and Georgia Davies, Hannah Davehill were selected for the New Zealand Secondary School (NZSS) national tournament team.

Alister McKenzie and Colin Redpath, coaches of the national women's and men’s teams, were the main selectors of the 2015 girls and boys.

McKenzie said “the girls chosen have done outstanding work to help their teams perform and achieve the final results”.

Waimea College had to settle for silver at the New Zealand Secondary School (NZSS) Volleyball Nationals in Palmerston North.

The deciding game was against Burnside High School girls.

The two South Island teams had a nail biting game, Burnside narrowly winning against Waimea 3-2 (19-25 25-18 25-19 20-25 15-12).

Waimea Captain, Katie Ditzel is still proud of her team and said they played well.

The boy’s division one final was won by Western Heights High School 3-0 against Heathfield High School (AUS).

Trials will be held for the New Zealand age group teams at Arena Manawatu tomorrow.

 By Ashlee Butler Photo by Julie Fitz-Gerald ...

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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