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Western Heights take the title

 By Abbie White Photo by Julie Fitz-Gerald

Western Heights High School Boys’ have taken out the division one competition beating the Australian side at the New Zealand Secondary School (NZSS) Volleyball Nationals in Palmerston North.

After the match against Heathfield High school, Western Heights took the win in three straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-20).

Heathfield who last year were Australia’s national champions played an amazing match, but they just couldn’t match the national champions.

Western Heights High School assistant coach, Dave Apete, is definitely proud of his team.

“The boys have come a long way, and all of the coaching staff are really proud of them,” he said.

The American scout from Rutgers University New Jersey, Jeff Werneke has noticed the teams displaying great sportsmanship.

Before the game the teams traded home town souvenirs showing respect of one another.

Werneke said, “It is nice and refreshing seeing the teams share moments together”.

Three Western Heights players Billy Johnestone, Taiwere Morrison and Kahurangi Robinson (MVP) were selected o be in the NZSS national tournament team.

Colin Redpath and Alister McKenzie head coaches of the New Zealand national men’s and women’s teams were the main selectors for the 2015 tournament teams.

Redpath said, “There are a lot of deserving players and strengths in the teams”.

Trails for New Zealand age group teams are held at Arena Manawatu tomorrow.

The girl’s division one final was won by Burnside High School 3-2 against Waimea College. 

 By Abbie White Photo by Julie Fitz-Gerald ...
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Trans-Tasman battle; Southern derby

BY GARY BIRKETT, ASHLEE BUTLER, ABBIE WHITE 

PHOTO BY JULIE FITZ-GERALD

Australian champions Heathfield High School will try to spike Western Heights High School’s bid for gold in the New Zealand Secondary Schools division one senior  boys’ volleyball championships at Arena Manawatu on  Friday, but they can’t take title 10 away from the Rotorua school.

 

The Adelaide school isn’t  officially eligible to win the Kiwi title but can spoil the party by winning the final and taking home the winners’ medals as Western Heights eyes 10 titles, one behind arch-rivals Tauranga Boys College, who lost 3-1 to Heathfield in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

 

Heathfield then beat Mount Maunganui College 3-1 in the semifinals, while Western Heights rivals fended off  Westlake BHS 3-2  in a thriller to set up a trans-Tasman final.

 

Western Heights had to fight like tigers before winning 27-25, 19-25,  19-25, 25-16, 17-15.

 

In girls’ division one, Canterbury’s Burnside HS will chase a maiden national title against defending champions Waimea College Gold (Tasman) in an all-South Island affair.

 

Burnside HS made a brilliant comeback against Otumoetai College in the semifinals winning 3-2 after losing the first two sets (18-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-12, 15-3), while Waimea overpowered surprise team Rangitoto College 3-0.

 

Burnside’s Alice Zeimann  was proud of her team’s fighting spirit against Otumoetai, who were chasing 14 national titles.

 

“We deserve this,’’ Zeimann said.

 

Burnside could be the first Canterbury school to win since Hornby High in 2000, but Tasman’s Waimea will be no pushover.

 

 

 “I am looking forward to the finals; it is going to be a good fight. We believe we can do it,’’ said Waimea captain Katie Ditzel.

 VNZ MEDIA MANGER: GARY BIRKETT volleyballnzmedia@gmail.com

 

BY GARY BIRKETT, ASHLEE BUTLER, ABBIE WHITE 

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Junior Champs Underway

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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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