In the first major upset of the 45th Schools Nationals, Christchurch Girls High School knocked over 2012 Champions and pre-tournament favourites Tauranga Girls College A in the Honours 1st Division at Arena Manawatu today.
After a slow start by the mainlanders, losing the first set 17-25, they took out a very tight second set 28-26, gaining a huge confidence boost. Tauranga looked flat in the final two sets, and could not cope with the Christchurch team's enthusiasm as they took out the final two sets 25-18, 25-20.
The result could cause interesting quarter and semi-final matches later on, forcing strong Bay of Plenty girls' teams to face each other earlier than planned. Christchurch Girls' win throws their pool wide open, with three teams now on one win.
Photo: Gabby Edmondson, Christchurch Girls High School, spiking against Tauranga Girls College. Photo courtesy of Auckland Sports Photography
Sixteen unbeaten teams have moved through to the Boys' and Girls' 1st Division playoffs at the 45th National School Volleyball Championships.
The regional strength of the sport in the country is reflected by the high representation in this group of teams from the Bay of Plenty, with seven, Auckland (four) and Tasman (three), including all the pre-tournament favourites. A further 16 teams with one loss in section-play make up the 1st Division roster.
The remaining 111 teams will play off for silverware in the seven lower divisions. Full results here
Photo: Defending Boys Champions Western Heights High School in action on day 1. Photo courtesy of Auckland Spirts photography.
The 45th VNZ National Secondary Schools Championships is underway at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North. The event opened on Sunday evening with a moving opening ceremony that featured a tribute to those VNZ Life Members and Service Award holders that were present.
A special Distinguished Service Award (Post Humus) was made to Joseph Ang who was one of the leading figures in introducing the game to New Zealand forty five years ago. Mrs Ang accepted the award and Joseph's son Pius presented VNZ with memorabilia of his fathers time in the sport he loved.
Play got underway this morning with 143 teams battling it out in pool play to qualify for the Championship divisions from midday Tuesday. For the first time ever, the Division I games on the showcourt will be live-streaming throughout the Championships . Link here
The recent NZSSSC survey has confirmed Volleyball's position as the number one summer sport in Secondary Schools. For girls, Volleyball is the second most played sport overall. Across all sports, Volleyball is the fifth most played sport. Sadly, this data is currently not officially recognised by Sport New Zealand. Survey here
A record number of 125 teams competed at the NZ Secondary Schools Beach Volleyball Championships held at Mt Maunganui, 9-10 February. The Senior Girls title was won by Rangitoto College with Anna Afamasaga and Delphi MacDonald taking out the gold medal from Alice Bain and Alex Lawrence of Tauranga Girls College. Westlake Girls' Zoe Cronin and Bethany Hayman won the bronze.
The Senior Boys was an all Bay of Plenty affair with Brad Fullerton and Burton McAdam of Tauranga Boys College taking the gold from Cameron Ragg and Jack Boyle of Otumoetai College. Otumoetai's Liam Matheson and Daryl Lewis, also claimed the bronze medal.
For Tauranga Girls, Emma Bain and Kiana Tawa took the gold medal in an all Bay of Plenty podium in the Junior Girls, with Micaela Wooler and Lauren Anning of Bethlehem College taking the silver and Emily Farron and Kahla Tyson of Otumoetai College the bronze.
In the Junior Boys, Campion College of Gisborne took out the title with the gold medals going to Ethan Dunn and Eugene Destanis. Mt Maunganui College's Fletcher Swann and Perry Preston held out to take the silver from Rangitoto College's David Brown and Liam Anderson who claimed the bronze.
A vocal Bay of Plenty crowd of over 1000 watched the finals action on centre court at the Marathon Visual Media NZ Beach Volleyball Open. First up the women’s final featured New Zealander Micah Lindsay-Brown partnered with 3 time Olympian Tamsin Hinchley (AUS). After another valiant effort they were beaten by the German pairing of Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 21-11, 21-17.
In the men’s final it was a repeat of last weekend in Hamilton where the US team of Tri Bourne and Will Montgomery had defeated Brendon Heath and Sam O’Dea. So the Kiwis were out for revenge. The match looked to be going the US teams way after they comfortably won the first set and snuck their noses in front late in the second set, however the crowd got behind the Kiwis and after saving a match point they came back to win the 2nd set 24-22, thanks to some huge blocking by Sam O’Dea. With the momentum behind them the New Zealand pair opened a small lead and looked to be in control in the 3rd set. The US team dug deep and closed the gap to 1 point late in the set before some great defence from Brendon Heath and Sam got them home 15-13 to the delight of the local crowd.
Two NZ teams shared the women’s bronze, Julia Tilley and Shaunna Polley were eliminated in a 3 set match in the first semi, while Melissa Ruru and Alice Bain were beaten in straight sets by the clinical Germans. The men’s bronze was shared by Ben and Edwin O’Dea and the US pairing of Mark Burik and Jeremy Casebeer. Overall tour champions for the NZ International tour was won by Laboureur/Sude and Bourne/Montgomery.
Both the Men's and Womens's titles at the TSB HamiltON Beach Volleyball Open have gone to international teams with the German Womens' pair Chantelle Labourer and Julia Sude continuing their dominant form on the tour. They defeated the trans-Tasman pair of Australian Olympian Tamsin Hinchley and New Zealand's Micah Lindsay-Brown. Locals Julia Tilley and Shaunna Polley were third.
The Men's final saw Tri Bourne and Will Montgomery (USA) prevail over Brendon Heath and Sam O'Dea with the South Island pair of Greg Lindsay-Brown and Tame Malcolm taking third place. For more results and action photos click here
In stunning hot conditions at the Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre for the 2013 North Harbour Open, Ben and Sam O’Dea collected their third North Harbour Open title as a team with a comfortable 2-0 win over the USA team of Mark Burik and Jeremy Casebeer. Ben O’Dea dominated the game from the outset with his serving and transition play. Ben actually won his fourth NH Open title in four years after winning the title last year with Kirk Pitman. Jeremy Casebeer and Mark Burik challenged at times, but struggled to stop the side out game of the young kiwi team. Sam also collected several big blocks at the net to keep the team ahead in the latter stages of both sets. The Americans had earlier defeated their compatriots Will Montgomery and Tri Bourne in a thrilling two set match.
The women's final was a blitzkrieg for the German pairing of Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude. Their power and control proved too much for New Zealand's top ranked team of Julia Tilley and Shauna Polley who fought bravely. Julia Tilley and Shauna Polley played some spectacular defense and scrambled well, but the speed and aggression of the Germans was too much. The kiwis will learn a lot from the experience and will be more prepared for the onslaught they faced in the final.
Burik/Casebeer lost to O'Dea/O'Dea 0‐2 (17,21)(18,21)
Polley/Tilley (NZL) 2nd lost to Laboureur/Sude (GER) 0‐2 (17,21)(8,21)
The Tour continues with the HamiltON Open this weekend, 28th - 28th January, at Te Rapa and at the purpose built court at Hamilton Lake.
The 2013 Age Group Beach Champs are underway at Mt Maunganui, and the Under 23 Womens and Under 15 Boys titles have been awarded.
In the Under 15 Boys, the title has gone to Ashton Howard and Matt Howe-Smith with the silver medals to Jack Gallivan and Liam Fannin. Third place and the bronze medals have been awarded to Keegan Joe and Jonah Naborisi, with Keegen being only 11 years old which bodes well for his future and for Beach volleyball.
As predicted, the Under 23 womens title has been won by Bay of Plenty's Holly Boyle and Beniece Douch from the Gisborne pair of Jana Furlan and Charlotte Venter. Beatrice and Anne-Marie Petty of Taranaki took out the bronze medals.