Hamilton's Julia Tilley and Shaunna Polley kept their season's unbeaten record and top seeding alive when they took out the National Beach Volleyball title at the Te Rapa Beach Volleyball Centre on Sunday. Restricted to NZ residents, the title is in its 2nd year, and is a precursor to the semi-professional International Tour events being played over the next three weekends, including the TSB Bank Hamilton Open on Anniversary Weekend. With strong winds coming out of nowhere a few minutes before the women's final started, Tilley and Polley were forced to change their hard-hitting game plan to cope with the conditions, as well as their more experienced opponents, Hannah Croad, also of Hamilton, and Micah Lindsay-Brown of Blenheim. Croad and Lindsay-Brown had the better of most of the first set until the first seeds started reading the wind late in the set to just get their noses in front. In the second set, Tilley and Polley mixed their hard-hitting well with more subtle dinks and clever bumps from Tilley forcing mistakes from their opponents.
In the Men's final, the top Bay of Plenty combination of Sam O'Dea and Sonny Hirini had a massive struggle to come from behind to down the improving pair of Paora Morunga and Griffin Muller. O'Dea and Hirini had a slow start to the match, dropping the 1st set 14-21, with some terrific back-court play by Griffin Muller preventing the higher ranked pair from making expected kills. In the second set, a much improved defence from O'Dea and more subtle hitting from young Sonny Hirini just got the pair home in a tight, extended set 24-22, setting up a tie-break 3rd set. This went point for point, with only a sideways deflection off a Morunga block when they were down a match point giving the match to their opponents.
MEN, Saturday 12 Jan, Te Rapa Quarter-Finals: B.O'Dea/Lindsay-Brown b Kapa/Seymour 19-21, 21-16, 15-5; S.O'Dea/Hirini b Munday/Frankham 21-19, 21-15; Hartles/Hawkins b Takai/Heijs 21-18, 21-16; Morunga/Muller b Lewis/Gilling 21-14, 21-18 Semi-Finals: S.O'Dea/Hirini b B.O'Dea/Lindsay-Brown 19-21, 21-16, 15-13; Morunga/Muller b Hartles/Hawkins 21-15, 18-21, 15-13 Bronze: Hartles/Hawkins by walkover FINAL: S.O'Dea/Hirini (Tauranga) b Morunga/Muller (Whakatane) 14-21, 24-22, 15-13
WOMEN, Sunday 13 Jan, Te Rapa Quarter-Finals: Croad/Lindsay-Brown b Dunne/Tung 21-15, 21-17; Douch/Boyle b Cronin/Hayman 21-18, 21-18; Tilley/Polley b Cunningham/Greenwood 21-8, 21-9; Ruru/Bain b Vukets/Harris 21-9, 21-12 Semi-Finals: Tilley/Polley b Douch/Boyle 21-13, 21-17; Croad/Lindsay-Brown b Ruru/Bain 21-17, 21-14 Bronze: Ruru/Bain b Douch/Boyle 15-21, 21-12, 15-9 FINAL: Tilley/Polley (Hamilton) b Croad (Hamilton)/Lindsay-Brown (Blenheim) 21-19, 21-14
The FIVB has released the 2013-2016 Rules for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. Volleyball New Zealand will implement the new rules for Beach Volleyball as of 1 January 2013 and for Volleyball as of 1 April 2013.
Waikato Regional Volleyball Association hosted a very successful 4th North Island Junior Secondary Schools Beach Championships at Te Rapa. The winners of the Year 9 Girls title were MacDonald/Toi from Rangitoto College, with the silver medals going to Coughlan/Wright of Tauranga Girls College and the Bronze to Polley/French-Putu of Fraser High School. In the Boys Year 9 competition, Vukets/Howard of Westlake Boys High School took home the Gold medal with Broughton/Michaeal of Western Heights High School taking the silver and Adams/Carter of Rangitoto College the bronze. In the Year 10 Girls, pictured above, Bain/Tawa of Tauranga Girls took the title and gold medals, whilst the silver went to Gunn/Park (Rangitoto College) and the bronze to Francis/Gale (Westlake Girls High School). Mt Maunganui College claimed the Boys Year 10 title with Preston/Swan prevailing over Cooper/Dunn (Campion College) who took out the silver medals and Chapman/Pohatu (Tikipunga High School) claimed the bronze. Final placings here.
The New Zealand teams at the Oceania Beach Championships in Tahiti have completed the event with podium finishes for the Men in both Under 17 and Seniors. In the Under 17 Men's competition, New Zealand dominated the podium taking the Gold and Bronze medals. NZL 2 Nate Moore/Tom Mabbott prevailed over Tahiti to claim the Gold (21-18, 21-17) whilst NZL 1, Shane Witehira/Kane Turketo took the bronze medal from Australia (21-19, 19-21, 15-9). In the Women, the NZL 1 pairing of Annalise Vukets/Bethany Hayman were unable to compete in the semi-final due to injury so had to settle for 4th with NZL 2 (Tyla McMullen/Delphi MacDonald) in 5th place. Full results here
In the Men's Senior competition, the NZL 2 team of Daryl Lewis/James Gillings accounted for their higher ranked compatriots Thomas Hartles/Jesse Hawkins in the semi's to set up the New Zealand vs Australia final. The much more experienced Australian combination only just prevailed in a tight 2-0 win (21-18, 22-20) to claim the Gold medal. Lewis/Gillings claimed the silver and Hartles/Hawkins won the bronze medal over Tahiti 1 (18-21, 21-16, 16-14). In the Women's competition, New Zealand fielded Age Grade teams and they can be well pleased with 5th and 7th placings respectively. The playing combinations were Julia Hartley/Bex Story and Zoe Cronin/Abbie Meredith. Full results here
The traditional powerhouse regions of Bay of Plenty and Tasman have continued their dominance at the respective North Island and South Island Junior Secondary Schools Championships. In the North Island event in Wellington, although three of the four semi-finalists were from North Harbour, Western Heights High School defeated Westlake Boys High School 2:0 (25-20, 25-16) to take out the Gold medal. Rangitoto College defeated local rivals Orewa College for the Bronze medals.
In the Girls Division I, three of the four semi-finalists were from the Bay of Plenty and Otumoetai College defeated Tauranga Girls College 2:0 (25-19, 25-22) in the Gold medal showdown. Bethlehem College completed a clean sweep of the medals, beating Orewa College in the playoff for Bronze.
In Division II, Tauranga Boys defeated local hopefuls Upper Hutt College 2:0 (25-21, 25-15), whilst Westlake Girls High School took the Gold from Otumoetai College 9A 2:0 (25-9, 25-16).
Wellington teams dominated Division III with the boys title going to St Bernards College from St Patricks (Wellington) 2:1 (25-17, 18-25, 15-10). Kew High School from Australia took the Gold medals but the title went to Newlands College as the top placed New Zealand team in the Division after Kew took the match 2:0 (25-19, 25-14).
In the South Island event in Blenheim, Tasman teams continued their dominance in Division I, with the large local, vocal crowd getting in behind Marlborough Boys College as they defeated the defending champions Waimea College in a thrilling three set match 2:1 (13-25, 25-21, 29-27). Home town favourites Marlborough Girls College were unable to emulate their male counterparts as Waimea College girls successfully defended their 2011 title with a 2:1 win (25-17, 23-25, 25-14).
The Division II Girls title went to Lincoln High School with a 2:1 win over Kavanagh College (25-23, 25-27, 25-19), whilst Nelson College B took the Boys title from Middleton Grange School B 2:1 (21-25, 25-15, 25-14).
Tasman teams continue to dominate at the South Island junior Volleyball Championships in Blenheim. The girls' Division I semi-finalists this morning will feature defending champions Waimea College 10 up against Burnside High School of Christchurch. The second semi-final is between two Tasman teams, host's Marlborough Girls College A and Nelson College for Girls 10. The North Island event heads into quarter finals in Wellington this morning, with a highlight for the locals being two girls' teams, Sacred Heart College and Naenae College ranking in the top 16 in Division I girls. Bay of Plenty schools continue to dominate in qualifying for the Top 16 in both boys and girls. Picture features Sacred Heart girls in action - check website here
The respective North Island and South Island Junior Secondary Schools Championships have opened today. The North Island event is at the new ASB Sports Centre in Wellington, whilst the South Island event is based at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 in Blenheim.
The North Island event culminates with finals on Friday 30th November, whilst the South Island event wraps up on Thursday evening.
Three new Life Memberships were awarded at the VNZ AGM on Saturday 3rd November. Ross Baldwin (Tasman/Canterbury) was acknowledged for his long service in playing, coaching, selecting, team management, refereeing and as a VNZ Board Member. Allan Brodie (Tasman) who retired from the Presidency during 2012 was acknowledged for his long service as a Board Member, Chair and President. Allan continues to represent NZL as Vice President of Oceania Zonal Volleyball Association and as a member of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Board of Administration and Events Commission. Mary Edmondson (Canterbury) was acknowledged as a NZL Senior Women's player and coach, particularly in the Secondary School arena and service to Canterbury which is ongoing. A new award of Distinguished Service was awarded to five recipients. Roger Bleyendaal (Canterbury) was acknowledged for service as a former NZL Senior Men's player, NZL Senior Women's coach and long service as a Secondary School coach. Also from Canterbury, Paul Hoffman was acknowledged for his continued service to club and secondary school volleyball. Peter Pearce (North Harbour) was acknowledged for service to Secondary School, beach volleyball, refereeing and administration in the North Harbour area. Wayne Stringer (Waikato) was acknowledged for service to Waikato as he established the Waikato Regional Volleyball association. He continues to work in Secondary School Volleyball and with the NZL Under 17 Girls programme. A Special Distinguished Service Award has been granted (post humus) to Joseph Ang for his work in establishing Volleyball in New Zealand through the introduction of volleyball in the curriculum for teacher training throughout New Zealand and he was also New Zealand's first International Referee. He also coached the first ever NZL Women's team in the 1970's as well as serving on management committees of VNZ. Four Service Awards were presented to Grant Bindon for NZL representation in the Senior Men's team, playing over 50 tests, local administration in North Harbour having set up North Harbour Volleyball Association and the Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre. Also from North Harbour, Adele Drabble was acknowledged for her work with Secondary School volleyball. Derrick Moot (Canterbury), who has recently retired from the Presidency of CVA, was acknowledged for his work in this area, refereeing and also as a member of VNZ Advisories in Club volleyball. Roy Titheridge (Tasman) was acknowledged for long service to coaching at Secondary school level in particular and administrative service to Marlborough and Tasman Volleyball Associations.