MVP honours for Glue, Manderson

Pines Men’s Benjamin Glue and SVC Silverbacks' Petra Manderson have capped an outstanding week at the 53rd Volleyball NZ Club Championships, being named the respective Most Valuable Players for the men’s and women’s competitions.

The MVP honour for Glue adds to a strong legacy for one New Zealand’s most decorated players in what could be his final Club Championships, his side finding a way back from 2-0 and 2-1 deficits in the semi-final and final to win the title in dramatic fashion on Saturday at Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga.

Glue’s teammates Connor Gianotti (Mid) and Roy Ching (Outside Hitter) were also honoured in the tournament team while runners up SVC Silverbacks accounted for the other slots on the team with brothers Troy and Luke Hulston joined by Mana Placid and Ben Arnold.

In the women’s competition Manderson took out the MVP award as her side swept to the title dropping just one set throughout the tournament.

Manderson’s teammates Nicky Pio, Stacey Niao and Gabby Edmondson were also named to the tournament team while runners up East Coast Bays Thunder were represented by Hannah Davenhill and Hayley Flatz while semi-finalists Manukau South, the only team to win a set from SVC Silverbacks, had Ma’ama Vaipulu named also.

VNZ is also pleased confirm the 2023 Club Championships event will take place in Tauranga October 4-7.

Volleyball NZ Club Championships 2022 – Tournament Teams/Division 1 MVPs

Division 1 Men’s Tournament Team: Troy Hulston (SVC Silverbacks), Benjamin Glue (Pines Men), Roy Ching (Pines Men), Mana Placid (SVC Silverbacks), Connor Giannotti (Pines Men), Ben Arnold (SVC Silverbacks), Luke Hulston (SVC Silverbacks)

Division 1 Men’s MVP: Benjamin Glue (Pines Men)

Division 1 Women’s Tournament Team: Nicky Pio (SVC Silverbacks), Petra Manderson (SVC Silverbacks), Stacey Niao (SVC Silverbacks), Gabby Edmonson (SVC Silverbacks), Hannah Davenhill (ECB Thunder), Hayley Flatz (ECB Thunder), Ma’ama Vaipulu (Manukau South)

Division 1 Women’s MVP: Petra Manderson (SVC Silverbacks)

Division 2 Men’s Tournament Team: Matthew Mun (Capital Wolves B), Joshua Ovsenek (Saxton Storm Men), Joseph Winstanley (Sparta Men), Tyran Gillespie (Roto Vegas), Ash Aiono (Porirua Men), Daryl Farnham (Waitakere Rebels C), Jack McManaway (Hamilton Huskies), Tristan Hegglun (Harbour Raiders B), Randy Jiang - North Harbour Dragons

Division 2 Women’s Tournament Team: Maui Paraki (Waitakere Rebels A), Maude Rewha (University of Waikato), Elizabeth Mafi (Panthers), Brooke Smith (SVC Blackbacks Women), Tineke Hinton Smash VC Women A), Shana Ali (Eastern VC), Caitlin Studer (Harbour Raiders A), Isabelle Gosar (Western BOP Phoenix Blue), Seraphine Williams (Otepoti Vikings)

For full results and information from the 53rd VNZ Club Championships, click here.

Pines, Silverbacks crowned club champions

Wellington-based Pines and Christchurch’s Shirley Silverbacks have been crowned champions of the 53rd Volleyball New Zealand Club Championships on Saturday taking out the men’s and women’s finals at the Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga.

Pines Men came back from 2-1 down against the defending champion Shirley Silverbacks, winning an incredibly tight fourth set 25-23 before finishing the job 15-10 in the fifth and deciding set - cheered on by a raucous travelling crowd.

Coach Colin Redpath, in his final game with the club, reflected on a fairy tale finish in a game that swung towards both sides over the two hours.

“We’re elated,” Redpath said, “it’s been an amazing journey this year there has been a lot that has gone on behind the scenes but to put it together and win it for many of those guys who haven’t won a title before it’s absolutely fantastic.

“The momentum changes were crazy, there were times where they were in total control, and we didn’t change stuff up in the third set. We rotated around and big Roy Ching started firing which was big and we got a few blocks.”

Redpath hailed New Zealand volleyball ledged Benjamin Glue, the opposite proving key once again, making a number of huge plays in the pivotal fourth and fifth sets.

“Of course, there’s Benjamin Glue, it’s probably his last nationals – although we might convince him to come back and he’s a fantastic person and he just adds so much,” Redpath said.

The Shirley Silverbacks were almost perfect in winning the Volleyball New Zealand Division 1 Women's Club Championships at Tauranga on Saturday. Photo by Julie Maree Photography

Earlier on Saturday, the Shirley Silverbacks women’s team, coached by Sam Ryburn, did get their championship, the Christchurch team accounting for East Coast Thunder with a 3-0 win in the final.

The side completed an almost perfect tournament from start to finish – not dropping a set in the five-game pool round before beating Manukau South 3-1 and then finishing the job clinically with the 3-0 final win.

In Division 2, Harbour Raiders A took out the women’s title with a 3-2 victory over WBOP Phoenix Blue while Hamilton Huskies A saw off Harbour Raiders B 3-0 in their final.

If you missed the action, catch On-demand coverage via

Volleyball NZ is also excited to confirm that Baypark Arena will once again be the venue for the 2023 Club Championships event in October with full date and competition details to follow in due course.

Volleyball NZ Club Championships 2022 – Saturday 15 October
Trustpower Baypark Arena, Tauranga
Saturday 15 October

Women’s Division 1

  • Final: Shirley Silverbacks 3-0 East Coast Thunder
  • Bronze Medal match: Tauranga Women A 3-1 Manukau South A

Men’s Division 1

  • Final: Pines Men 3-2 Shirley Silverbacks
  • Bronze Medal match: Harbour Raiders A 3-1 Pioneer Panthers A

Women’s Division 2

  • Final: Harbour Raiders A 3-2 WBOP Phoenix Blue
  • Bronze Medal match: University of Waikato Kahu 0-3 Otepoti Vikings VC Women

Men’s Division 2

  • Final – Harbour Raiders B 0-3 Hamilton Huskies A
  • Bronze Medal match: North Harbour Dragons A 3-1 Rotovegas Men

For all results and draw information from the 53rd VNZ Club Championships, click here.

Thunder and Silverbacks stay perfect

East Coast Bays Thunder continued their strong start to the Volleyball New Zealand Club Championships on Thursday, taking two more wins to sit top of Pool A at Trustpower Baypark Arena.

The George Koria-coached team are yet to drop a set from their four games, with Wednesday’s second victory coming over the previously unbeaten Auckland Central Women’s side.

Manukau South occupy the second semi-final spot on differential from Auckland Central after successive wins on Thursday over Hamilton Huskies and NZ Centurions.

In Pool B, Shirley Silverbacks – coached by Sam Ryburn - are also a perfect four-from-four with Thursday’s wins over Pioneer Panthers (3-0) and Tauranga Women (3-0) preserving their strong start to the nationals with just one pool match remaining on Friday.

In the men’s competition, Shirley Silverbacks men’s side mirrored the work of their women’s team, the Sebastian Gonzalez-coached defending champions again taking two wins to stay perfect for the tournament so far in Pool A.

Wednesday’s wins came over WBOP Phoenix Blues and Pioneer Panthers A – who were unbeaten themselves heading into the final game of the day.

Pioneer Panthers sit second in the hunt for the semi-finals.

In men’s Pool B action, Pines Men scored a big win late on Thursday, a 3-1 victory for Colin Redpath’s team over previously perfect Harbour Raiders vaulting them into top spot in the race for the last four with just Friday’s pool game remaining.

Playaz Men sit second following wins over Shirley Greybacks and Auckland USO Men on Thursday with a lot riding on Friday morning’s clash of Harbour Raiders and Playaz.

For full Day 2 results and draw information from the 53rd VNZ Club Championships, click here.

Silverbacks seek title double

Christchurch’s Shirley Silverbacks have a chance to sweep the men’s and women’s titles at the 53rd Volleyball New Zealand Club Championship on Saturday after winning through to both finals at the Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga.

The defending champion Shirley men’s side – coached by Volley Blacks coach Sebastian Gonzalez - swept into their final courtesy of a pulsating 3-2 semi-final win over Harbour Raiders.

Gonzalez said the semi-final was a fantastic showcase for the sport.

“[The semi-final] was an amazing game against amazing opposition,” Gonzalez said.

“The match was a very high level of volleyball technically and tactically with a lot of powerful athletes. I’m very proud of our boys’ performance and passion and we hope to carry that through to the final.”

Gonzalez’s team completed a perfect run through Pool A, finishing up their opening phase work on Friday morning with a 3-0 win over South Auckland Orcas.

The Silverbacks men’s team will face Wellington-based Pines Men in Saturday’s final, Colin Redpath’s team overturning a 2-0 deficit, roaring back to win 3-2 over Pioneer Panthers. Pines Men finished unbeaten at the top of Pool B.

Meanwhile, the Shirley women’s team, coached by Sam Ryburn, accounted for Manukau South in the last four with a 3-1 victory.

Ryburn said his team were under pressure early against the Auckland side but steadied behind some good blocking.

"Manukau South came out firing in the first set with Mama [Vaipulu] swinging hard on the outside," Ryburn said.

"We had a pretty slow start and struggled to stop their hitters. In the second set we upped our blocking game which allowed the rest of the game to flow for us. Everyone contributed well which allowed for a balanced performance.

"Taylah [Holdem] had an outstanding game and was powerful with hitting from the front and backcourt."

Earlier in the day, the women’s Silverbacks completed a perfect pool play section of the competition - winning all 15 sets – via a Friday morning 3-0 victory over Auckland USO.

The Silverbacks will meet East Coast Bays Thunder in the women’s showcase game, the Auckland side taking their place in the final with a 3-0 win over local club Tauranga Women.

The George Koria-coached team finished their Pool A work with a 3-1 win over Scorpions to complete a record of 15-2 set record for the first phase.

Live stream – catch livestreaming coverage of both finals on Saturday via

Volleyball NZ Club Championships 2022 – Friday 14 October

Women’s Semi-Finals

  • Shirley Silverbacks 3-1 Manukau South
  • East Coast Bays Thunder 3-0 Tauranga Women

Men’s Semi-Finals

  • Shirley Silverbacks 3-2 Harbour Raiders
  • Pines Men 3-2 Pioneer Panthers

Saturday 15 October
Women’s Final (2pm) – Shirley Silverbacks v East Coast Thunder
Men’s Final (4pm) – Shirley Silverbacks v Pines

For full Day 3 results and draw information from the 53rd VNZ Club Championships, click here.


Silverbacks, Thunder make strong starts

Shirley Silverbacks opened the defense of their 2019 Volleyball New Zealand Club Championships title with two wins from two matches on Day 1 at Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga.

Coached by Volley Blacks coach Sebastian Gonzalez, the Christchurch-based tournament top seeds opened their event with a 3-0 Pool A win over the 12th-seeded Waitakere Rebels before disposing of Capital Wolves by the same scoreline in their afternoon game.

Gonzalez was happy with this side's first up effort as they got quickly into the swing of things.

"First up today we faced a tidy Rebels side and quickly found our footing and rhythm in the exciting atmosphere of the stadium," Gonzalez said.

Against Capital Wolves we maintained discipline and had an efficient 3-0 victory. It's always tough going through the first day of a big tournament, especially this one that we have been waiting for three years for. I'm very proud of the boys' performance today."

Elsewhere in Pool A, Wellington-based Pines Men’s Volleyball Club – seeded third – were too good for the 10th seeded Shirley Greybacks in the morning before adding a 3-0 win over Auckland USO in the afternoon session.

In Pool B, tournament second seeds, Harbour Raiders, were 3-0 winners over 11th seeded Auckland USO before another 3-0 win over Tauranga Tigers.

East Coast Bays Thunder in action on day one of the VNZ Club Championships 2022. Photo by Julie Maree Photography

On the Women’s side of the competition, top seeds East Coast Bays Thunder started strongly also with a pair of 3-0 wins over Hamilton Huskies and Manukau South in Pool A while in Pool B the second seeded Shirley Silverbacks were 3-0 winners over 12th-seeded Heat Volleyball Club.

East Coast Bays Thunder Coach George Koria said he was pretty happy with his side's opening day effort.

"After a slow but successful start against a young Hamilton Huskies side, the team stepped up another level against Manukau South with an impressive and energised performance. We look forward to continuing the momentum for Day 2," Koria said.

Playing at home, the third seeded Tauranga Volleyball Club women’s side were edged 3-1 by 10th-seeds Pioneer of Christchurch before rebounding later in the day for a 3-2 win over the 12th-seeded Heat Volleyball Club.

For full Day 1 results and draw information from the 53rd VNZ Club Championships, click here.