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 www.volleyballnz.org.nz
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.