Silverbacks, Thunder make strong starts
Photo by Julie Maree Photography.

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.