Hot starts for Canterbury, Harbour
Photo by Julie Maree Photography

Hot starts for Canterbury, Harbour

Canterbury women’s IPC title defence got off to a great start on Saturday with two wins from two matches at the ASB Centre in Wellington.

The day started early for Angus Gourlay’s team with an 8am three-set victory over Waikato before an afternoon 3-0 victory over WECA completed their opening day of their attempt to win back-to-back titles.

Gourlay is happy with how day one panned out for he and his Cannons team.

“We are pleased to get a couple of wins to kick off the tournament and we’re hoping to fire some more shots tomorrow,” Gourlay said.

Meanwhile, in the Senior Men’s grade – Harbour Volleyball had a strong opening day, going a perfect three from three – including a victory over 2021 champions Canterbury.

Coached by Richard Casutt, Harbour started the day with a three-set victory over Manukau Auckland Volleyball Association before the afternoon 3-1 victory over Canterbury – coached by Volley Ferns and Volley Blacks coach Sebastian Gonzalez.

Harbour finished their work with a 3-0 over Hawke’s Bay in the last match on the Taraflex Court.

Casutt said the win over Canterbury was a good boost for his team with several standout performers showing their quality.

"I thought our young harbour players stepped up to enforce their style against Coach Seb's quick style," Casutt said.

"The rallies were fast and powerful as the match was highlighted by big blocking and spikes. Standouts were Greg Vukets, who controlled the flow of the game and kept his chargers in control. Big middle hitting from Billy Johnstone and consistent play from Manaia Harris forced Canterbury into several errors at critical times.

"There is still a long way to go in the tournament, but the match set the standard high for all teams."

Despite the loss to Harbour, Gonzalez said he and his side were happy to be back on court but there is room for improvement over the next two days.

“It was a great day, and we’re happy to be at national tournament after a while not being able to play,” Gonzalez said.

“We played some good volleyball, and we just need to find more consistency if we want to be in the final.”

In the U-21 grades, Harbour again showed out – the only team to win both Saturday matches in the women’s division while also notching two wins in the men’s grade along with Wellington.

The 2022 IPC tournament continues Sunday ahead of Monday’s semi-finals and finals.

For full fixtures and results, including all U-17 and U-19 results also, please click here.

The 2022 Volleyball NZ IPC event is proudly supported by Wellington City Council, Grassroots Trust, Pelorus Trust and Futurewood.

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