First up was the Australian Schools Volleyball Cup in Melbourne during December of last year which had been highly anticipated by all team members.
This tournament was an opportunity to develop and gain experience as we began rebuilding after losing a few key Year 13 players from the previous season. Our team, comprised of Year 10’s and 12’s, fought hard in all games but were defeated by a number of top Australian competitors, finishing in 12th spot in the Honour’s Division. In December this year a team of Year 10’s and 11’s will be returning to Melbourne to compete in the U17 grade so best of luck to them.
Beach Volleyball Nationals took place at the start of February this year where two Burnside teams flew to Mt Maunganui to compete. The Senior Girls' team of Libby Collett and Talitha Bootsma placed 2nd in Division 2 after competing well all tournament. The Junior Girls' duo of Payton Anderson and Mia Porteous competed in the U17 grade and also played exceptionally well placing 13th in the top junior category. This was a fantastic result for both teams considering the pairs hadn’t had a lot of exposure to beach volleyball in previous years.
Back to the indoor competition we then had South Island Champs and Canterbury Champs which proved challenging for the developing Senior teams as the Canterbury and Mainland competition had improved in comparison to previous years. Both the Senior A and B Girls' played well in Division 1 but neither team was able to secure a podium finish at either tournament. However, both teams challenged the opposition well, competing in some very close games against St Margaret's and Riccarton in particular.
National Championships in Palmerston North was the final event on the calendar for the 2018 season. The development of both girls’ teams over the season had been positive and we were all very excited to compete. It was a successful tournament for the A team who participated in Division 3 playing an intense 5 set final against Trident High School where we lost the closely contested battle in the 5th set, 13-15. Because of this close finish, taking out 2nd place still felt like a win and there couldn’t have been a better game for our Year 13’s to end the season on. The Burnside B girls performed well in their respective division with the help of Coach Chloe Mikaera, a previous Burnside volleyball member.
A huge thank you goes out to Coach, Mr Ryburn, for the fantastic work he has put into Burnside’s Volleyball Programme and for being a great mentor to the Senior A girls in particular. Big thanks to Chloe Mikaera, for the effort she has put into coaching the Senior B team this season. Thanks to Mrs Barker and Miss Delaney for the work they did as managers for all the teams at Nationals and a final thank you to Mrs Smith and Mrs Taylor for the countless hours of volleyball organisation they have done behind the scenes for all teams.