2020 was a challenging year - having our Nationals tournament cancelled in March, it was our last chance (the Year 13 players) to leave our mark on Burnside Boys Volleyball and enjoy our last chance to play together against the North Island competition.
We started the year strong, getting big wins on Mondays (in the Canterbury Secondary Schools’ competition) and achieving 6th at South Islands, losing in pool play to 1st and 2nd place Shirley Boys and Waimea College in two close, competitive games taking a set off of both teams. Which then led us to a 6th place play-off which we lost to Nelson Boys 3-1. Four days out of the Canterbury Champs and a week and a half away from Nationals, we found out that all tournaments had been cancelled for all sports. This was very hard to comprehend for the team but for the six Year 13s, this was very agonising to have been together for five years and not be able to send off our Burnside volleyball careers with a strong showing at Nationals. Our whole season was based around a goal of getting to Division 1 at Nationals, which a Burnside Boys team hasn’t done before, which was unattainable due to COVID-19.
After some time and no knowledge of what was going to happen, the Canterbury Champs got put back on, which sparked back the interest in the team, and we all wanted to finish off our year and careers as Burnside volleyballers with one last tournament. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, we started to play the best volleyball we have ever played, dominating Monday games. The main one being a big game against Shirley Boys (the South Island Champions) where we just lost 3-2. This was our last game before going into the tournament and we were feeling good about our performance. When we got to the tournament though it was a different story, we were playing completely different to how we were playing, all the boys just didn’t turn up in the same way that we had previously, losing to Shirley Boys 3-0 and Cashmere 3-2 in pool play (which we previously bet on a Monday game 3-0). This meant our best position we could attain was 5th in Christchurch. Everyone in the team knew that we didn’t turn up when we needed to most, but regardless, we went into the last game making the most of what we had and to enjoy it as much as possible. The entire game we played all 6 of our Year 13s and it was the most enjoyable game we had all tournament, as we got to play the game we love one last time in the Burnside colours.