Year 13 volleyballers Greta Stadje and Sophie Young competed at the NZ Secondary Schools Beach Volleyball Nationals at Mount Maunganui at the beginning of February where they cleaned up by winning the senior girls division.
The pair, who are friends on and off the court, hadn’t had much experience with beach volleyball before. “We decided to enter a couple of months ago. We had nothing to do and wanted to play beach maybe. We had no idea what it would be like,” Lativian-born Greta said.
Greta and Sophie are key members of the high-performing Nayland Senior A girls volleyball team, so they’re more familiar with that style of the game. With only two players per team, Greta says that beach volleyball really depends on each individual. “It’s like 50/50 you know, so you have to be prepared for everything, I guess, and support your partner way more than in indoor.”
Greta says their strategy is to stay very calm. “Don’t stress about anything, just focus on the game.”
The girls were supported at the competition by their coach Armin Vensberga. The highly decorated duo are now getting ready to move into their indoor season, including their team’s upcoming trip to Hawaii in June.