The junior girls volleyball teams have just completed their season. We had a Year 9 and a Year 10 team travel to Blenheim to play in the Roy Titheridge tournament. Considering this was the Year 9 team's inaugural tournament they did exceptionally well and improved dramatically from losing easily to taking sets and winning games. The 10A team played really well also, winning 3 and losing 3 games but always taking a set, so proving they are very competitive.
We had another 2 teams entered in the Canterbury Champs this year. The Year 9 team in Division 2 had a slow start losing a couple of games on the first day, but went on to win the rest, showing the benefits of going to Blenheim to play. Unfortunately, the 10A's struggled somewhat and finished 8th out of 16 teams. Not a bad result but enough to play Division 1 South Islands.
South Island tournament week was held at Cowles Stadium which meant early rising to catch the bus to across town. The Year 9 team did very well on day one, qualifying in the top 16 of division 2. They went onto win more games, even challenging some Year 10 teams. This bodes well for a great future as a year group, more so, as there are a number of girls playing on the Monday night competition who are yet to have tournament opportunities.
After their disappointment of failing to qualify for Division 1 South Islands, the Year 10 team lifted themselves and played some excellent volleyball to go through unbeaten in Division 2 on day 1 and day 2. True determination was shown on day 2 after being a set down in 2 matches (one against Rangi Ruru and the other against Middleton Grange - the Suva St battle) to fight back and go on and win well. In the semi finals they met Nayland Year 9 who are part of a sports academy at their school and are coached by Brendan Geddes, an ex Riccarton Student. They served tough and we struggled to compete losing 2-0. This meant we played Linwood College in the 3/4 playoff. We won comfortably playing some very good volleyball, defending and serving well. We received the silver medal because the top team in our grade was a team form Australia, who were given a medal but not eligible to be awarded the South Island division 2 winners meaning each team moved up a place. We also gained another place in Division 1 for a Canterbury team for 2020.
This was a great end to the season. All our team members are to be commended on the way they conducted themselves on and off the court. Players are expected to carry out duties and our teams do particularly well at this, taking pride in refereeing, umpiring and doing a great score sheet.
A massive thank you goes to Lorraine (Neve's Grandma) and Ange (Maddie's mum) for their support on the trip to Blenheim and at the South Islands. The players really enjoy having their friends and family coming to watch! Thanks to Ms Eaton, who organised the Year 9 team ensuring that the experience was fun for all!