Mana victorious

Tight-knit team re­take re­gional ti­tle

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Mana Col­lege is top of the vol­ley­ball tree again.

The pre­mier men’s side has not been en­graved on the Col­lege Sport tro­phy since they won con­sec­u­tive ti­tles from 2008 to 2010. This year, how­ever, they have a tight-knit group of mostly year 13s who train very hard, the school’s sports co-or­di­na­tor Pax­man Tau­rima says.

‘‘Most of th­ese guys have been play­ing to­gether since year 9, they play in the schools com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day nights and against men the fol­low­ing day. They work for each other and are very, very good vol­ley­ballers.’’

At the ASB Sports Cen­tre on March 1 and 2, Mana were made to work hard all the way to the fi­nal, against Taita Col­lege.

In their semi­fi­nal against Scots Col­lege they were taken to five sets. In the fi­nal they gave up the first set to Taita but pre­vailed 3-1.

Cap­tain and Mana head boy Tonga Paongo says his team were thrilled to be able to bring the tro­phy back to the school.

They had to do it tough, with only the bare min­i­mum six play­ers avail­able for the tour­na­ment.

‘‘We were really happy, we had been knocked out in the semis the two years be­fore. This team knows each other really well, there’s a real bond.’’

Paongo was named the tour­na­ment’s MVP, while team-mates Faa­fu­ata Fasavalu and Kalolo Fale also made the tour­na­ment team. Ju­nior Iona from Porirua Col­lege also made the side.

Paongo made spe­cial men­tion of their coach Pon­amu Risale and prin­ci­pal Mike Web­ster, a huge sup­porter of the team.

This week­end they will go to Palmer­ston North for the na­tion­als, where schools from Auck- land and Bay of Plenty will be the ones to watch.

Tau­rima says 2014 could be a ‘‘tran­si­tion year’’ for vol­ley­ball at Mana, but there are ex­cel­lent young play­ers coming through the ranks.

In the Col­lege Sport pre­mier girls com­pe­ti­tion, Porirua Col­lege fin­ished third, Mana Col­lege sixth and Bishop Viard 12th. Camilla Time Tau­tua, from Porirua, made the tour­na­ment team.

Dom­i­nant: Mana Col­lege have the best pre­mier men’s vol­ley­ball side in the re­gion, fea­tur­ing, clockwise from top left, Faraimo No­foaiga-Tusa, Amaron Ed­wards, Kere­homa Ta­ia­tini, Kalolo Fale, Hitro Robin­son, Tonga Paongo and Faa­fu­ata Fasavalu.

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