Tight-knit team retake regional title
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.