Student makes volleyball team
Matamata College student Anilise Fitzi has spiked her way on to the New Zealand Junior Under 19 Volleyball team.
The 15- year- old will be heading to the Asian Junior Women’s Championships in Thailand in September, to compete against teams from Iran to the Pacific Islands.
She originally trialled for the under- 17 team before being selected to play for the under-19s and said it was surprising and exciting to make the cut.
‘‘I’m a pretty scared that I’m going to be the youngest on the team, but I know a few of the players from Bay of Plenty so that’s cool.’’
Fitzi plays on both the Matamata College Senior A team and for the Bay of Plenty Volleyball Club and was the only Waikato player to make the national team. Matamata College coach Andrew Kilham said he was always proud to see his students go on to play for New Zealand. Fitzi was talented ‘‘ and could go a long way if she keeps going with volleyball,’’ he said.
Principal Glenn Rowsell said it was a massive achievement for the young player to be selected to represent New Zealand.
‘‘I think it’s extraordinary, particularly because of her age,’’ she said. ‘‘We’ve had a string of girls make the team, which I think reflects Andrew’s strength as a coach and his passion for the sport.’’
Fitzi will be taking part in extra fitness and skills training with the New Zealand team to prepare for the championships.