Stu­dent makes vol­ley­ball team

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By NI­COLA STE­WART

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.

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