The Hobbit all part of volleyball trip
The Matamata College junior girls’ volleyball team had an eventful trip to the North Island Championships in Wellington, both on and off the court.
The tournament coincided with the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the team was there when thousands of fans descended on the capital.
Captain Caitlin Langlands said they would often see people walking down the street wearing hobbit ears or dressed up in full hobbit attire.
‘‘It was quite cool seeing all The Hobbit stuff and thinking we were from Matamata,’’ she said.
One of the highlights for the team was meeting Campbell Live presenter John Campbell, who was leaving for Matamata the following day.
Another highlight was visiting the Weta Cave and the Miramar studio shop.
Back at the stadium, the girls won two of their three pool matches on opening day to qualify for the first division.
Coach Andrew Kilham said the competition was fierce and hardfought in the top division and the team did well to defeat Tikipunga High School 2-1 on the second day.
They lost their other two matches against Bethlehem College and Trident High School.
These losses placed the team in the lower half of the division but they fought back to win two of their next three matches against Wellington’s Sacred Heart and Tikipunga for a second time.
Their final placing was 13th out of 40 teams.
Langlands was named most valuable player by opposition coaches in four of the nine matches and setter Anzel Viljoen was also named most valuable player three times.
‘‘This was a great reward for her accurate passing, strong serving and aggressive spiking,’’ Mr Kilham said.
Langlands said the team continued to improve with every game they played at the tournament.
‘‘We all started to work together as a team,’’ she said.
‘‘ One of the best parts was everyone having fun and getting along really well.
‘‘It kind of made the team closer – and winning lots of games was nice too.’’
Mr Kilham said the team was pleased to finish ahead of Hillcrest High School, with whom they had several very close games during the Waikato qualifying tournament.
Other team members were Courtney Brown, Danielle Campbell, Courtney Old, Morgan Reynolds, Celine Russenberger, Elmie Senekal and Claire Stevens. Louise Perrott was also coaching.
The Matamata College junior girls’ volleyball team with John Campbell from TV3’s In action: Danielle Campbell playing for Matamata College at the North Island champs.
Playing hard: Matamata College’s Elmie Senekal serving the ball at the North Island Volleyball Championships.