The Hob­bit all part of vol­ley­ball trip

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By NI­COLA STE­WART

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.

Star spot­ting:

Camp­bell Live.

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.

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