Athlete brings home bronze
Matamata College student Anilise Fitzi helped her team to a bronze medal at the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Tournament of Champions in the Philippines.
It was the first time the New Zealand women’s under 19 team has ever gained a placing at an Asian tournament.
Fitzi said they had to fight for the second runner-up spot and were pretty happy with the result.
‘‘When we first started playing, we didn’t think the teams were that good but at the end we had to work pretty hard.’’
The team was up against regional teams from the Philippines, as well as one from Victoria, Australia.
They won three out of four pool games, before being knocked out in their semifinal by National Capital Region ( Manila) – the eventual winners.
They then played off for third place and won.
The tournament was held in Manila, where Fitzi said the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan was strongly evident.
‘‘We could see how hurt they were from it. There were lots of people living on the streets.’’
Fitzi hopes to be one of 12 players selected from the under 19 squad to travel to Taiwan in July for the Asian Champs.
She will also compete with the Matamata College senior A team at the New Zealand Secondary School Nationals later this year.