College volleyball performs well at champs
Matamata College’s Senior A volleyball team has shown a few injuries won’t prevent it from playing to its best.
The college team won the sport’s Waikato Championships in Hamilton recently.
This win qualified the team for the National Secondary School Volleyball Championships in Palmerston North, where they finished 12th in first division.
In the Waikato final, the Matamata team dominated against rivals Hillcrest High School.
This was played without their powerful setter Milla Gandeza, who was injured.
Other players were also in unfamiliar positions on the court, but it was no deterrent for the competitive team.
‘‘The team displayed great courage and determination to come back from two sets down to defeat Hillcrest,’’ said coach Andrew Kilham.
‘‘Everyone stepped up. Shaydene (Begovich) was a stand out. Her personal play was exceptional.’’
Begovich was named the competition’s MVP.
She was named in the Waikato All Star Seven, along with Matamata players Te Aorere Wharawhara and Gandeza.
The break between the Waikato and national tournaments gave Gandeza time to recover from her injury.
She took the court with the team at nationals.
‘‘To have Gandeza in the tournament was great, she is so accurate and she sets up attackers really well,’’ said Kilham.
‘‘She was a MVP in the junior competition last year. This was her first senior tournament.’’
They played a week long tournament with 170 other school teams, with Begovich as team captain.
Kilham said her was outstanding.
‘‘She encouraged her young team throughout the week while maintaining an exceptional standard in her own play.’’
Winning two of the first three matches put Matamata into division one. They placed 12th of 97 teams. Kilham said the team leadership defeated Tauranga Girls’ High School 3-1, which was a real coup for Matamata.
Matamata College won the Waikato volleyball champs, and from there placed 12th in division one in the NZ Secondary Schools tournament.