Col­lege vol­ley­ball per­forms well at champs

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - REXINE HAWES

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.

SUPPLIED

Mata­mata Col­lege won the Waikato vol­ley­ball champs, and from there placed 12th in di­vi­sion one in the NZ Se­condary Schools tour­na­ment.

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