The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Finals fever hits volleyball­ers


After 226 regular season games, the scene is set for Volleyball Horsham’s winter finals series, starting tonight with the women’s, A and B grade semi-finals.

The women will take centre stage first up at 6pm, with Kymberley Murray’s Birds of Prey taking on Kara Johnson’s Bingo Biddies in a knockout semifinal, while Heidelberg and Lakers will square-off against each other, with the winner securing the first position in the grand final.

Birds of Prey will go into its semi with confidence after defeating its opponents in a close contest in the final game last week.

Murray is Birds of Prey’s chief weapon, with her big, booming serves causing opposition headaches, while Larree Smith and Kate Mclean are consistent contributo­rs.

Johnson will look to young guns Grace Turner and Ellonia Barnett to lead the way, both in attack and defence.

In a second semi-final, Molly Carter’s Heidelberg, with Annika Mcdonald and Allie Marchesini in good form, will battle with the surprise packets of the competitio­n, Lakers – a team representi­ng Taylors Lake netball club.

Lakers have taken to the game with great enthusiasm and have Tayla Eltze playing well and Kayla Kelm a livewire as she creates havoc whenever she goes for the ball, keeping both her teammates and the opposition on their toes. In A Grade finals, Tsunami and Rangers enter the cut-throat first semi in good form, with Jack Hannan’s Tsunami combining well during the past month, while Tyler Snowden’s Rangers have fought hard in all their games.

In the second semi, ladder leaders Tyler Puls’ Phantoms and Dimitrios Vettos’ Hellenic Nuggets will put on a show, with both teams full of players who competed in last weekend’s Bendigo tournament.

How well each team’s young guns absorb the pressure of a final will be the key.

Phantoms have Noah Werry and Oscar Jackman as their young stars, who combine well as setter and middle attacker, while Hellenic Nuggets’ Heath Warrick and Malachy O’brien do likewise.

In B Grade finals, Stars will line-up against Phantoms Blue in the first semi, and while they finished clear ahead of their opponents, Phantoms Blue have been improving as each week goes by.

The second semi will be a close affair with Blockparty taking on HTLC Tigers in a classic staff-versus-students showdown. Will it be the teachers from Horsham College that will prevail or will the youngsters from Holy Trinity Lutheran College cause an upset?

Success in Bendigo

Volleyball Horsham’s women’s team came up short in its honors division final in Bendigo, losing in three sets,

but not without an almighty fight in a highly-skilled showdown against a young Bibble team full of former state team players.

The Horsham women were right in the contest in each set, invariably first to 15, but slight lapses of concentrat­ion in the fourth phase of each set let their opponents in each time.

In recognitio­n of her efforts throughout the tournament, captain Kara Johnson was awarded the prestigiou­s Maureen Stevens Memorial Trophy for the

most determined player in the division. The award recognises the contributi­on Maureen Stevens made to women’s volleyball in Bendigo during a 35-year period before she lost her battle with cancer.

Always the ultimate competitor, she led teams, caused massive headaches for opposition teams as they played with such grit and determinat­ion no matter what stage the game was at.

Johnson was recognised for displaying the same qualities.

 ?? ?? HONOUR: Volleyball Horsham’s Kara Johnson, with Bendigo Volleyball life member Tom Stevens, after receiving the prestigiou­s Maureen Stevens Memorial Trophy at Bendigo’s annual tournament.
HONOUR: Volleyball Horsham’s Kara Johnson, with Bendigo Volleyball life member Tom Stevens, after receiving the prestigiou­s Maureen Stevens Memorial Trophy at Bendigo’s annual tournament.

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