Junior Volleyball Otago Champs 2018

By Enoka Taufua | Posted: Monday November 19, 2018

The Otago Junior Volleyball Championships were held last weekend.

9 Blues

This weekend saw the OBHS 9 Blues participate in the Junior Otago Champs. This was their first ever tournament. The 9's had trained and developed well over this season and were well prepared for their first game against Bayfield Year 9's.

An easy game which saw the 9 Blues thrive in the first set 25-10, with captain Robbie McCaw serving 15 serves in a row. The second set also saw an easy win, but still there were areas we needed to tidy up for the next game. The message was put across to the boys that we need to get every serve in.

The second game saw more of a challenge, with a strong Year 9 King's side that had beaten us twice before. The boys headed into the game hungry for a second win. After losing a closely contested first set 22-25, they went into the second with lots of energy, toppling the King's side 25-18. Unfortunately with strong serving the King's side prevailed in the third set winning 25-14. Having lost the match they had to step up their game to beat Mount Aspiring to make the semis.

Saturday saw the team re-energized and ready to go, after taking the first set 25-22 the boys were buzzing for the second set. Unfortunately things did not go to well with a tough service from the other team. Although they lost, this game saw strong attacking from both our middles and outsides. This meant a 5-8 crossover against John McGlashan.

The game against John McGlashan saw the boys begin to mould together as a team. The outside hitters were beginning to swing hard, or tip the ball, as well as covering the tips from the other team. A secure 2-0 win saw us move on to play for 5th and 6th playoff against Bayfield Year 10.

The 5th/6th playoff saw the boys at their finest. After winning the first set 25-20, the message was put across to the boys to keep the energy up and leave everything out on the court. After being up 17-12, Bayfield served themselves back to a 21-17 lead, Ben Tucker's serves ensured that we got ourselves back in the game but Bayfield ended up taking it 25-22.  The third set saw the boys thrive, every third set game they had played up to that point they had lost, they made sure this was not the case this time around. With excellent outside attacks from Harry Devereux and strong serving from the entire team the boys went on to win 25-16.

The boys played some riveting Volleyball winning 3 of their 5 games with both games they lost being 3 set matches. The team now look forward to South Islands and after this weekends performance showed they are able to step up and compete against the more experienced sides.

Coach: Taine Grimsey

10 Blues

On Friday night, the OBHS Year 10 Blues began their journey at the Otago Champs. First up was John McGlashan College, where a workmanlike performance produced a comfortable win, meeting our objectives of rotating game time, getting into a rhythm and winning quickly to conserve energy. Second game up was our tough pool match against King's Year 10. It started well, with a closely won first set, but we lost momentum to their messy play and good scramble. Fluky tips and strong blocking caught us on our heels consequently we lost vital points. It was a high energy game but we lost a close 2nd and 3rd set and therefore the game. Saturday morning presented another good scrambling team. We used our skill and structure to outplay Bayfield and another comfortable win to set up a semi-final vs King's Year 9, who qualified second (behind us) in the seedings. In this match we coupled skill and power, convincingly putting away the game in 2 sets, setting up a fitting final vs King' s Year 10.

An electric evening, with a huge crowd and unparalleled intensity saw us start well in the first set and gaining an early lead. We lost momentum from some good serving and some nervous passing and couldn’t quite recover going down in the first set. The second set was similar, jammy tips and some huge blocks kept us down 20-11 and staring down the barrel. Some solid serving and desperate back court saw us catch up, but still down 24-19 and match point to King's. Xavier Toeke stepped up and served us back into the game and eventually win the second set. The final set was electric from both teams and showing desperate play. Down by plenty again, Xavier again got us back to 25-25. Unfortunately, King's made a couple of big plays to take the game by 2 points.

The boys may have lost, but they did Otago Boys’ proud. A team that will only get better. We showed the passion and determination to fight back when other teams would crumble. Onwards to the South Island Champs next week, where we look to improve and hopefully win the tournament. Well done to the boys, particularly to the captain Adrian Branzuela who lead well and was the best player at the tournament.

Coach: Steve Sharp