AC Volleyball on a Roll at Nationals

AC Pride is in high gear in Palmerston North as our premier volleyball teams compete in the NZ Secondary School Champs. Already, our boys have won promotion from Division 5 to Division 4 for 2025! Catch up on the action with this fantastic report from volleyball TIC Angus Donaldson.

Report on Monday and Tuesday’s play:

Day 1 – Girls

Game 1 – Sr A Girls vs Tarawera: Lost in 2 sets.

Tarawera has some big hitters and solid blockers. This flustered our girls a little and they took some time to readjust. Eventually, the team responded with some positive patches of play. Isla Martin came up with some big hits, Bella Devereaux was solid with her setting, and Isabella Marsh did her best to steady the ship with her leadership and positivity. Unfortunately, the gap was too big to rope in.

Game 2 – AC Sr Girls vs Te Awamutu: Lost in 2 sets.

The girls had a huge setback with Bella Devereaux sitting out the game sick. This meant the team had to adapt to a major reshuffle of positions. The girls did their best but couldn’t string things together to come away with a win.

Day 1 – Boys

Game 1 – AC Sr Boys vs Tokoroa High School: Lost in 2 sets 23-25, 18-25

The boys were up against a big and strong Tokoroa team, with some heavy hitters. The boys started well and looked to be in control of the game. Only to let the crucial moments slip. They narrowly went down in the first set. Only to then be well beaten in the second. The boys had the winning of the game but let Tokoroa get out to a lead they couldn’t then reel in. There were many learnings taken from the game and the boys are focused on improving for Game 2!

Game 2 – AC Sr Boys vs Taradale High School 23-25, 25-18, 15-11

Another tough game against Taradale. With momentum swinging both ways during the game. This time the boys took control of the big moments and made them count. Aidan Couch stepped up with some big hitting, and Xavier Young also came up with some big points when it counted. Callum Reid also showed some great skill with some big hitting and solid serving. It was great to get the first W for the tournament for the boys.

Day 2

Game 3: AC Sr Girls vs Napier B: Won in 2 sets 25-21, 25-19.

Again, the girls had to adapt to a modified playing roster with Lucia Watt out sick. She had been playing solidly in the libero position, which now fell to Isabella Marsh, who’s been proving adaptable, covering this position as well as setter. However, the girls turned it on with some great volleyball. The team scored some great points with solid support from the bench. Miriana Bilby and Jess Taane provided some impact and Bella Wilson kept morale high on court with her positivity and accuracy. Monique Faire also contributed with a cool head under pressure when it counted.

Game 4: Ac Sr Girls vs Whitby College: Won in 2 sets 25-19, 25-21

This game had its ebbs and flows with the girls making it count when it mattered. Again, the girls worked hard to maintain a high energy on court and ‘reset’ their minds when things didn’t go their way. It has been great to see this young team grow and come together with results starting to go their way on court.

Game 3: AC Sr Boys vs Awatapu College won in 2 sets

Good, close game for the morning. The boys served and passed well. But they put pressure on themselves. However, they again rose to the challenge to win in straight sets. The team is being led well by James Prince, with great support from Luke Ryder. Nat Jarden is showing some great skill and energy on court, keeping the boys pumped up at crucial parts of the game. Attilio Davenport was also very solid on court, showing great commitment and poise under pressure.

Game 4: AC Sr Boys vs Gisborne Boys High School. Won 2-1 sets.

The boys are starting to get used to these tight games, leaving the coaching staff and supporters on the edge of their seats. There was some great volleyball on display with two evenly-matched teams. Again, the boys picked their moments to lift well and produced the goods when they needed to. Dylan Tran produced a great run of serving to closeout the game in the third set. Will Van Etten and Alex Radajeski Neves also supported well from the bench adding impact when it mattered most.

Day 3 sees the girls face Burnside College at 8 am, with another game at 8 pm. A long day for them ahead, but a chance to get out to see all that Palmy has to offer. Spirits are high, bring it on!

Day 3 sees the boys play Garin College, from Nelson, at 10:30 am. Spirits are running high in the boys’ camp, as they’ve now qualified for Division 3 next year. This means they’ve moved from Div 5 in 2024 to Div 3 in 2025! A great achievement for a young team. Bring on tomorrow!