Auckland Central Teams Medal at Volleyball Championships
Auckland Central teams bring home medals from NZ volleyball championships
Auckland Central Volleyball Club had a successful trip to Wellington for Volleyball New Zealand Club Championships, winning silver in Division 2 of the men’s competition and bronze in Division 2 of the women’s competition. The championships concluded on October 7.
The men’s team lost 3-2 to Dunedin team Scorpions in a thrilling five-set encounter. They were unlucky to lose veteran player Justin Michels to a calf injury sustained during warm-up for the match. The women’s team defeated Christchurch team Pioneer Panthers in another bruising five-set encounter in the bronze medal match, after being edged out by a strong Capital Wolves team in their semi-final. Capital Wolves were ultimately defeated by Tauranga B in the Women’s Division 2 final.
The Harbour Raiders from the North Shore also had an excellent tournament, coming away with both the men’s and women’s trophies in the first division. The Raiders Women admittedly had a little bit of extra help, with American import and four-time Olympian Logan Tom joining their team as an outside hitter.
The club championships are the highest level of domestic volleyball played in New Zealand. Auckland Central men’s team manager Matt Williams expressed his joy at the club’s success result at the championships: “We’re thrilled with our results. Volleyball is an amateur sport in New Zealand, so our players had to take time away from their work and families to be at the championships. Fortunately, we had some great support with our travel costs from the Lion Foundation, otherwise we may not have been able to compete at all. The medals are a fantastic reward for our players’ commitment and hard work.”
The championships represent the end of the domestic indoor volleyball season. As to the club’s plans for 2018? “Next year, we’d love to qualify for Division 1”, says Williams. But for the moment, the club’s players will switch their focus to sun, sand, and beach volleyball.