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High excitement at volleyball one-dayer

Tuesday 25 January 2011 | Published in Regional


Saturday’s one-day social volleyball tournament drew a large and enthusiastic crowd to watch the 16 teams battle it out at the Telecom Sports Arena in Nikao.

And as expected by organisers – the social event was fiercely competitive, with national volleyball players scattered through the teams making some games nail biting thrillers.

The tournament was a great opportunity for players training for selection into the national squad to represent the country at the New Caledonia Pacific Games later in the year to show off their skills.

Team registrations and funds raised from the day long volleyball tournament will also go towards helping cover the costs of sending the national volleyball squad to the Pacific Games.

Aerial spikes and blocks plus diving attacks on the ball were a common feature of the action packed tournament with a barbeque tent outside the building ensuring athletes and spectators alike were hydrated and refuelled for the full on day of volleyball fun.

In the end Pacific Divers Swaggerz had too much firepower for grand finals opponents Telespikers to take out the Super Brown mixed volleyball champions title and the $400 winner’s cash prize.

With the game tied up in the final set both teams took turns leading until the last 8 points when some strong spikes from Sam Pareti and Mano Tekopua took the Swaggerz to victory. Telespikers had their moments with strong blocking from ‘blocker of the tournament’ Tai Maihia and solid defence by Tamangaro sisters Maine and Ua.

Team Here Comes the Boom featuring national squad player Nana Manuela and Moeka’a twins Rima and Kura had impressive phases of play in the semi-finals but were beaten by the clock and a determined Swaggerz crew.

Team Fruit Salad took out many of the day’s lucky draw prizes with Daniel Munro riding home a brand new bicycle.

Te Marae Ora’s ‘Live Smart’ team were true to their name with health staff competing enthusiastically in all their games.

Regina Potini and Mona-Lee Cruise displayed a lot of flare for Top Shots, managing to get their team to the quarter finals.

While the tournament had a social-volleyball focus, tournament organiser Tepaeru Herrmann says the event was positive in a lot of other ways.

“Inevitably, the competitive nature in players always emerges and while many of the teams were happy to give it a go, there were others who were clearly out to win,” says Herrmann. “One of the biggest positives from the day was the identification of potential players for elite volleyball development by national coach Fabio Menta. We hope to involve them in the national squad’s training programme in the coming weeks.”

Organisers would like to extend a big meitaki maata to major sponsor Super Brown for their generous sponsorship of the tournament and all teams and players who competed.

Cook Islands Volleyball have further tournaments scheduled later in the year – so watch this space.