New Plymouth Girls' High School senior volleyball side set for battle in Australia
24 Nov 2017
It's the largest school-based sporting event in the southern hemisphere, and the New Plymouth Girls' High School senior volleyball team will be right at the centre of it.
The team will travel to Melbourne, Australia, to compete in the Australian Volleyball Schools' Cup - an annual tournament with about 500 of the best teams from 133 Australian and New Zealand schools competing from December 3-8.
It's been a good year for the Girls' High group so far, coming second at the national tournament, and captain Maya Dickson said the competition in Australia would be a huge test.
"I'm not sure what the standard's like over there but I'd say we'll have some pretty tough competition. But we're ready to go, we've been training really hard," Dickson said.
"We're in the top division, so that's the top 12 out of 500 teams. So, that's really awesome."
With most of the group having played together for the past three years, and while they've had some good results, Dickson said she was hoping the team would learn from the competition, but a high result would be a bonus.
"I think we work so well as a team. It's just about keeping on playing together and improving at that better standard of play so we can come back to nationals next year and hopefully smash it."
Girls' High are one of just two Kiwi outfits invited to take part in the competition, alongside national champions Burnside High School.
"We're super excited to be repping not just New Plymouth, but New Zealand as well."
The team will be playing at least two games each day in the six-day competition.
"It's going to be cool for this team to have this international experience and hopefully we can get some more of these players in our national teams."
AT A GLANCE
Girls' High senior volleyball squad
Maya Dickson (c), Ginny Broderick (vc), Alex Paterson, Rachel Page, Eva Dickson, Ashleigh Bunning, Bronwyn Riddle, Bailee Manukonga, Poppy Mitchell. Coach: Brendan Dickson.