Spotswood College claim best ever Taranaki finish at volleyball tournament
1 Dec 2016
It's taken 33 years, but Taranaki have finally recorded a podium finish in the boys' division one at the North Island Secondary Schools Indoor Volleyball Championships.
Spotswood College took out the bronze medal, beating Auckland's One Tree HIll College 2-1 - 25-18, 15-21, 16-14 - in the playoff for third place at the tournament held in Wellington last week.
Coach Antony Joe said it was a great achievement for his team and they weren't expected to finish so high.
"Nothing's expected, but last year they got 10th as a bunch of year nine students, so we were looking to do well this year because we did very well as a year nine group.
"We were hoping to make the semifinals and medal matches, but anything can happen in semifinals."
To get to the semifinals, the Spotswood side beat the likes Mt. Maunganui College, one of the tournament favourites, and Auckland side Rangitoto College, but were unable to topple Otumoetai College with a spot in the grand final up for grabs.
"They served us really well in a a game where, I think, if we played it again we probably might have beaten them.
"We played really, really well throughout the tournament."
Joe said what made the result more special was, because Spotswood College doesn't have a gymnasium, the boys had to practice on the school's beach court, on grass and in New Plymouth Boys' High School's gym when they could.
But when it came down to it, training in a number different environments didn't seem to phase the team when the tournament came around.
"It's not been the ideal preparation phase, it's been quite challenging, but credit to the boys to do well."
The team consisted of Neme Faga, Izac White, Luke Cocker, Meli Naborisi, Harry Younger, James Dey, Keegan Joe, Kobe Watson and Clinton Healy.