This years Senior Volleyball Season took a completely different journey from years gone by. The season saw two strong teams maintain their shape throughout the season which presented strong possibilities for Nationals. The strongest team who played in the top division consisted of a smaller more compact group than usual: Ailii, Maraika, Charity, Shari, Tee, Feta, Tala, Jourdanah, Lesina and I which all together meant 2 fourth formers, 2 fifth formers, 3 sixth formers and 3 seventh formers. The result meant a mix of experience, skill, fitness, awareness and new perspectives.
Volleyball Nationals were held in the usual place, Palmerston North which for some experienced placers offers some familiarity and lots of good memories. The tournament produced some surprising results for the team with many players having to step up and take on different roles. Specific thanks must go to Tee and Lesina who both came from different schools and were used to playing different positions. Throughout tournament week they adapted amazingly to the role of setter – high pressured and involving constantly keeping focused they did us proud. Overall the team played extremely well, always placing 1st in our hearts. The tournament took place over 5 days and games varied from 8.30 am start to some (due to games finishing late) only starting at 11.00 pm at night. On one occasion through hard work and determination after a win, we realised we were the last team to leave the arena at 11.45pm. Tired but delighted.
During our stay at Palmerston North we all took a journey of our own. We each learned how each other plays, how each other performs under stress, how to support each other and help build a team through working together to pull each other through the doubtful moments. More than anything the development of younger players of the team will hopefully allow the team to go on to achieve even more in Volleyball in the years to come.
As this is my last year I am glad to say that this years team was one of the most memorable teams I've played with and I would like to wish all the best to the team next year.
Aialii Taliaoa Maulolo