College Dominates Waikato Senior Girls’ Volleyball
The two Te Awamutu College Senior Girls’ volleyball teams had a very successful run of play over the six Saturdays season. Despite both teams being hit by player unavailability due to the Covid situation, they were able to call on former Senior and year 10 players to fill positions and manage to field teams each week. Both teams were jointly coached by ex Girls’ captain Kimiora Cooper and retired teacher Keith Bain.
The Premier team, playing in Division 1, went into the final weekend unbeaten from their ten games and faced a strong Hillcrest side in the semifinal. TAC did not start well and played an uncharasteristic mistake-ridden first set to lose 17-25 but came back to win the next three sets to advance to the final against the other unbeaten team, Matamata.
This game was always going to be close as Matamata has been the strong volleyball school and TAC’s nemisis for so many years. The Te Awamutu girls displayed their power hitting through their captain Maude Rewha and vice captain Karlie Alexander and managing to defeat Matamata in three sets 25-21, 25-23, 25-21 to become Division 1 champions for real this time (College was awarded the title in 2020 after the initial covid 19 lockdown prevented the Final Day play and Te Awamutu was the only unbeaten team). Maude, Karlie and Sienna Sanders were named in the seven person tournament team and Maude was also deservedly named Player of the Tournament.
Special thanks to Brooke Penny who filled in two weeks for players out with omicron. Of the 10 girls in the team, eight missed at least one weekend through being out with the virus.
Premier girls team : Waikato Secondary Schools Division 1 champions
Backrow from right Brooke Penny, Ciara McCullough, Baylee Pryke, Maude Rewha, Nevaeh Roberts, coach Kimiora Cooper
Front row from right: Sienna Sanders, Karlie Alexander, Georgina Rewha, Te Wehi Mareikura
Absent from photo regular team members Amy Reid, Dayna-Azul Te Wake, Jasmin Rivera.
The second team, the Senior Girls’ A team playing in Division 2, also progressed to the final weekend with an unbeaten ten win record. They too were often cut short of players with all players out at some stage due to covid, and thanks to Libby Haynes, Dareeya Mickell and Leah Ellis from the 2021 Junior girls B team and Piata Newton who filled in and contributed to the team’s continued success. The semifinal against Sacred Heart was won easily by TAC but the final was a much harder struggle against Hamilton Girls High losing the first set 16-25 before recovering to win the second set 25-17. College was always in front on points playing the third set but the final score 15-13 reflected just how close the teams were.
Senior A girls team: Waikato Secondary Schools Division 2 champions
Backrow from right: coach Keith Bain, Dareeya Mickell, Kera Tervit, Piata Newton, Sarah Turner, Sophie Roycroft, coach Kimiora Cooper
Front row from right: Olivia Krippner, Nina Lugtu, Rona Rapana, Hannah McRostie
Regular players absent from final weekend Jetta Kete
The Senior boys team began their season well and looked to be heading for a top four placing but unfortunately had to default their last three weekends for a variety of reasons so finished last in their Division 1.