Our second game was against a very structured and well coached Orewa year 9 team. We lost in two sets, but their coach and I agreed both teams got a lot out of the game. We pushed them in both sets, we even had players successfully jump serving. The best thing to come from the game was that it was clear to see a big step up in performance from all players. We got to an attacking shot regularly and put them under pressure. As a team massive development.
We carried this form into our final game. Day four we played Te Aroha College. Their coach is a New Zealand age-group coach, so we knew they would have some ability. We put service pressure on them, scrambled better and our bump/set/hit was more consistent and aggressive. We comfortably won in two sets. This meant we finished in a respectful 11th in Div two. This is a really pleasing final placing all things considered. We gave each player at least one set every game, never starting the same six players. This proved to be great for every players development. Each player contributed massively when they were on the court and they all developed so much since the BOP tournaments. We can all be really proud of this awesome group of young women. They played some outstanding volleyball. Our goal all season was to produce our best volleyball possible. We totally achieved this goal and had outstanding performances from each player. Off the court, the girls were fantastic. Organised, respectful and a pleasure to coach. A lot of other coaches made positive comments about our cool attitudes and behaviour. One high-level volleyball New Zealand representative coach said that we had some outstanding athletes and that if we can keep them together the future looked really promising.
A really big thank you to all our whanau, manager Jarrah Burns, supporter and fundraiser Carolyn Ion and assistant coaches Ricky Ion and Brayden Tunui. Without all these people, this trip would not have happened or be as successful.