The Volleyball Victoria State Schools Cup returned again this year, Girton Grammar entering 3 teams with the Open Boys playing in the Honours division as well as 2 girls teams. The tournament saw 170 teams from 36 schools flocking from all over Victoria for a weekend filled with action.
Travelling from Urban Central to Dandenong for the games, meant plenty of early starts with the group up before dawn in order to support each other for the games.
The open boys started in magnificent form and under the mentorship of Mick RcWalters and Evan Jenkins won all three of their pool games against well-known volleyball schools including long-term rivals Eltham.
The girls also started well, and upon completion of the first day of competition all teams had not lost a game.
All teams were full of confidence heading into the next few days of competition, and upon reaching the third day of competition all teams were in with a medal chance. After another fantastic day of volleyball, all three teams went into Sunday one win away from a gold medal match.
All three teams managed this, with the youngest girls playing first on the big stage.
The Under 15 girls played a riveting match against very strong opposition and in their first ever volleyball tournament won a silver medal and all should be congratulated for showcasing their already fantastic skills after barely 6 months playing the sport.
The Under 17 girls also played a fantastic game on Sunday in their gold medal match, pushing Yarra all the way, coming out second in the end but gaining plenty of admirers from the volleyball community, fielding a team with many players a year below the age group level.
The big event was yet to come, with the Open Boys squaring off against their long-term rivals Mazenod in the Gold Medal Match, who had beaten Girton in previous years on the same stage. The game was fought right through to the end and although playing fantastic volleyball and making them work for every point, the open boys team lost and won a silver medal, their best ever finish at State Championships.
All benefited enormously from the weekend, learning and growing from the exposure such a large-scale event brings to one’s volleyball skills both on and off the court. The experience of playing at such a high-level is not something easily achievable in most sports so all should be commended for their effort put in to training to prepare for such an event. Anyone who is looking for an avenue to play a great sport and have a fantastic time with friends is welcome to play volleyball, this event is one of many places it can take you.
We would all like to thank the coaches and administration staff for putting the tournament together, it does not go unnoticed and we are all very grateful for your tireless work. Special mention goes to Mr McWalters for his continued work and effort in coaching the boys team to such a successful tournament. Thank you also to Mr Maeda for his tireless contribution in organising and making sure the weekend ran as smoothly and brilliantly as it did.
Sam Hilson (12F)