A total of nine Nelson volleyball players will jet off to the United States this month, having been selected in various New Zealand high performance age group teams.
The New Zealand women’s youth side has the strongest Nelson contingent with Nelson College for Girls student Ellie Bell joining Waimea College trio Brittani Harrington, Georgia Davies and Katie Ditzel.
Waimea College’s Hannah Davenhill represented New Zealand alongside Ellie and Brittani last year but has been selected in the higher age group for 2013, making the women’s junior side, which is the equivalent to an under-19 team.
Nelson College duo Harry Fergusson and Liam Whareaitu have made the Josh Ovsenek-coached New Zealand men’s youth team while Giles Black, James Anderson and Monty Brosnahan are in the Neil Anderson-coached junior men’s team. The four teams will contest the USA High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where they will compete against US state and international sides
Katie, who will represent New Zealand for the first time, says the experience will be “exciting” but admits the opposition will be a bit of an unknown. “It’s cool to represent your country and it’s always been a goal. I didn’t think it would happen.”
Another debutant, Georgia, was hoping to use the international tournament as an opportunity to push for further New Zealand selection. “This will be our last year playing in this team so we’re trying to prove ourselves and impress the other coaches while we’re there.”
Nelson’s Helen Bywater and Rebecca Malthus will manage two of the traveling teams, adding to the familiar faces on tour. The players depart on July 19.