The Nayland College girls volleyball team have beaten their international rivals in a tournament across the ditch. They are, from left; Hayley Sim, captain Sophie Young, Georgia Nicholls, Chloe Crichton, Maddie Marshall, Katelyn Gardiner, Nikayla Hedge, Puna Wikaira and Brooklynn Chrichton. Absent: Tia Raumati. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Volleyballers win Australian tournament

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In a sea of 6000 international volleyballers, Nayland College was determined to make their mark at the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup.

The team not only made the mark but came home with a gold medal for winning, the girls’ volleyball team taking out the 16 and under First Division at the Melbourne tournament.

Coach Brendan Crichton said, “we did alright” before conceding that the win was “something quite special”.

Team captain Sophie Young says in the lead up to the tournament they didn’t know if they’d stand a chance against their Australian rivals.

“We didn’t have any idea what it would be like so it was a big surprise when we took out the division, and it was cool to get that medal.”

Sophie says the moment the team took the podium was surreal. “Everyone was watching and clapping. I was just so proud of the team.”

After making a splash at the biggest volleyball tournament in the southern hemisphere, Sophie says they’re ready to tackle the Mainland Volleyball Championships in Christchurch later this month, and then the New Zealand Secondary School Volleyball Championships in March.