The Nelson Pines men's volleyball team has qualified top of the Southern Zone after winning the zone tournament over the weekend. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Pines unbeaten in volleyball qualifier

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The Nelson Pines men’s volleyball team has qualified in top spot for nationals after going unbeaten at the Southern Zone Tournament over the weekend.

Pines dropped only one set in their three victories at Saxton Stadium and will head to next month’s nationals the top ranked southern side.

The men went two from two on day one, registering wins over Shirley and Pioneers before defeating Scorps on Sunday.

In Saturday’s later game against the Pioneers, Pines looked dominant from the outset, their athleticism and desperation no match for the Christchurch side.

The hosts put on a superb performance at the net, the velocity of their spiking game ensuring Pines maintained a healthy advantage throughout over Pioneers, winning three sets to nil.

Captain Patrick Shone says it was a really good win against a good unit.

“We haven’t been together long this season, so it was good that the boys stepped up.”

Patrick says he is confident they can make an impact at the national tournament.

“The line-up we have got is one of the strongest in years. Having Roy Ching back from Europe gives us some real depth and the wisdom of Ben Glue gives us a nice balance.”

Earlier in the day, Pines edged Shirley three sets to one.

Their female counterparts met Shirley in the final game on day one with the visitors winning three sets to nil.

Captain Dayna Whiting says her side knew they would need to step up against a quality side.

“We just let them get ahead and against a good team like Shirley it’s hard to pull back.”

Pines finished its qualifying campaign with a 10-2 record to finish the Southern Zones in second behind Shirley.

Club volleyball nationals will take place in Auckland from October 3-6.