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2017 AUSTRALIAN JUNIOR VOLLEYBALL  CHAMPIONSHIPS  - MVC JUNIORS THRIVE AT NATIONALS!

13 Oct 2017 | Kevin Nguyen (Extract from Mazenod College Volleyball)
  
On the Saturday of the first week of the Term 3 Holidays gone past, an eager Victorian contingent of athletes, coaches, and officials prepared for their flight to Queensland, for the 28th Australian Junior Volleyball Championships.

For the past 14 or so weeks, these athletes who were specially selected at trials, trained with their coaches to develop and refine their skills and gameplay for the national championships. They dedicated hours every weekend building and preparing to face other skilled athletes and state teams, in a week-long tournament that would test all their skills and stamina.
The Mazenod Volleyball Program this year sent a total of 12 athletes along with 4 program appointed coaches, and 1 statistician to be part of the Victorian Contingent, all covering various age groups.

For many teams, there were plenty of rocky starts for the first few days of the championship, as the nerves started for many new athletes and coaches. As the week drew on, many of the Victorian teams started to gel and for coaches, things started to click. As teams got on a roll, the competition became more even, and the various upsets allowed for many teams to leapfrog favourites and begin focussing on medal playoffs. This was despite the many late-night matches, and the long games, with a huge amount of injuries and recovery sessions!

By the end of the week, 10 of the 16 teams were in a medal playoff, with the younger divisions commencing finals on the last night of the finals. Unfortunately, the home ground advantage was too much for our groups, with many gold medals being conceded to the Queenslanders.

This dominance was evident with Queensland almost claiming a clean sweep of championship medals, the only exception being the U19 Championship Men’s Gold Medal, conceded to South Australia in a 4-set thriller. The Presidents Cup, awarded to the Champion State also went to Queensland, with Victoria following South Australia to round out the top 3 states.

A huge shout out must also go to Sean Welsford (Year 10), for claiming a spot in the All Star 7 in the U17 Boys Division. This award recognises the best 7 players in their respective positions throughout the Championships, nominated by all coaches in the division. Well Done!

This tournament is an amazing learning experience for many of the athletes and coaches. All teams must be commended on their amazing efforts reaching a medal playoff at such a tight tournament. Congratulations to all the athletes and coaches on their amazing performance throughout the week, and to those who have claimed medals. Hopefully, the Victorian program continues to grow from strength to strength in 2018 and feed the amazing talent of Volleyball in this country!
  
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