Gin Gin grabs gold
A Gin Gin State High School Year 9 team sprung one of the big surprises at the Volleyball Queensland Junior Schools Cup in Brisbane, claiming the Junior Girls Division 2 gold medal.
Twenty teams from throughout the state contested the Division but Gin Gin swept all before them, topping their Pool, then defeating Toolooa in the quarter-finals, Goondiwindi in the semis, and scoring a famous 2-1 victory over The Gap in the decider.
Coach Deirdre Watts said they displayed “tremendous determination and teamwork”.
“Our outside hitter/blocker Morgan Engstrom did an amazing job and was consistent over the three days,” Watts said.
“But Bec Campbell was our best all-round player and most valuable player of the finals.
“Georgia Wieland was new to the team this year but she worked very well in any position and was an amazing team player, while Kayla, another newcomer, did a fantastic job at blocker.
“Our setter Katie McLennan literally threw herself into the game, diving all over the court and saving points that looked like they were impossible to save.
“Also Maddy Gabbert showed vast improvement on last year by having complete control and placing the ball so that her teammates could win points, and Jess Tobin, who hurt her ankle on the first day, played with heart and gave her all every time she took the court.”
Three other Gin Gin teams also competed well at the tournament.
Their Intermediate Boys Division 3 team placed seventh, while their Intermediate Girls Division 3 and Youth Girls Division 2 side each wound up 11th.
Bundaberg High took silver in Junior Boys Division 2 after going down to Sheldon College 25-23, 25-16 in the gold medal match.
But coach Kym Haworth said the team had “very little experience” and they aimed up to new heights.
“The boys showed how much they had developed as a team with impressive passing by Jamie Dart and Mitch Eichmann, while Mitch Petersen and Liam Matulick stopped many Sheldon attacking plays with strong front court defence,” Haworth said.
“Also Will Egan and Anthony Cameron attacked with strong aggressive hitting and serving, and Braden McKeon and Tyler Lawrence also set well.”
The Bundaberg Junior Girls Division 1 side placed eighth.
Haworth said consistent serving by Ashlee Lincoln, Amber Sherlock and Maddie Symonds helped the team to win many points.
“Also Karly Pearson’s blocking and front court play was a stand-out, strong hitting by Brooke Silcox and Jacinta King was another feature, Kaitlyn O’Leary’s speed in back court retrieved many balls and the team was well led by Casey Daniel,” Haworth said.