Team effort earns title

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HIGH FLIERS: Trident High School’s Phoenix Paniora, Sharnaye Hall and Mana Kume jump to block during the final of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in Palmerston North. Photo Julie Maree Photography

A FIRST-EVER senior girls title was a collaborative effort for the Trident High School girls volleyball team.

They claimed the division one title at last week’s New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in Palmerston North.

Trident downed New Plymouth Girls High School in the final, winning 3-1, after dispatching Rangitoto College and Burnside High School in the play-offs. The team included five players from the team that won a junior North Island title in 2014.

Off-court captain Courtney McConkey said winning that title was an important part of the journey to the senior title.

“It was a hard week, but we were able to show our flair. A lot of teams stick to the processes, but we are able to express ourselves which is part of why we did well.”

Trident are no strangers to volleyball success having won a handful of junior and senior titles in recent years.

Trident’s Phoenix Paniora was named most valuable player of the tournament while on-court captain Mana Kume was named in the tournament team. Mana said she was rapt with the result.

“It was an awesome achievement, but a hard one to get. We worked really well as a team and had a good method to get through the week. Even down to our eating and drinking.”

Trident coach Hemi Barsdell said there was a lot of people deserving of recognition.

“This victory belongs to a lot of different people. Having those young players winning a title in 2014 was significant.”

Barsdell said assistant coach Sheralee Mills Paniora and manager Sandie Barsdell contributed to the achievement as well as former top

Trident player Maia Westrupp, who was with the team as a mentor. He also acknowledged the work Graham Walker had done since laying the foundations for volleyball at the school over a decade ago.

Other Eastern Bay schools were also at the tournament, which included over 3000 players. In the girls competition Whakatane High School A placed fifth in division two while the Whakatane B team were seventh in division four. Tarawera High School were eighth in division five while Trident B placed ninth. Trident’s C team placed first in division six.

Trident A placed seventh in division two of the boys tournament while Tarawera were 13th. Trident’s B team placed ninth in division three where Whakatane High School’s A team was 16th. Whakatane’s B team placed ninth in division five.



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