Two WA teams have returned from Adelaide after competing in the 2019 School Sport Australia 15 & Under National Volleyball Championships. The boys team finished 5th out of 8 teams, while the girls team walked away with the second gold medal ever won by the WA girls since the start of the 15 & Under competition in 1988.
The girl’s competition has previously been dominated by Queensland, who has won gold for 13 out of the past 17 years. The last time a 15 & Under School Sport WA girls team won a gold medal was in the year 2000, but there is newfound spirit and strength growing within our state, particularly within this group of ambitious and talented young girls.
Eight out of ten girls from this year’s gold medal School Sport WA (SSWA) Team were also a part of the 2018 U15 Volleyball WA State Team, who received a silver medal at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships (AJVC) on the Gold Coast last year. Led into the AJVC gold medal match by two-year U15 State Coaches Lisa MacNeill and Olivia Stewart, the girls just missed out to the strong and sound U15 South Australia team. Last week they finally got their chance at redemption when they faced off against a very familiar group of South Australia girls, only this time claiming victory.
The SSWA team was coached by Gareth Whitehead and Dixie Hyatt. Gareth is also the Assistant Coach for this year’s U19 Girls WA State Team who will compete at the AJVC next month, where he will be looking for his second gold medal of the year. When reflecting on the past few months with the 15 & Under girls, Gareth emphasised that it was not skill alone that brought this team to victory.
“Our team spirit played an important role in giving the hitters the freedom to really go for it and not be afraid of making mistakes. They approached every point of every match with the same intensity. In the end, it was the unity and determination of this team that made the difference and resulted in a much-deserved gold medal.”
Four boys and five girls from the SSWA teams are also 2019 VWA State Team athletes who have been selected to represent WA at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships in Canberra from 29th September – 5th October. Congratulations and good luck to:
- Benjamin Farley (Balcatta Volleyball Club)
- Sebastian Northmore (Balcatta Volleyball Club)
- Qi Den Kuan (Rossmoyne Volleyball Club)
- Danyl Mathews (Rossmoyne Volleyball Club)
- Cassandra Dodd, All Australian Team (Reds Volleyball Club)
- Caitlin Whincup, All Australian Team (Rossmoyne Volleyball Club)
- Elizabeth Alchin, All Australian Team (Rossmoyne Volleyball Club)
- Phoebe Lewis (Rossmoyne Volleyball Club)
- Stephanie Mews (Rossmoyne Volleyball Club)
We are excited to see what our WA juniors will achieve during their next challenge.