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    Laelah Robertson

Horsham enters Volleyball Victoria Junior Open

By David Berry

Volleyball Horsham’s girls under-19 team is among 160 teams competing in an inaugural Volleyball Victoria Junior Open in Melbourne.

The event gives schools, associations and academies an opportunity to participate in an end-of-year tournament, as an alternative to the National Schools Cup, which has been moved to Queensland’s Gold Coast.

The cost to participate on the Gold Coast would have been about $1800 per player, which would have been out of reach for most schools in the Wimmera.

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With Volleyball Victoria opening entries to include associations and academies, the new tournament has provided opportunities the National Schools Cup couldn’t offer.

This has led to more than 30 teams participating in this event – players who otherwise wouldn’t be playing, which is great for the sport.

The competition has been even for the Wimmera girls, and they haven’t been disgraced in their early games.

McKinnon was the girls’ first opponent and things were looking bleak when they were two-sets-to-one down and 19-24, but they dug deep and clawed their way back into the game, coming away with a five-set victory.

The second game was the polar opposite, with the Horsham girls leading by two sets to love, before an unfortunate clash saw key hitter Laelah Robertson suffer concussion. This left a huge hole in the team’s line up, which it couldn’t cover, and it eventually went down in five sets to Kew.

The third game involved another thrilling five setter in which the team was able to power away in the fifth set to win comfortably against Upwey.

A close straight-sets loss to Maribyrnong left the team outside the top four, which meant it had to beat either Heathfield or Monbulk in its last two games to qualify for medal matches.

Irrespective of the results the tournament has been successful and Volleyball Victoria should be applauded for standing strong and staging the event, which should only get better going forward.

The entire December 4, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!