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    RETURNING: Grace Turner, in action playing for Murtoa College at last year’s Volleyball Horsham Tournament, will take the place of the injured Kara Johnson for Volleyball Horsham’s premier women’s team this weekend.

Season deciders for winter volleyball comp

By David Berry

The culmination of Volleyball Horsham’s winter season will happen tonight with six grand finals to be decided.

In a season where more than 250 games were played across six divisions, with 39 teams fighting for the right to play off in season deciders, the grand finals are expected to keep everyone on their toes.

The juniors and women’s competitions will kick off the night at 6pm, followed by A and B grades at 7pm. A Reserve and C Grade teams will hit the court at 8pm.

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The two best teams all season in A Grade, Phantoms and Hellenic Nuggets, will face off in the grand final.

Phantoms will look to Tyler Puls and Haidyn Young to hit plenty of winners. 

How Hellenic Nuggets set their line up will be the key. In their preliminary final, the move of Archie Gawith into the middle with Dimitrios Vettos to pass-hitter was the decisive move that enabled them to win, so captain Laelah Robertson will need to be one step ahead of the opposition when it comes to setting her line up.

In A Reserve, perennial finalists Waterhammers and Von Steiger Shadows will battle once again.

Chris Baker has been in good form for Waterhammers all season and will be relied upon to hit plenty of winners, while Michael Schneider is a strong ally for Baker. 

Adam Harrison and Tim O’Donnell are the two key players for Von Steiger Shadows, with Harrison powerful at the net while O’Donnell sets the ball well to his hitters.

In B Grade, the teachers from Horsham College, Blockparty, will square off against student team Stars in a battle of experience versus youth.

Lachie Gillespie and Nick Rigas are key players for Blockparty, while Stars will look to Zane Joseph to block strongly and Joel Brilliant to set the ball to his hitters’ advantage.

In C Grade, it will be another example of the two best teams all season going head-to-head. 

Team USA and KFC Black have enjoyed some great battles during the season and this game will not be any different.

Luke McCallum and John Turton are the keys for Team USA, while plenty will rest on the skills of Isaac McPherson and Tim Phelan for KFC Black.

In the women’s grand final, Heidelberg and Birds of Prey will put on a powerful display, with Molly Carter and Allie Marchesini the power hitters for Heidelberg and Kymberly Murray and Larree Smith likewise for Birds of Prey.

The junior grand final will be an all Holy Trinity Lutheran College affair, with HTLC Tigers’ boys taking on HTLC Thorns’ girls.

The boys have proven too strong throughout the season and scored the direct route to the final. 

However, the girls have had plenty of volleyball in the past two weeks enabling them to hone their skills, so an upset could well be on the cards.

Grand finals will be played at St Brigid’s College Stadium. Spectators can enter free of charge and a canteen will be in operation.

Tournament time

All is set for the biggest ever Volleyball Horsham Tournament on record with seven stadiums and 10 courts in action across the weekend.

Games start at 8am on Saturday at all venues, with 12 Horsham teams going into battle against teams from across country and metro Victoria and South Australia.

Games will start at 8.30am on Sunday, with finals scheduled for 2pm at Horsham Basketball Stadium, St Brigid’s College and Horsham Holy Trinity Lutheran stadium.

The entire November 15, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!