Western Phantoms finals bound

ALL three Western Phantoms teams have qualified for the Volleyball Victoria state league competition finals series.

Phantoms secretary and men's reserves coach David Berry said it was an outstanding achievement for the club, which entered three teams for the first time this season.

It followed the club winning the men's division two premiership in its debut season last year.

"If someone had have said this would happen at the start of the season we would have taken it," he said.

"This is great for our club. It is a good advertisement of what we are doing.

"We set out to create a solid, successful pathway and we've achieved what we set out to do so far."

The final series starts this weekend, with the men's reserves and men's division two sides set to play in qualifying finals and women's division two side to play an elimination final.

The women's division two side went into Saturday night's match against Melbourne University Renegades at Horsham Basketball Stadium knowing it needed to win to secure fourth place.

However, Heidelberg Two had upset fifth-placed Latrobe Valley Hawks earlier in the day, ensuring the Phantoms would finish in the top four.

Berry said the coaches decided not to inform the team of the result prior to their match.

"We wanted to see how they performed under pressure," he said.

Renegades recorded a five-set victory, beating the Phantoms 27-25, 25-22, 12-25, 25-27, 15-11.

"The girls were nervous but fought well and played some of their best volleyball when they were under pressure. It's a good sign for finals," he said.

Berry said the team was told after their loss that they had qualified for finals.

"Some of the girls were in tears after the game but you should have heard their squeals of excitement when they found out," he said.

The Phantoms' men's reserves side secured the minor premiership with a 25-13, 25-15, 26-24 win against the Renegades.

The Phantoms' men's division two side lost a five-set match to the Renegades, in a finals preview between the top two teams. Renegades won 15-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12.

Berry said the side was capable of reversing the result in the first final.

"We were terribly erratic, where Renegades were good at keeping the ball alive," Berry said.

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