Western Phantoms in the hunt to play finals

GOOD SETTER: Nathan Berry in action for Western Phantoms. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

GOOD SETTER: Nathan Berry in action for Western Phantoms. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

VICTORIAN Volleyball League action wraps up on Saturday, with Western Phantoms teams still in the hunt to play finals.

The premier and reserves division men’s teams have completed their home and away games, while the reserves women and division two men and women will be in action at the State Volleyball Centre in Melbourne on Saturday.

The premier men are out of finals contention but the reserves are still alive, albeit with a nervous wait ahead of them.

The team will be keenly watching the outcome of Saturday's game between second-placed Mornington and fifth-placed Heidelburg.

If Mornington wins the Phantoms will play finals, but a Heidelburg win would shift them out of fourth place.

Phantoms’ reserves women look destined to miss a finals place by just one game even if they defeat Latrobe Valley Hawks on Saturday.

Close five-set losses to Monash University and Yarra Ranges late in the season have cost the team, which sits sixth on the ladder.

The division two men have an easy equation ahead of them – win on Saturday against Dandenong and play finals, lose and they are out.

Western Phantoms coach David Berry said the team had its fate in its own hands.

“They are going to take a power of beating because Brad Leerson and Henry Murnane come back from nationals where they were sensational,” he said.

“If they carry that form through, Nathan Berry is a good setter, so there is a lot hinging on his ability to get the ball in the right spot.”

Berry said Paddy Sherry would also play a big role for the team as middle blocker.

The division two women will miss out on the finals, but can finish the season with two wins against Heidelburg 2 and Heidelburg 3.

Barry said it had been another good year for the club.

“Without a shadow of a doubt it’s been a massive step forward,” he said.

“Having all the teams in finals contention and being competitive with the top teams shows our strength.

“If we’re able to solidify the line-ups we have, next year we should see more teams playing finals.”

Entries for Volleyball Horsham’s domestic winter competition are now open.

There will be junior A and B, women’s, and open A, B and C grade divisions.

Organisers said people could call David Berry on 0487 824 599 for more information or to register.

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