THERE was plenty of success for the three Volleyball Horsham teams competing at the Country Championships across the long weekend.
The three teams that travelled to Werribee for the championships came home with a two medals and a fourth-placed finish as well as a host of all-star sections.
A straight sets victory in the men’s division two gold-medal match allowed Horsham to win gold against the South West Pirates.
The side dropped only one game on its way to the final when it rested players for its last match given a top two position was already guaranteed
Volleyball Horsham president David Berry said the side made a nervous start in the final but then destroyed their opponents to win 25-21, 25-12, 25-22.
“That’s the first division two gold medal since 2008 and was a really good reward for those that were in the bronze-medal winning side last year,” he said.
“There was only really two guys from that team left with a number of players having taken the step up as well as some added power from some coming down.
“It was really promising to have some young guys in that team experience winning gold.”
Berry said it was a case of so close but so far for the men’s division one side that missed out on playing in the gold medal match by 2 percent before winning bronze.
“They just had to win their final game against Ballarart and they would have won through to the gold-medal match but a slow start cost them,” he said.
A 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 against Sunraysia allowed the side to secure bronze having fallen short of a medal in the past two country championships.
“That team probably won’t change much going forward and I know they were fairly annoyed at themselves for not making the gold-medal match so they will come back stronger next year,” Berry said.
“They haven’t got a gold medal yet and there are some players in that side who will keep playing until they get the gold medal.
“That’s how much it means to them, and that’s how much country champs mean to everyone because it’s such a great tournament played in a great atmosphere.”
A young, developing women’s division one team could not mange to win it’s bronze medal playoff but Berry said the side showed a lot of promise.
“It was such a young team which was always likely to be a little inconsistent,” he said.
“We had six teenagers on the court at times including two 15 year-olds.
“Last year we didn’t manage a win but this year we managed two really strong wins.”
Individually a number of players also stood out with seven players awarded places in the all-star sevens.
Matthew Berry, Nick Adamson and Matthew Berry were named in the men’s division one all-star which did not feature any players from the gold-medal winning Latrobe Valley side.
The divisions two men’s all start side featured Nathan Berry, Jon Fitzgerald and Scott Davidson.
Kara Johnson was named the all-start setter for the women’s division one side.
Berry said it had been a great weekend of volleyball.
“We had great support and there was great camaraderie between the three teams as well,” he said.
“It was really good for Volleyball Horsham – we were rapt.”