Eight months of planning came off perfectly for Volleyball Horsham's men's division one team when it won its first ever gold medal at the Victorian Country Championships.
An emotion-charged victory at the Horsham Tournament last November where the majority of the team came together, paved the way for a serious shot at the coveted men's division one country title.
Pitted against Latrobe Valley, Bendigo, Sunraysia and Ballarat the team finished in second spot on the ladder after the round robin phase, with victories over Latrobe, Sunraysia and Ballarat and a five-set loss to Bendigo.
In the gold medal qualifier against Latrobe Valley, the team recorded a four-set victory to set up a showdown with the undefeated Bendigo.
The tone was set in the warm-up of the final with both teams trading pleasantries under the net with each other, and it was the Horsham boys that fed off that adrenaline better establishing an early lead in which Bendigo couldn't bridge. The first set to Horsham 25-17.
In the second set, both teams traded big spikes, massive blocks and strong defense but it was the Horsham boys that were first to 20, and they closed the set out winning 25-21. The third set followed a similar pattern with Horsham holding a two-point lead at 16-14, which then opened up to 21-16 and 24-17 and with a Cam Robinson block that much sought after gold medal became a reality.
Captain Matthew Berry was named as the All Star Seven best setter while Cam Robinson was also selected in the honorary squad.
In the women's division one, Volleyball Horsham's team recorded an emotional five set win over South Gippsland in the bronze medal match. Battling injury to key players the girls managed to restructure their lineup to maximum effect with all eight players contributing to the result.
In men's division two, Volleyball Horsham's team went through the pool phase of the event undefeated. In its championship pool matches the team was brave in close defeats to Bairnsdale and Bendigo and eventually missed out on getting into the gold medal match by point four of a per cent.
In the bronze medal match, the team put up a huge fight against Bendigo but couldn't get the point they needed at the right time and went down 27-29, 22-25, 19-25. Nathan Berry was named as an All Star Seven selection in division two.