With five training sessions remaining before the 2019 National Junior Championships, Volleyball Horsham's state players are progressing nicely.
Tamikah Dockrill and Laelah Robertson have been selected in the Victorian White under 19 team, Cleo Baker the Victorian White under 17 team and John Kearns the Victorian Gold under 17 boys team.
To complement the players selected in state teams Volleyball Horsham coaches Shaun Bray and Delaney Wills have taken over the Victorian Gold under 17 girls team, as they venture into the state coaching program for the first time.
Dockrill, who will represent the state for a second time, is the key middle blocker for her team, and is coming on really well according to first year coach Mazenod's John Dal Santo.
"Tamikah has been impressive in our practice matches against the Blue team, especially her blocking, which is her strength," Dal Santo said.
"She is also starting to build a good connection with our setters with her middle quick attacks which is important as well."
Dal Santo is full of praise for Laelah Robertson who as a bottom aged player has bought good energy and commitment to the group. "Laelah is fantastic as she gives her all and has the right personality around the group," he said.
Cleo Baker will be a key player in her team, as she participates in her fourth national championships.
Her coach, Latrobe Valley's Glenn Trembath is pushing the Murtoa College youngster all the way as he broadens her knowledge of the game. "We'll be playing a different style to what we've done in the past and Cleo is learning a whole new way, which is good for her development," Trembath said.
John Kearns has been impressive all the way through the training program, both from a skill perspective, as his game develops even more, but more so from his leadership skills, according to coach Mildura's Chris Hermans. "John is comfortable talking with the boys and his all round game is developing to the point where he could be playing as a setter, libero, defensive specialist or pass hitter."
All coaches were pleased that the players are putting into practice what they have learnt at state training.
"We know the Volleyball Horsham players are getting good training back in Horsham, as well as the hard match play they need in the lead up to the championships," Hermans said. "It makes our job so much easier when this occurs."
There is still an opportunity for boys and girls interested in playing to get on board in the Monday night junior competition. There are some teams looking for players. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.