In the gold medal qualifier ... nerves got the better of the girls and they went down in three close sets 21-25, 23-25, 23-25.
A bronze medal winning effort at the inaugural Volleyball Victoria Junior Open, has fueled the fire for greater representation in the future for Volleyball Horsham.
The national tournament saw 160 teams representing schools, academies and associations in an alternative event to the National Schools Cup.
Volleyball Victoria's decision to open the event up to academies and associations gave players in those teams the opportunity to participate that they wouldn't have been given at a National Schools Cup.
The vindication of this decision came when teams representing Volleyball Horsham, Bendigo and Sunraysia Associations all won medals, while a Greater Melbourne Volleyball Academy boys team also figured in the medals.
Volleyball Horsham's girls team, featuring invited players Zoe Smith and Cayla Fawdry from Mildura, won three of their round robin games to finish fourth, behind Heathfield, Maribyrnong and Monbulk.
In the gold medal qualifier played against Heathfield, nerves got the better of the girls and they went down in three close sets 21-25, 23-25, 23-25.
This set up a bronze medal match against Monbulk, a team that the girls had been able to beat comfortably the night before.
A complete team effort saw the girls come out on top, despite dropping concentration and the third set, winning in four sets.
To put the effort into perspective, the gold medal winning team Heathfield will fly to the Gold Coast on Saturday to compete in the open honors section at the National Schools Cup.
Maribyrnong who won silver have a full time program as part of their school curriculum.
Then came Volleyball Horsham who finished ahead of Monbulk McKinnon, Kew and Upwey - all traditionally strong volleyball schools.
This underlined the successful work being done in each association in giving players the opportunity to compete and strong domestic training and playing competitions.
The bronze medal win caps off another successful year for Volleyball Horsham.
Highlights for the this year included:
- Membership passing 300 for the first time in history
- Medals won at the country championship
- Payers and coaches represented Victoria at National Championships.
- Continued rebuilding of our tournament
- Ongoing provision of suitable domestic competitions.
All of these are positives for the sport.