Carrying with them the success of the Aoraki Champs, Craighead Senior A and Senior B teams attended the South Island Satellite Volleyball Tournament in Christchurch last week. This was the last major volleyball tournament of the season with the Nationals being cancelled due to Covid restrictions.
At the mercy of previous years’ performances of Aoraki teams, Craighead Senior A was placed in Division 2 ‘pool of death’, with eventual finalists, St Andrews College (who only won against CDS 15-4 in the 5th set) and winners Avonside Girls High School. With the top two in the pool advancing to the semi finals, it took a countback to separate Avonside, Wakatipu High School and CDS to see who would join the unbeaten St Andrews team. In dropping a set more than the others we were relegated to playing off for 5th – 8th in cross pool play. As play continued, it was clear that there was disparity between the pools, with the tougher matches giving the Craighead players a ruthless edge to their performance. In a repeat pool play, CDS endured yet another 5 set thriller with Wakatipu to finish 5th in Division 2.
The highlight of the tournament, however was the progress of the Craighead B team who improved their confidence and willingness to play attacking, structured volleyball. After a convincing straight sets win over Rangi Ruru, the team were tested by Rolleston College A before meeting eventual Division 3 winners, Burnside C for their only loss of the tournament. Although sets were dropped against St Andrews C and the B teams from Rolleston College and Wakatipu, the form that had developed amongst the team saw them victorious in each game, earning them the silver medal in Division 3.
A huge thanks to Gaela Kilgour who gave up her time to make the teams’ participation happen as she accompanied the team as manager/ physio and baker.
Craighead B: L Apperley, K Baxter, R Cabrera, M Dominikovich, A O’Sullivan, S Parsons, D Phillips, M Thomas, N Whiteley
Craighead A: A Cabrera , Z Coleman, O Lincoln, K Kubota, N Motley, C Porter, I Sharp, E Shrimpton