Article Title:Fitness and skills to the fore at volleyball
Category:Out Games News
Author or Daily News staff
Published on:14th March 2011 - 12:59 pm
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Story ID:10076
Text:1.30PM: A high calibre of volleyball is playing out in Porirua today as twelve teams battle for places in three grades prior to the finals tomorrow afternoon. Ten Australian and two Kiwi teams are made up of a range of players, "from serious types to the 'funsters,'" according to tournament coordinator Tessa Siolo-Thompson. "There are some very good teams and I am pleasantly surprised at their calibre," she says. Tournament organiser Tessa Siolo-Thompson Sweaty and clutching a drink bottle Siolo-Thompson barely takes her eyes off the action which she has briefly left to talk with courtside. Tournament organiser she may be but she is also playing hard for the Kiwis. Almost all the players are male with the few female players absorbed into the mens' teams. The level of player fitness is proving extremely high for the gruelling tournament. Matches can last up to 40 minutes and while some teams will only play three matches some will have to leap and slam their way through as many as five. The teams bear such fanciful names as 'Sets in the City' and 'Mixed Lollies' but worryingly for the kiwis the Australians bely their silly names by looking extremely strong in play. It is notable that the Aussie teams include a large number of Asian players, reflecting the popularity of volleyball in Asian nations. With four matches in progress at any time and supporters and teammates shouting and cheering the noise levels in the large Te Raupraha Arena are at times deafening, and althought there is a strong competitive spirit the off-court relations seem to be extremely cordial and supportive. So far the only significant injury has been one sustained by a net which partially collapsed under an Australian player who lunged a little to heavily and a little to far, to much laughter and whooping from around the stadium. It is lunch time now, except for the two teams which had to wait for the net repairs. Pool play continues from two o'clock and the configuration of the finals should be known around midday tomorrow. Daily News staff - 14th March 2011
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