Rotorua's Western Heights High School and Burnside High School from Christchurch took out the senior titles at the 2016 NZ Secondary Beach Volleyball Championships held at Mount Main Beach.
Yesterday's finals were the culmination of two tough days of competition from 150 teams.
Western Heights pairing of Daniel Michael and Tyran Gillespie had less trouble easing past Rangitoto College 21-16, 21-18 in the final than winning their semifinal against Daniel Kilpatrick and Ryan Forlong from defending champions Tauranga Boys' College.
"(Tauranga) had all the supporters. I think we had one. We have come up against them in age group under-19 finals and we fell to them in the third set so we were really determined to beat them.
They are our rivals so it is really good to beat them," Michael said.
"This is my first senior title so it feels really good taking it away ...
We did have to push.
They are both tidy athletes and are both New Zealand reps along with us."
Tauranga Boys' pairing of Kilpatrick and Forlong then had to take on Otumoetai College in the play-off for third, with the Otumoetai pair of Hayden Christie and Cameron Hunter winning 16-21, 21-18, 15-12.
"It is always a bit of a grudge match against TBC. We have played them three times this year and two have been close, with us just falling to them in the third set, so it was good to get one over them," Christie said.
Tauranga Boys' Hoani Lawrence and Sam Henderson won the junior boys' title by defeating Rangitoto 2-1 in a close final.
To add to the congestion on the beach during Waitangi Weekend, the students shared centre stage with the Mount Maunganui Pro-Tour event that was a triumph for local boys Sam O'Dea and Mike Watson.
The two Otumoetai College old boys defeated top-class Japanese pairing of Katsuhiro Shiratori and Yoshiumi Hasegawa to win the title.
It came as sweet revenge for O'Dea and Watson who lost to Japan in the final of the Bay of Plenty Times Mount Maunganui Open last month.
"It was pretty disappointing to lose here last time so we are happy that we can come back and defend our beach successfully this time. We are pretty happy with how we played," Watson said.
The big goal for O'Dea and Watson is to win the Rio Olympics qualifier in Australia in June, where the top eight teams in Asia will play-off for one place in Rio.
"It is progressing nicely but that final here shows we definitely have a lot to work on. We are working hard and I am confident we will be where we want to be come June," Watson said.
NZ Secondary Schools Beach Volleyball finals:
Western Heights beat Rangitoto College 21-16, 21-18
Burnside High School beat Whangarei Girls' High School 21-11, 21-16
Tauranga Boys' College beat Rangitoto College 2-1 sets
New Plymouth Girls' High School beat Waimea College 2-1 sets
Bethlehem College third.