Volleyball: Tauranga teams take titles

Tauranga's reputation for having the best volleyball schools in New Zealand has been enhanced after the secondary schools nationals in Palmerston North on Friday night.

Otumoetai College Girls' A and Tauranga Boys' College A are the 2013 New Zealand champions after defeating Christchurch Girls' High School and Western Heights High School respectively for the titles.

Both games were intense, the crowd contributing to the fiery atmosphere on court.

In the girls' final Otumoetai won the first set 25-20, but Christchurch Girls' fought back in another tight set, in the end taking it out 25-22.

The third set proved to be even more competitive with Otumoetai just inching ahead of Christchurch to win 28-26.

Though Christchurch put up a gutsy performance, they were unable to gain the victory and Otumoetai pulled ahead to win the final set 25-20.

In an intense and at-times fiery game, Tauranga Boys' proved too strong for defending champions Western Heights.

The Tauranga team won the title in straight sets.

Their strength with the spike and quick footwork saw the boys prove their prowess and their place in the final.

Tauranga Boys' manager Jason Spice said the boys got better every day of the tournament.

"They just saved the best until last.

"That's what you've got to do," he said.

"Winning this is a great reward for all their hard work."

Tauranga took off to an early lead in the first set.

It was then fought point for point right until the end, with Tauranga finally clinching it 26-24.

The second set was equally tight but Tauranga's resilience won over the defending champions, gaining a bigger lead this time and taking out the set 25-17.

The third set saw some stellar volleyball played, with both teams pulling out all the stops in a desperate effort to win the set.

In the end Heights were no match for Tauranga in the decider, the boys appearing powerful and confident as they steamed towards a 25-19 victory.

The boys' second division final was an entertaining match between two high-quality teams, with Whangarei's Tikipunga High just holding off a late challenge by Nelson's Waimea College to win 15-11 in the fifth set.

Rangitoto College survived a fourth-set comeback from Hastings Girls' to take out the girls second division title.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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