Captain of Volleyball for 2023, Tamwi Metai, takes us through the season.
Waikato Regional Competition
For our 2023 Senior A Volleyball Team, our regional season started strong on the 18th of February, with two straight 3-0 victories against Melville and Fraser. Following this strong start, we met a top-quality Hillcrest side. With some of the players starting the game nervously in the early sets, and some unforced errors by the team, we lost the game 3-0 resulting in our first loss. However, after this letdown we had a chance to redeem ourselves. In our next game we came up against a strong defensive Matamata. The game dragged out dramatically putting us in our first five set match of the season. However, despite Matamata’s strong defence, our team took out the game 3-2. The following week we came across a tall and athletic Tokoroa side. After the best game of the season so far with some epic defence, we wiped Tokoroa off the court in a stunning 3-0 win. Our team maintained and extended our winning streak to seven wins after beating St Peter’s, Rototuna, and Te Awamutu. This put us in second place heading into the regional semi-finals. Our semi final was against Tokoroa once again. The team fought hard against the explosive Tokoroa side and won the game in a much closer 3-0 victory. This meant we were in the final against Hillcrest High School who were so far undefeated. We played the final hard with the team playing their absolute best, but in the end it wasn’t enough and lost the game 3-0 coming 2nd place in Waikato. Two of our players were named in the star 7 tournament team, Hikawera Puriri (Year 13) and Shae Asiata (Year 12) for their consistent play throughout the competition. The other HBHS teams results are as follows:
Senior B team placed 🥇 in Division 2
Senior C team placed 4th in Division 2
Senior D team placed 🥈 in Division 3
In the middle of March, after a postponed tournament due to the cyclone, we travelled to Tauranga to compete in the Super 8 Volleyball Competition hosted by Tauranga Boys’ College. For our first Super 8 tournament game, we came up against a very athletic and aggressive Tauranga Boys’ side. With the team just settling into a new environment and actively adjusting, we came up short and lost the game 3-0. After this loss we reflected and hoped to come back and regain our composure against Palmerston North Boys’, but we still came up short and lost the game 3-0 once again. From there, we played Rotorua Boys’ and Tauranga Boys’ B, winning both games convincingly 3-1 and 3-0 to finish in 5th.
During Summer Tournament Week, we headed to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Volleyball Championships (NZSSVC) in Palmerston North. We started our nationals campaign nervously with a 3-2 victory against a loud and hyped Aorere College. However, with our first game nerves gone and a good adjustment into the new environment we won our second game 3-1 against a very tidy Takapuna Grammar side. On our second day we had a rough start to the day, with two of our key players leaving their playing tops at our accommodation that was almost 40 minutes away from the arena. This shook the team a little bit, but they rejigged and stayed composed to beat Taradale 3-0. With this win, we had qualified for Division 3 of our Nationals Tournament. Our first Division 3 match saw us come against a very tall and good blocking Cashmere side from Christchurch. They were unfortunately too good for our hitters and saw us lose that game 3-0. The next day the team was determined to not let that loss affect us, and saw us win our first game against Aotea College 3-0. Our next game however, was going to be a challenging one, as it was once again Tokoroa High School. For the third time this season we faced this team, and they proved to us they were not here to lose by taking the first set. This put us in a difficult position, but the team regathered themselves and went on to win the next three sets and the game 3-1. Our quarterfinal matchup was against a strong King’s High from Dunedin. With a good and early start, the team came out firing, winning this match 3-0. In our semi-final, we got to have a rematch against Palmerston North Boys’ High School. With a shaky and nervous start we lost the first two sets, but came back to win the third set 29-27. However, Palmerston North were just too strong that day and won the game 3-1 knocking us out of the final. In our play-off game, we played Christ’s College who had lost to eventual runner’s up, Cashmere. The game started off with us losing the first two sets, with the team being mentally and physically fatigued. However, the team pulled through and won the third set convincingly. There was still hope. However, after an ongoing battle of back to back points, we came up short and lost the game 3-1, missing out on a medal and putting an end to our Nationals tournament. This meant HBHS had achieved 4th place in Division 3 at the NZSSVC.
A special mention to our Year 13 boys who have been leaders in our Senior Volleyball programme over the last three years. Tamwi Metai, Hikawera Puriri, Raynald Finau, Munroe Inoke, Cain Lilo and Ratu Tagivetaua. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours in Volleyball.
By Tamwi Metai