Mana have one eye on Volleyball Nationals

Kapi-Mana News
14 March 2017
KRIS DANDO

Mana College have their sights set on volleyball nationals after their senior boys’ side swept through the regional championships.

Earlier this month, Mana went through the two-day regionals unbeaten, only dropping two sets at the tournament at ASB Sports Centre in Wellington.

One of those was in a tough final against Taita College, in which Mana prevailed 3-1.

College sport director Collin Webster said the team was unbeaten in the College Sport northern division 1 section and would be full of confidence when they head to the secondary schools championships in Palmerston North later this month.

‘‘We’re by no means the finished product, but there is a lot to be proud about with these boys,’’ he said.

‘‘They play good volleyball and we’re good enough for top eight at nationals, but it won’t be easy.’’
At regionals, Mana swept through pool play and the playoffs.  Webster said that along with his side, Taita and Wellington College were the standout teams.

In the final, after going 2-0 up in sets, Mana lost the third and were 15-11 down in the fourth, before storming back to win.
Webster said the most pleasing thing about the win was the atti- tude of the boys.

‘‘I love the way they approach the game – they’re more reserved and humble than a lot of other teams, who make a lot of noise.‘We prepare well and stick to a good game plan.’’

While there were a handful of year 13 players, there was also a good number of younger team members to give Webster confidence that volleyball was in a good place at Mana College.

In the tournament Ezra Seiuli was a brilliant middle hitter – and named MVP of the competition – while teammate Mofate Siupolu was an outstanding outside hitter and server, and Ofisa TamalaMani was a great setter.  All three made the tournament team.  He hoped to get more girls involved in the sport to make Mana a dominant force in the region.

‘‘Our junior boys are doing very well, unbeaten in their division.

‘‘We want to get girls teams under way too, they’re in a rebuilding phase.’’

Webster said volleyball was just one aspect to get the school moving in the right direction.

‘‘Mana has a lot of things going for it right now and not just in volleyball.

‘‘There is a direct focus on our [school] roll and education and sport to get local people back to the college.’’