A SEACHANGE agreed with the Latrobe Valley’s volleyballers over the Labour Day long weekend, when two of the region’s teams claimed victory at the 40th annual Seaside Tournament in Warrnambool.
Latrobe Valley Volleyball was well represented by a senior side and SP Ausnet Gippsland Sports Academy team contesting division two women, the GSA boys teams in division two men and the Redbacks team, comprised of current and past Latrobe Valley men, in division one.
Stephanie Paull and Australian junior representative Phoebe Trembath also competed in the honours division with leading Melbourne club Eastside Hawks.
The LV women went undefeated in their pool with five wins from as many matches.
After finishing top of the pool the women drew a semi-final showdown against the GSA girls who had finished second in their pool with four wins.
The GSA team proved a worthy adversary and pushed their more experienced opponent in a high quality game which saw the senior team win 25-19, 19-25, 15-10.
Power hitting from Caillie Cook, Darcie White and Ash Vuillermin proved too much for Dan Higgins’ GSA side.
The gold medal game pitted the LV girls against the strong Austral Phoenix club from South Australia.
Coach Glenn Trembath had done his homework and set the rotation to negate the big hitting Phoenix which had crushed its early rivals in the pool rounds.
Georgia Everett and Ann Bomers won several points on block to help win the first set 25-20.
The second set saw the LV girls down on the scoreboard early until a fantastic service run from Vuillermin gained eight unanswered points.
Along with some clever and precise setting from Hazel Cropper and Ainsley White, the Valley side claimed the second set 25-21.
The third set saw the Phoenix girls self-destruct and lose 25-3.
LV captain Jess Lloyd was rewarded for her outstanding leadership with the best and fairest honour for the division.
“The LV squad was a mixture of experience and youth,” coach Trembath said.
“The way the girls came together as a team was very pleasing; the girls were a pleasure to coach and thoroughly deserved to win.”
Current Latrobe Valley player and coach Jacob Gruis also experienced success with his Redbacks team, winning division one.
After finishing second in its pool with three wins from four games the side convincingly won its semi-final and final.
The GSA boys played several close games throughout the weekend and managed a draw against State League heavyweights Southern Cross Cobras.