and went very smoothly, all the boys were very well behaved and represented Newlands College admirably.
we won both our pool games, 3-1 vs Wellington College and 3-0 vs Aotea College, with all 12 boys getting a lot of game time. We were ahead in most games by a substantial margin and the senior boys were more than happy to take a step back and allow the junior players to step up and enjoy some decent court time.
Referee duties were taken seriously and again the younger boys stepped up and took charge and represented the school well, with Bryan being nominated boys referee of the tournament and rewarded with a medal.
we played St. Bernard’s in the Quarter Final and pulled off a convincing 3-0 win despite not having Corey Le’aupepe available due to softball commitments. The Semi Final game was against Wellington High and we won 3-0 although it was a hard-fought win and we had to come from behind several times as the boys adjusted to facing a well-structured defensive team.
The Final against St. Patrick’s College was incredible and the boys thoroughly enjoyed the audience (and having their names announced over the speaker system). The boys stepped up and played 100% to the best of their abilities (as they had all tournament) and really came together as a team. We won the first set with a massive margin, winning 25-13. The second set went St. Pat’s way with a similar score line. The third and fourth sets went similarly and the pressure was on in the deciding set. They thrived under pressure and when I called a time out at a 4-9 disadvantage they pushed hard again to bounce back and take the lead at 14-10. Despite having four match points we were unable to clinch it and we ended up battling hard for several deuce points until St. Pat’s settled the matter, winning the fifth set 18-16. A very emotional final for everyone and the boys acted like winners and were most gracious in defeat, showing great sportsmanship. A number of their parents were watching and I’m sure they wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Corey Leaupepe, Austin Vivilli, Brett Taefu, and Isaiah Laulu all made the tournament team.
All in all, by far the most pleasurable group of boys I have ever had the privilege of coaching at a Regionals tournament and I am extremely proud of them all. They displayed impressive teamwork and a hardened resolve and an overall sense of pride and sportsmanship (all of which I cannot teach them to do, only encourage). Thanks to Carl and Rick also for their invaluable support.