2021 Volleyball Victoria Country Championships Summary

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After three years the Victorian Country Volleyball Championships returned with a bang as Volleyball Horsham hosted the 51st annual event.

27 teams entered and while entries were down on previous championships, given the environment sport has come out of, organisers were satisfied with the response.

Volleyball Horsham should be applauded for their efforts in hosting the event. This year was the third attempt after repeated lockdowns in June and September last year thwarted their efforts. No association in the event’s history has had over 18 months to prepare for the pinnacle event on the country volleyball calendar.

On the court Latrobe Valley were the big winners when they took out the coveted men’s division one title in beating Bendigo in straight sets. This was Latrobe’s first title since 2018.

Latrobe Valley’s James Carlyle-Shelton was the difference between the two teams. No matter what Bendigo tried, the high leaping former Bendigo junior was unstoppable hitting winners for fun and forcing plenty of errors on the Bendigo receivers with his powerful jump serves.

Carlyle-Shelton was well supported by key middle Callum Goldsmith with both well served by setter of the tournament Andrew Burgess.

In the bronze medal match Sunraysia tasted their first ever success at this level when they defeated Horsham in four sets.

The All Star Seven for Men’s Division 1 were:-

James Carlyle-Shelton, Callum Goldsmith, Andrew Burgess (setter) (Latrobe Valley), Matt Gordon, Josh Gordon (libero), Michael Mayes (Bendigo) and Cam Robinson (Horsham).

Bendigo went back to back in women’s division 1 with a straight sets win over Horsham. The visiting team was made to work hard by the hosts after winning the first set comfortably.

Bendigo’s Elsie Rodgers was the difference between the two teams. The experienced Rodgers left nothing out on the court as she racked up winner after winner in attack, backing that up with service pressure that kept the opposition on the back foot every time she went back to serve.

In the bronze medal match Sunraysia, like their male counterparts, got their first taste of silverware in this division when they accounted for Warrnambool in straight sets.

The All Star Seven for Women’s Division 1 were:-

Cleo Baker, Eadie Garth-Lindsay, Siobhan Robinson (Horsham), Brooke Freckleton, Abbie Waters (libero) (Sunraysia), Elsie Rodgers-Rutledge and Kilby Galo (setter) (Bendigo).

Referee Delegate Murray Mansfield was full of praise for the tremendous effort put in by the host Association, with their volunteer base filling key administrative roles and making everyone’s job a whole lot easier throughout the weekend.

The event moves to Mildura next year with players being treated to a spectacular new $40millon venue, boasting up to nine courts in a climate controlled venue at Mildura South sporting precinct. Sunraysia Volleyball have already commenced their planning and rest assured if the bar for the presentation of the event hasn’t been set already, Sunraysia Volleyball will certainly look to emulate if not exceed expectations.

For quality action shots of the event, team and All Star Seven photos refer to the Volleyball Horsham facebook page.

For all division results and All Star award winners please refer to the event website www.vvccc.com.au

Referee of the tournament – Willie Cornellis.

Referee Encouragement award – Tristan Gibbs (Warrnambool).

Volleyball Victoria Chairman’s Trophy – Bendigo.

 

 

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