State high volleyball girls hold high hopes
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
A SUPREME air of confidence is permeating through the ranks as the Gladstone State High girls prepare for next week's Australian Volleyball Schools Cup.
The school's two teams ? the star-studded Open girls and under-14 girls ? leave for Melbourne tomorrow for the Cup which starts on Tuesday.
Both teams are expected to mount serious challenges for the title, but it is the Open team which represents the best shot at national glory.
The majority of the Open girls' line-up was part of the victorious under-15 team which tasted national success last year, so they know what it takes to win. Coach Brian van der Weide has had the girls working hard in the lead-up to the games and is confident of winning the Open crown.
"We are all pretty confident going in, the girls have been working hard in the lead-up and are very keen to perform well in Melbourne,'' van der Weide said.
There will be no easy start for the Gladstone Open team, with their first match up against traditional rivals Heathfield High from South Australia.
"It is great for us to get Heathfield first up, it will give us a good gauge of where we stand,'' he said.
'If we can beat them in the first game, it sets up the whole competition for us.'
The under-14 girls are also expected to perform well in an elite Division One field.
Gladstone have drawn Burnside in their first game which will also be played on Tuesday.