Aussies top US in Gladstone battle
GLADSTONE State High School Volleyball School of Excellence has claimed superiority over their namesake Gladstone High Oregon on the local school’s current sports tour of the USA.
The Gladstone girls were victorious over their US counterparts in both juniors and seniors in what is sure to become a fierce international volleyball rivalry.
The junior team breezed to a straight sets 2-0 victory, while the seniors had a much tougher time and had to grind out a 15-13 fifth set to take the competition 3-2.
Coach Brian Van Der Weide said that the night was a great success and all the girls played well as a team with no one player standing out.
The 17-strong squad has enjoyed a great run of success at the halfway mark of the three-week tour, which kicked off on September 14.
The girls’ first port of call was Hawaii, where the junior team recorded two draws, a win and a loss, while the seniors posted two draws and two wins in a tournament against Hanalani schools.
Our talented volleyball players played against two other schools during their subsequent Oregon visit, with three-set losses for both sides against Gresham High and wins for the juniors and seniors against David Douglas High School.
Regardless of results, Van Der Weide said that one of the primary goals of the tour was to expose the girls to international travel and a multitude of scholarship opportunities to US Colleges.
“It’s extremely big in colleges and universities and it’s how a lot of students get boarding scholarships to go to university through volleyball,” he said.
“It’s all part of the experience and these girls travel a lot around Australia every year; to take them overseas is a total educational experience in travelling and if they’re going to go overseas and get a scholarship they’ll have some idea of what it’s like over there.”
The tour is building towards the prestigious Dave Mohs Memorial tournament at Huntington Beach in California which attracts some of the best sides in the USA and receives television coverage.
“It’s a major tournament and the top two or three teams in the country will be there.
“It’s the strongest place there for volleyball; if we’re lucky enough to play them it will probably be televised,” Van Der Weide said.