REACHING FOR THE STARS: Kiall Rudder is the fourth sibling in a talented family and he is also making his mark in volleyball.
REACHING FOR THE STARS: Kiall Rudder is the fourth sibling in a talented family and he is also making his mark in volleyball. ImageBox 4680 John Todd GLA12061

It's a jump for state joy for Kiall

VOLLEYBALL: Fun matches between Kiall Rudder and brothers Connor and James in the front yard of their Boyne Island home have laid the foundations.

As young children, the brothers would set up a volleyball net in the front yard and take each other on, Kiall never envisaging the volleyball success that was to come.

Kiall shows his vertical leap.
Kiall shows his vertical leap. ImageBox 4680 John Todd GLA12061

Fast-forward to the present and Kiall, 17, has been chosen in the under-19 Queensland schoolboys' team which will travel for tournaments in Singapore and Malaysia in October.

Athletic and rangy Kiall impressed at the 16-19 Years Volleyball State Championships for the Capricornia team in Brisbane.

"It tends to get pretty competitive with the occasional use of trash talk, but it is all in good taste and we know to never go too far," Kiall recalled of the brotherly banter.

Capricornia finished ninth in Brisbane and Kiall was pleased with his performances.

"I believe I performed as well as I could at the tournament and as a team we really grew from being eight teenage boys who had had only one training before the tournament to a team who was playing with a lot of intensity and heart," he said.

The Tannum State High School Year 12 student went further to explain what areas he was happy with.

"I think the most pleasing part of my game was being able to read the game and react to be able to pick up the ball," he said.

The Malaysia and Singapore Tour is spread over nine days where the team will travel to Singapore and play against its international high school/club rivals which is essentially its version of the Queensland Schools Cup.

Kiall is third eldest behind Connor, 20, and James, 19, while sister Scarlett is 15.

He said his reflexes were his biggest strength on the court.

"I believe my greatest strength in volleyball is being able to read the play and react to it. I have worked a lot on my footwork and moving quickly towards the ball," Kiall said.

The sport for him began when he was eight.

"My father, Terry Rudder, brought home a volleyball net and ball," Kiall said.

"As a kid I always loved to play the game Keep the Balloon Off of the Floor and because volleyball is basically a more intense version of that, I instantly fell in love with it.

"The feeling I get from my family when I see them sitting in the bench watching me play for Capricornia is a real boost and makes me enjoy the sport that my whole family plays even more."



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