A FRESH-FACED team with a fresh approach has helped Yarra Ranges secure a top-grade men’s victory at Warrnambool’s Seaside Volleyball Tournament.
In stifling conditions at the Arc yesterday, the Yarra Ranges outfit only dropped one set in its victory over reigning state league champion Monash Blue, three sets to one.
Yarra Ranges looked the goods early, taking the first set 25-22, before Monash fired back, stealing the second by the same margin 25-22.
But Monash’s momentum was short-lived, with a raft of errors and excellent defensive work from the Ranges enabling its rival to win the third set 25-12 and the fourth 25-16.
Yarra Ranges coach Allan Cahill said after a slow start to the tournament, he was impressed with the way his team progressed through.
“It’s a new group of players, so it was very pleasing to finish off so strong after a slow start on Saturday,” he said.
“We’ve changed our approach to the game a little bit and I think that caught a few teams off guard.
“Monash Blue are the reigning state league champions, so to have such a convincing win over them is a big boost heading into the state league season.”
Cahill said his team had benefited from sharing the offence around the court.
“We also played some brilliant defensive work. Those blocks were what kept us in control of the game,” he said.
“We play Monash a lot in Melbourne.
“We know how they play and we knew that defensive work and sharing the offence would be crucial to getting the win.
“They know our old style of play, so I think we surprised them in the qualifier when we changed things up a bit and beat them two-nil.”
Cahill said the team would now head into a heavy training schedule before the start of the state league next month.
“We use Warrnambool as the start of our training,” he said.
“It’s probably one of the best tournaments in Australia. We love coming down here, it’s a credit to the local association.”
Warrnambool Volleyball Association president Anthony Smith said he was rapt with how the weekend had run.
“It’s all gone very smoothly under some challenging conditions with the heat,” he said.
“We also had a new rule introduced which took some getting used to.”