Junior Pirates plunder two titles in unbeaten assault at Geelong

SOUTH West Pirates soared to two championship wins in Geelong at the weekend.

The Warrnambool Volleyball Association’s under 17 girls’ and under 15 girls’ representative teams went through the Geelong junior tournament undefeated.

Cheryl Hilliam coached Lauren Keeley, Chelsea Hunt, Rachelle Casley, Kayla Atkinson, Izzy Rix and Madeline O’Donnell to the under 17 title.

They won their three pools games before celebrating a straight sets grand final win against Heidelberg.

The Glenda Hussey-coached under 15 team, which consisted of Maddison Wright, Brianna Thwaites, Phoebe Pyers, Emma Baillie, Jessica Thwaites, Morgan Edge and Ally Fedley, secured three pool wins before winning their semi-final and advancing to the decider.

The Pirates defeated the Maribyrnong Jets in three sets (10-25, 25-20, 15-8) in the grand final.

Association vice-president Jason Thwaites said the wins were the culmination of months of preparation.

“It’s been very hard work over the last 18 months with the kids and pretty much all of them played last year (in Geelong) and acquitted themselves well,” Thwaites said.

“There were a lot of well-trained players in the competition especially with Melbourne schools having dedicated sports programs around volleyball, like Ivanhoe and Heidelberg.

“The general skills of the players has really developed and it’s a real credit to the coaches Cheryl and Glenda.

“You couldn’t single a player out, they all played well as a team.”

Thwaites said most of the players used the association’s March long weekend Seaside carnival as preparation for the Geelong tournament.

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