COUNTRY CHAMPS

Volleyball Horsham will send three teams to Bendigo for this weekend’s 50th Anniversary of the Victorian Country Championships.

Volleyball Horsham will be represented in men’s and women’s division one as well as men’s division two, where their team will be attempting to create history by becoming the first Volleyball Horsham men’s team to become back to back division two champions.

After successfully winning division one at the Horsham Tournament last November, that same team will get back together again in an attempt to break a country championship gold medal duck.

“A country champs gold medal is the one thing missing from all of these boys CV and we are all determined to change that,” said captain Matthew Berry.

The team will be bolstered with the inclusion of the experienced Tim Ladlow and the improved Harry Stemp.

“Tim’s experience will help, while Harry has been playing good volleyball with his uni team, so these two will add good depth to our team,” Berry said.

A women’s division one team will be the same as the one that lost the bronze medal match in last year’s championships with the exception of Molly Hobbs who misses due to injury.

“The girls are a year older and more experienced so I’m expecting a much stronger showing this year,” said captain Kara Johnson.

“We pushed Latrobe Valley and took a set off Bendigo last year and they played off for gold, and those two teams won’t be as strong this year,” Johnson said.

All eyes will be on the men’s division two team that goes into the championships as the number one seed.

The team will be stronger than last year’s gold medal winning team, with the inclusion of veteran hitter Tim Popple and young gun Aidan O’Connor, both have come back from division one last year, the experienced Tyler Snowden and the improving Tyler Puls.

“The nucleus is there from last year and hopefully the inclusions can complement an already strong team,” said Popple.

“But we know we are the hunted and Latrobe Valley and Bendigo are two teams new to the competition this year which will make it tough,” the veteran hitter said.

35 teams from across country Victoria will participate in these championships which mark an incredible 50 years. A special function will be held to acknowledge the anniversary on the Saturday night with many original players from those formative years attending.

Horsham has a proud history of involvement in the championships which started in 1983 with the association collecting three silver and seven bronze medals at men’s division one, two gold and one silver from women’s division one, five gold and three silver medals at men’s division two and a gold, silver and bronze at women’s division two level in that time.

As well as producing a number of All Star Seven selections in each division.

“You can see why capturing that elusive men’s division one gold medal means so much to this year’s team,” said captain Matthew Berry.

The Association would like to thank K and J Baker Cartage, Norton Motor Group, Horsham Florist and CHS Group for their valuable sponsorship which will see all teams in new playing uniforms this year.

Players which will represent Volleyball Horsham at the championships are:-

MEN’S DIVISION 1
Chris Radford
Tim Ladlow
Matthew Berry
Nick Adamson
Cam Robinson
Brady King
Harry Stemp
Jack Hannan
John Dal Santo

WOMEN’S DIVISION 1
Delaney Wills
Kara Johnson
Tamikah Dockrill
Cleo Baker
Laelah Robertson
Eadie Garth-Lindsay
Brooke Freckleton
Emily Hannan

MEN’S DIVISION 2
Tim Popple
Shaun Bray
Nathan Berry
Tyler Snowden
Chris Ca-ayon
Tyler Puls
John Kearns
Will Saligari
Jon Fitzgerald
Aidan O’Connor