WINNING START

Volleyball Horsham members involved with Phantoms will look forward to next weekend’s home round with great confidence after a promising start to the State League season.

Six out of eight teams were successful in the first round with only the premier men and division three girls the teams on the wrong side of the ledger.

The tone was set early at Maribyrnong College stadium by Tim Popple’s division two Black team and Delaney Wills’ reserves girls, with both recording thumping straight sets wins against their Victoria University opponents.

Popple’s new look team was clinical in winning, something that pleased the veteran playing coach.

“You never know how things are going to play out, but the team set a standard early that VU couldn’t match. It was most pleasing,” said Popple.

Wills was equally as impressed with her young team.

“With a lot of young girls stepping into reserves competition for the first time and two new setters we weren’t sure how we would go, but in the end we had nothing to worry about as all nine girls were great.”

Next on court were the premier women and the division three boys and two more wins came Phantoms way.

Premier women’s number one setter Kara Johnson was happy to get the win as well.

“With three teenagers on debut who were all very nervous it was important to set the tone early and that’s what we were able to do when we won the first set,” said Johnson.

“We have some very experienced players to make the new player’s job easier and they all played really well.”

The division three boys were good in their win over Western Region Volleyball with Will Saligari to the fore.

“Will’s leadership was excellent, as we had some very nervous boys making their debut. Will showed great support to all of them,” said coach Gavin Penny.

Shaun Bray, in his new role as libero for the Phantoms Purple team, helped get his team off to a winning start, while Nathan Berry and Jack Hannan’s reserves men’s team made short work of VU.

The only dampener on what could have been a great day for the club was the five set loss suffered by the premier men against Mazenod and the straight sets loss by Eadie Garth Lindsay’s division three girls.

The division two men’s teams will head to Mildura this weekend for an historical local derby clash with the Black team taking on the Purple team, in what promises to be a showcase of the up and coming young talent within the club ranks.