From player to coach – Mountain Creek’s story

From player to coach – Mountain Creek’s story

On the penultimate day of the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup, emotions and passion were running high as teammates both on and off the court spurred on their schools, building towards tomorrow’s finals. 

And while the results and the tournament points are important, for the Year 11 Girls team from Mountain Creek on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, that’s not all that is on the line. 

The newly formed side have made the journey to the Schools Cup to represent their school, region and community proudly.  Made up of students from Year 11 as well as juniors in year 8 and 10, this team delivered a strong win today that had the side cheering big. 

Volunteer coach Ella Hardstaff, is a Mountain Creek High School alumni, and knows how much the volleyball team means to the school.  Having played in Schools Cup herself, she offers her team the benefit of her first hand knowledge playing at this tournament. 

“I’m so proud of how these girls have come together mentally. We didn’t do as well the first couple of days and it’s a big step up. I think we’ve all really bonded as a team. 

“I went to Mountain Creek as a student from year 7 and we have always come to these tournaments [Schools Cup]… we have amazing volunteers like all the other coaches that can really bring the school and the teams together and allow us to have this [experience],” she said. 

Now with one of the best seats in the house, the coaches chair, Hardstaff is relishing the opportunity to be back at the Australian Schools Cup, watching her team go from strength to strength. 

“It’s the most rewarding feeling seeing the girls coming together…to see how they have progressed since they’ve been in year 7 has been so amazing. To see them play a game just like they did today, where they put everything on the line… that’s so worth it for me. 

“It’s so nice to be able to step outside our small zone on the Sunshine Coast, come here and see such a wide range of talent from all over Australia.  It really puts things into perspective and it’s a great experience for all my girls,” she said. 

Mountain Creek’s Zali Bubb is making her return to the Australian Schools Cup and is enjoying her new side and the opportunity to play with different students. 

“It’s been really good. We’ve been having a lot of fun… it’s a new team so we’ve been learning each other’s game and helping each other out. 

“It’s amazing at Schools Cup to play all the other States and see the different games and how they come together as teams and work out how we play against those other styles of coaching. 

“This team we have brought up some great 8’s, grade 10’s… and have an international student from Norway who’s never played volleyball before which is amazing,” she said. 

The Australian Volleyball Schools Cup is taking place on the Gold Coast this week from December 3-9. To follow along with the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup action and results, visit the event specific website here.

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