NSW victorious at 2023 Australian Junior Volleyball Championships

NSW victorious at 2023 Australian Junior Volleyball Championships

New South Wales has proved to be the most dominant state in national junior volleyball, winning gold in four out of the five divisions at the 2023 Australian Junior Volleyball Championships.

Four teams from the United States joined 42 Australian teams at Sydney Olympic Park over the weekend, to fight for national glory in the U19 and U23 Men’s and Women’s divisions.

Teams from the NSW Phoenix performance pathways program were victorious in the U23 Men’s and Women’s divisions, U19 Men’s Premier and U19 Women’s Division 1. However, Volleyball Queensland prevented their neighbours from a clean sweep, securing the victory in the U19 Women’s Premier division.’

Along with their U19 Women’s title, QLD won two silver medals over the weekend. Western Australia won a silver and bronze, Victoria won three bronze medals, and two American teams joined NSW on the U19 Women’s Division 1 podium.

Volleyball NSW’s Head of Pathways, Martin Reader, said the state’s dominance over the weekend was a direct result of their innovative new pathways programs.

“It is a huge indication that the targeted work and development we are doing through our Phoenix program is headed in the right direction,” Reader said.

“The results are spectacular and we are super pleased with them, however, what really resonates is how our teams showed up and represented themselves leading into and during the finals.

“Our Head Coach Chris Todd is really driving an athlete-centred program model so it is so great to see our coaches reinforcing opportunities for athletes to grow on the court as well as the athletes themselves being creative, trusting their teammates and performing under pressure.”

Killian Donovan from the winning U19 Men’s team echoed the team mentality the coaching staff have been working hard to implement.

“It feels great that the hard work paid off, a special thanks to our four wonderful coaches,” Donovan said after his gold-medal match.

“We went in together, played hard as a team, and whatever the outcome, we were in it together… everyone was just happy to be there, we had a lot of support from the bench, it was good.”

Reader said the NSW high performance team have made a number of changes to their pathways program this season, which was reflected in their performance on the court.

“We created a new strength and conditioning and recovery program, hosted an extra technical training every week for the entire squad, integrated physio into our weekly team trainings and hosted officiated matches in build up for AJVC.

“We also added a new layer of coach development through a weekly meeting to talk higher level concepts as well as a program mentor who supported more individualised growth opportunities for coaches through questioning and self-reflection,” he said.

Reader made a special mention to the champion U23 teams, who both had challenging paths through the rounds to make it into the final.

“The U23 Sky women’s team had an incredible tournament. They had both finalists from last year in their pool and they earned their way out of it. From there they took care of business across all crossover matches and won a brilliant match against a very impressive WA team to claim the national title.

“The U23 Sky men’s team took a while to find their top game but made a brilliant run in the semis winning in five to WA and then repeating the 2022 final – only this time winning a nail-biting gold medal match in five against Queensland.

“This team wanted it and it was great to see athletes playing around the world and from the AVA to return and put their hearts on their sleeves for NSW. 

“Honourable mention to our U19 women Navy development team who were a group of U15-U18 athletes. They are the future of women’s volleyball in NSW and they improved so much over the program and throughout the Championship. They did a brilliant job in their first AJVC and earned a well-deserved Gold that will undoubtedly inspire them to future performance.”

See all results from the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships HERE.

U23 Women’s
Gold: NSW Phoenix Sky
Silver: Western Australia
Bronze: Victoria

U23 Men’s
Gold: NSW Phoenix Sky
Silver: QLD Maroon
Bronze: Western Australia

U19 Women’s Premier
Gold: QLD Maroon
Silver: NSW Phoenix Sky
Bronze: Victoria

U19 Men’s
Gold: NSW Phoenix Sky
Silver: QLD Maroon
Bronze: Victoria

U19 Women’s Div 1
Gold: NSW Phoenix Navy
Silver: America’s Team – Brewster
Bronze: America’s Team – Drake

See all results from the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships HERE.

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