It’s been a successful month for Waikato University women’s sport. The women’s volleyball team took out the University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ) Volleyball Championships in Wellington last weekend, just two weeks after the women’s hockey team won the national championships in Auckland.
Up against the top volleyball teams from Auckland, Massey, Victoria, Otago, AUT, Canterbury and Lincoln, the Waikato women's team was undefeated for the second year in a row. Despite a few injuries reducing the team to only eight, team captain Brieana Booth says the players stayed positive and it paid off.
“The girls worked really hard and kept a great attitude, even when things weren’t going to plan,” Brieana says. “Winning two years in a row was a really cool experience. It’s put a massive target on our back for future years, but hopefully we retain the top quality players and attract others to come and join the teams as well.”
This win followed the Waikato women’s hockey team’s success earlier this month. Also undefeated, the team took out the finals 3–0 against Massey University. Playing hockey 5s, the girls say the fast-paced game was a refreshing challenge.
The UTSNZ hockey champs provide a great opportunity to have a break from traditional hockey and test your skills in the high-tempo environment of hockey 5s,” says player-coach and experienced Black Sticks campaigner Tash Fitzsimons.
Following the championships, Tash was named in the women’s tournament team, alongside Waikato teammates Annie McNaughtan and Alia Jaques.
This is the third UTSNZ win for Waikato women this year, after the women’s sevens rugby team took out the UTSNZ title on their home turf in February.
The University of Waikato is sitting comfortably in second place for the UTSNZ Shield, with only three tournaments remaining this year: ultimate frisbee, basketball and netball. The Waikato men’s volleyball team placed second at the UTSNZ Championships, and the men’s hockey team placed fourth.