YOUNG St Pius Primary School pupils have proudly arrived on the volleyball scene and are not interested in making an early departure today.
Bucking the trend of more popular sports, such as football and netball, the grade six players have strapped on the knee-pads and spiked their way to the top.
St Pius’ boys’ and girls’ teams will travel to Werribee today for the western conference finals.
The talented sides breezed past more than 20 opponents at the first round in Warrnambool before doing the same at regionals.
Now their skills will be tested in the far-reaching boundaries of the western conference, which includes the South West, Barwon, Grampians and West Metropolitan regions.
Head coach Bruce Keeley said the keen youngsters had been training three to four times a week throughout the campaign.
And the hard work has paid off. “They’ve improved out of sight,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.” The last practice session yesterday had the girls and boys on either side of the net, making for some fierce but fun competition.
Plenty of encouragement was shared between the schoolmates, which should have both teams full of confidence and enthusiasm today.
St Pius sport co-ordinator Karl Dwyer has managed the group while Warrnambool Volleyball Association coach Dave McConnell has offered some tips.
The next stop is the state championships. “We think we’ll do pretty well,” Keeley said. “We might not win it but we will try our best. We’re not going up there to lose.”
The girls’ team consists of Lauryn Keeley, Tess English, Hannah van Duynhoven, Hayley Walker, Rebecca Keane, Taylah Hautot, Ebony Kelly, Claudia McCutcheon and Ally O’Connor.
The boys’ team is Jackson Cruickshank, Kai Brown, Sam Lee, Jack Rix, Tom Radcliffe, Travis Stacey, Harry Johns and Jye O’Brien.
Very exciting for Miss Tess. She's been little miss sporty this year, competing in inter school running & basketball & volleyball!
I'm still in recovery mode. Have permission to run 100m walk 100m alternating on grass or treadmill. Have had something important on every night this week (like hair cut & colour!) so probably will give that a crack tomorrow. Been doing my calf raises off a step now & glute muscle engaging exercises. Still left handed mousing - getting faster, but still odd.
Been flat out this week. School reunion next week. Eek! Been dreaming about random peeps from high school - nothing too dramatic thankfully. I'm sure it will all go well & if not, um well.......I don't live there anymore so.......um......