Warwick Stadium was the venue for a highly entertaining home round of volleyball on Saturday June 25th. As a part of the Western Australian Volleyball League (WAVL), the Northern Stars Volleyball Club hosted Southern Cross Volleyball club, in a battle of North VS South of the River. With the Northern Stars women’s team sitting in a strong 4th position on the ladder, a strong result was needed against the 6th placed Southern Cross to keep hopes of a finals spot on track.
Prior to the game the players observed a minutes silence in memory of Georgie Rowe, a South Australian and Australian Volleyroos player who tragically passed away last week. As the game kicked off it was Northern Stars who took the early lead, some strong hitting from the Stars captain Amy Mcilroy, backed up by Kiera Mann-Piercy and Rachel Knights saw the women race out to a big lead in the first set which they would never relinquish, taking it out 25 – 11. In the second set there was more of the same, with Jess Tanner and Karry Plummer continually threatening through the middle. Young gun Taylah Mcgorlick was linking up well with setters Courtney Belstead and Moana Roberts as the Northern Stars took the second set in emphatic fashion, 25 – 12. The third set was a much tighter affair with Carina Hemmers from Southern Cross lifting her side to pressure the Northern Stars. However with Libero Chelsea Cowling rock solid in defence and Nicole Glossop coming on to steady the ship, the Northern Stars took the third set 25 – 21 to cap an emphatic 3 set to 0 win.
The Northern Stars Super League men took to the court hoping to extend their lead at the top of the WAVL ladder whilst taking on the 5th place Southern Cross. Coach Ben Gray brought himself into the game to set whilst regular setter Tom Park and big man AJ Sloan were both late exclusions from the squad. The Northern Stars were nervous at the starting, steadily working their way into the match as Jimmy Clinch and Tom Armenti peppered the Southern Cross defence. Daniel Piggot was rock solid as libero and with Caleb Watson a towering presence at the net the Stars took the first set 25 – 20. The second set was another tense affair, however Aaron Borszeky started to beat the block and Adam Kempen found his range to push Northern Stars out to an early lead. A big crowd watched on as a young man with a big future Nikita Marchenkov at just 16 years of age came on to seal the winning points in the second set 25 – 21. This was the straw that broke Southern Cross’s back as from here it was all one way traffic, Callum Nicol and Ben Allen doing the damage to take out the third set 25 – 11 and the game 3 sets to 0
Club President Jason Galea was very happy with a pair of wins “It was great to see both teams get up in front of our home crowd. They both have set a good platform to build into the second half of the year” The night was a fantastic example of high quality volleyball and with strong results for the Northern Stars teams it sees the club well placed for a shot at some WAVL silverware in 2016. The teams now turn their attention to a few big games ahead both taking on local rivals Balcatta on July 1st