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New Zealand’s preparation for the 2017 World Youth Cup in Botswana has gone up a gear with the announcement of 2015-16 Netball New Zealand National Development Squad – U21 Tier.
The 20 players selected, including several current secondary school players, will attend a training camp in December from which they may be selected to represent the National Development Squad to tour the Cook Islands that month.
The squad is (with current secondary school players in bold):
Caitlin Dowden (Mount Albert Grammar School)
Jennifer O’Connell (Waitaki Girls High School)
Ivana Rowland (Tuakau College)
Maia Wilson (Mount Albert Grammar School)
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan (Wellington East Girls’ College)
Holly Fowler (Mount Albert Grammar School)
Kate Lloyd (Ashburton College)
Playing in and training for multiple sports, representing New Zealand in two of them, and also being a sports prefect at a successful sporting school means Wellington East Girls’ College’s Selina Duggan has a lot on her plate.
She’s a double international in waterpolo and volleyball and a defender in her school’s netball team that finished third at the recent NZ Secondary School Championships. She also plays beach volleyball and basketball and Sevens rugby for her school. Selina finds time for it all.
After spending the first week of the school holidays in Thailand with the NZ U21 Girls’ volleyball team, Selina travelled straight on to Ashburton to join her netball teammates, four of whom subsequently made the tournament team.
“I was lucky enough that the timing worked and I flew straight from Thailand to Ashburton with only missing out on two round-robin games on the first day. I managed to compete with my team for the rest of the tournament which I was so happy to do, being my final year playing school netball with them after five years together,” she said.
Selina gave College Sport Media an in-depth insight to her busy sporting life:
Please explain your recent tour to Thailand with the NZ U21 volleyball team?
Travelling to Thailand was an amazing experience. Each day followed a similar routine with high intensity training at the Volleyball Institute of Bangkok in the mornings for three hours before playing against local university teams in the afternoons. The volleyball was nothing like I had previously experienced with the opposition being fast, loud and with the capability to not let the ball hit the ground on their side of the net. Not only was the opposition foreign but the environment with the heat and humidity was nothing like I’d experienced before in NZ.
We had a management team of three highly experienced ex volleyball players who expected a certain standard of us as players and wouldn’t be afraid of training at an activity until these standards were reached. The aim of our tour wasn’t wholly based on the results but more implementing the skills we had been learning in the trainings and to get some international games under our belt in preparation for the Asian Champs in 2017. I am very happy with how I performed over there and hope to keep increasing my volleyball skill with the years to come.
What was the composition of the New Zealand squad in Thailand?
Everyone was still at school in their final year bar one girl, and I was the second youngest but the most inexperienced in volleyball as I was the only one who hadn’t represented NZ before.
Previously, you’ve represented New Zealand in the pool, in waterpolo?
I first represented NZ when I was 14 making the U15 NZ waterpolo team that played in a tri-series tournament against NSW and Queensland. I was selected MVP of the tournament. The following year I made the U17 NZ team which travelled to Canberra to face a mixture of international teams including Japan, China and Australia. For two years I was selected in the New Zealand secondary school team competing against Australia in the Tri Tasman series, with us taking out the title last December for the first time in six years. Last year I also was a part of the junior women NZ team that travelled to Spain to compete in the Youth World Championships.
How do these sports complement each other?
The first thing what I am able to transfer and what has helped me out between sports is probably communication. While being goalie for waterpolo I had the job of communicating to the whole team on defence and directing the positional play, I also had to learn to give orders to people who were older than me due to playing in senior women’s teams at a young age. This gave me the confidence in myself to be able to talk to a wide range of people and know that communication is a key part to a successful sporting team.
Fitness is something that is interchangeable through my sports and having to train in different sporting codes meant that my overall strength and fitness improved while doing so, although I have found different sports demand different types of fitness.
You also play basketball and Sevens rugby for your school?
I have played in the senior A basketball team for the past three years, but Wellington East has not qualified for these tournaments. I’m lucky enough to be a part of the WEGC Sevens team, and we’ve started the season off with a bang taking out our first tournament this Saturday just gone, the Derek Wootton Memorial Cup tournament.
Do any of your sports take precedence over the others?
Waterpolo was my priority until last year which did mean sacrificing volleyball and netball to the level I would have liked to try and compete at. Even though I prioritised waterpolo I was still able to keep participating in both volleyball and netball to a regional representative level but I was wanting to see if I could take my volleyball to the next level of representing NZ which is why I made the decision this year to sacrifice my waterpolo to concentrate on volleyball.
When you’re not competing, what’s a typical week-day routine for you?
Although the level of training has dropped somewhat since giving up waterpolo, I can generally train anywhere up from 30 hours a week depending on what sports are overlapping. If I don’t have an organised sports practice in the morning I’ll do a gym session so am training every morning for an hour to an hour and half. Then in the evening I’ll alternate between Sevens training twice a week, netball training twice a week and volleyball training once a week for school and then once a week with the boys’ team. I’ve also started playing beach volleyball once a week. To keep the intensity of the volleyball training up to the level that I need to stay competitive for NZ I do extra training with the boys and also do specific PT volleyball sessions. Now that the season is winding up for volleyball and netball has finished I’ll need to ensure that I replace the sports practices with more of my own training.
You’re also a sports prefect at WEGC, what does that role entail?
I am one of the two sports prefects at WEGC and have the job of organising the sports events that go on throughout the school. We promote sport at our school and acknowledge the successes that our girls are up to. We like to think that we are our sports coordinators’ little helpers. Currently Amy O’Neill and I are organising the sports prize giving that is coming up, a night that acknowledges all the sporting achievements that WEGC has had throughout the year.
Speaking of which, Wellington East Girls’ College has some other fine sportspeople at the moment. Is this a reflection of a great culture of the school?
I have always been amazed at the level of athletes that have been at WEGC, especially in my year level. Having talked to students from other schools I have found out that it isn’t as common to find a school that holds as many NZ representatives in one school as we do, having 15 girls this year alone that I can name off the top of my head.
The culture our school has in terms of sport is incredible, I find that because of how many girls that are competing at a top level it pushes everyone to want to succeed in what they are doing, and tall poppy syndrome is definitely not an issue at WEGC. Also the girls are super encouraging of each other and always interested in what they’re doing and how they are getting along in their own sporting codes. Not only this but I think WEGC does very well in appreciating the work that the girls are doing and make sure to find time to acknowledge the girls and their achievements they are making to the whole school at assemblies on a regular basis.
It’s noted that much of this success has been achieved under the backdrop of your school being disrupted these past few years with major earthquake strengthening work going on and outdoor space limited?
Personally for our netball team that just finished third at nationals, the construction was not an issue for our trainings as we train indoors. But having no courts meant a lot of other sports suffered. Our interchangeable netball - tennis court meant tennis was no longer on offer for the school and it also put a strain on training for our 25 netball teams as space was so limited.
Personally, you’ve had great coaching support in your sporting journey thus far?
All the coaches that I have had the privilege of working with have been incredible and so many have put in their own time to help me improve as a player. I have been very thankful for every single one of them as I have gained such an incredible amount of knowledge and skill from everyone. I would have to say that my school and club waterpolo coach Sarah Goff was instrumental in getting me to the level that I got to in my waterpolo seeing the potential in me well before I did and pushing me constantly to be the best player that I could while having to juggle around so many of my other sporting commitments.
Do your plans for next year revolve around your sports?
I have decided to take a gap year before starting my studies to go travelling next year; I am looking at a volunteer programme coaching volleyball in South America to start off with then heading to Europe to experience some international volleyball through playing for some clubs in different countries. When I get back I’m looking at starting my studies either in Health Science or doing a sports internship.
Maia Wilson shot 230 of her 252 attempts at last week’s New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Championships for Mount Albert Grammar School as they clinched a four-peat of titles.
MAGS beat St Kentigern College 41-35 in a tense, see-saw final. Maia’s personal contribution was 36 from 39, in her last game for her school.
Next year she links up with the Central Pulse netball squad, joining her MAGS teammate and defender and North Mystics recruit Holly Fowler in the ANZ Championship.
Her precocious talent aside, it’s Maia’s work ethic that’s been a major contributing factor to her success so far on the netball and basketball courts.
Maia also shoots out the door early. ”Normally I’m out of the house at 4.45am and I don’t get home until 9.30pm” she told College Sport Media. “Normally I have strength and conditioning sessions before and after school and also a couple of court sessions each day.”
“I’m a really driven person so whatever I do I want to do to the best of my ability and I want to succeed, so I put a lot of time and effort into my training and making sure that I get the best out of my body.”
Last year the then 16-year made the Tall Blacks squad and tasted her international debut on the basketball court. She also trialled for the Silver Ferns this past winter. She can’t wait to join the Pulse.
“I’ll be moving down to Wellington in January to start my new adventure with the Pulse and I relish the opportunity to play with players like Jodi Brown and Ameliaranne Wells.
“I was fortunate enough to get a Silver Ferns World Cup trial so I have been immersed in that environment with some of those players, so hopefully training day in-day out with them will help my personal growth.”
She also revealed she has had three offers on the table to join an American University on a basketball scholarship. “I turned them down next year to play for the Pulse, but I am just going to take everything year-by-year and re-evaluate later.”
It was unseasonably warm in Canterbury last week. It was hotter inside the EA Networks Centre on Friday afternoon when MAGS and Auckland rivals St Kentigern College were locked up at 16-16 at halftime in the grand final.
“Two of the games we played on Thursday were hard games for us, against Wellington Girls’ College and Wellington East Girls’ College. They were two teams we had previously played against during the earlier College Netball series.”
“St Kent’s is a team that we play quite regularly and they are definitely a big rival of ours and the final was a really tough game. It was close throughout the whole 40 minutes and the score kept changing. We were up by one and then at another point we were down by three so we were really proud to come away with the win.”
Their road to the final saw them beat Baradene College (43-10), Roncalli College (59-11), Manukura High School (53-24) and Epsom Girls’ Grammar School (48-9) in pool play.
This was followed by Top 8 section wins over two Wellington Schools, Wellington Girls’ College (50-22) and Wellington East Girls’ College (44-27) , and St Kent’s in the final (41-35).
This was MAGS’ fourth straight title. Was this one sweeter than the others?
“One of our coaches, Te Aroha Keenan, is leaving us to go and coach in the English Super League for two years, so, this win was also for her.”
“We had four Year 13s in our squad, so for Te Aroha and the four of us all involved in our last games for the school before we go separate ways this is something we are really proud of.”
Four MAGS players made the 12-strong tournament team: Maia, Cait Dowden, Elle Temu and Holly Fowler. All four are Year 13s, so the win over St Kent’s in the final was their swansong in school netball.
Maia said the future is in good hands.
“Generally we have quite a young team, we also had four Year 10s and three Year 11s and two Year 12s, so there is certainly a lot of young talent coming through. It was good to see what the team will be like next year when these players came on and substituted us in some games, I feel like we’re leaving the squad in good heart.”
Maia said the team was also missing injured Goal Attack Alanis Toia-Tigafua throughout the tournament, meaning they had to adjust to her loss and the young players had to step up to fill her absence.
Netball will take a backseat soon for Maia, with NCEA exams coming up. But not for long. Maia Wilson is driven to succeed on the court.
The 2015 NZ Secondary Schools Netball Champs start tomorrow at the EA Networks Centre in Ashburton. Sixteen teams from all across New Zealand are contesting contest the tournament, with pool play on Tuesday and Wednesday and crossover matches on Thursday and Friday culminating in the Grant Final at 1.40pm on Friday.
The teams and squads are:
Mount Albert Grammar School
Last Year: Champions
Squad: 1. Holly Fowler 2. Maia Wilson 3. Alanis Toia 4. Cait Dowden 5. Elle Temu 6. Alaimaluloa Toetu’u 7. Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toparea 8. Kasey Price 9. Shaniah Morehu-Hunia 10. Crystal Maro 11. Armani Lam 12. Sharne Robati
Captain: Holly Fowler
Management: Coach: Te Aroha Keenan Assistant Coach: Paula Smith Manager: Jo Price Primary Care: Tewhai Whitewood Primary Care: France Bloomfield
St. Margaret’s College
Last year: Runners-up
Squad: 1. Harriet Bush 2. Frances Redmond 3. Georgia White 4. Lily Marshall 5. Lucy Thomson 6. Madison Lloyd 7. Ella Wells 8. Anna Macdonald 9. Kiana Gallon 10. Olivia Mendonca 11. Sophie Thomson 12.
Captain: Madison Lloyd
Management: Coach: Helen Bryant Manager: Wendy McPhail Primary Care: Christine Laughton
St Mary’s College
Last year: 7th
Squad: 1. Cheyne Copeland 2. Colleen Faleafaga 3. Lyric Faleafaga 4. Jermaine Howard-Vallance 5. Milan Lefaoseu 6. Dana-Jayne Mills 7. Ainsleyana Puleiata 8. Renee Savai’inaea 9. Diaz Tepania-Strickland 10. Ariana Tepania 11. 12.
Captain: Colleen Faleafaga/ Milan Lefaoseu
Management: Coach: Pelesa Semu Assistant Coach: Ngarama Milner-Olsen Manager: Anne Paton Primary Care: Anne Paton
Last year: N/A
Squad: 1. Morgan Bugden 2. Evangeline Coman 3. Antonia Fariu 4. Brittany Hastings-Kutty 5. Gabriella Hayton 6. Gabrielle Milicich 7. Vanessah Pailate 8. Molly Penfold 9. Olivia Solia 10. Bryanna Tamilo 11. Elizabeth Turnbull 12. Georgia Wharton-Benedict
Captain: Olivia Solia
Management: Coach: Natalie Milicich Manager: Karen Hitchcock Primary Care: Dina Lewis
Cashmere High School
Last year: N/A
Squad: 1. Maggie McInnes 2. Penny Mouat 3. Jasmine Saimao 4. 5. Tessa Burry 6. Shahlei Hewitson 7. Kaila Abdelaal 8. Sarah Boomer 9. Kaori Hughes 10. Alison Argus 11. Lucy Smith 12. Meg Davidson Captain: Penny Mouat
Management: Coach: Kellie Fenemor Manager: Carla Smith Primary Care: Tessa Te Kahu
Epsom Girls’ Grammar School
Last year: N/A
Squad: 1. Isabella Masani 2. Claudia Frew 3. Katie Sinclair 4. Greer Sinclair 5. Jor-El Loto 6. Olivia Missen 7. Killarney Morey 8. Julia Tairua-Doyle 9. Ella Corbin 10. Breeanna Lam 11. Bianca Nagaiya 12. Grace Kaemper
Captain: Isabella Masani
Management: Coach: Waana Araroa Manager: Tanya Tairua Primary Care: Katie Goulding
Last year: 5th
Squad: 1. Antionia Heihei 2. Ashleigh Tahiwi 3. Braxton Te Riini 4. Diahn Strickland 5. Haylee Dixon 6. Kaisa Reisima 7. Kotiro Nikora-Davis 8. Tahlia Runga 9. Sisavaii Muliaga 10. Bree Waiariki 11. Savanagh Cassidy 12. Seasons Turahui-Te Uawiri
Captain: Ashleigh Tahiwi
Management: Coach: Yvette McCausland-Durie Assistant Coach: Renee Matoe Manager: Colleen Trembath Primary Care: Renee Matoe
Napier Girls’ High School
Last year: N/A
Squad: 1. Kelsey McPhee 2. Kaya Lord 3. Laike Baker 4. Kimiora Poi 5. Mae Miller 6. Emma McLelland 7. Briana Stephenson 8. Demi Forshaw 9. Jaydi Taylor-Chaffey 10. Emily McLaren 11. 12.
Captain: Kimiora Poi
Management: Coach: Briar Chalmers Assistant Coach: Vicky Lassen Manager: Vicky Lassen Primary Care: Roanne Poi Primary Care: Kim Forshaw
Last year: N/A
Squad: 1. Laura Dorgan 2. Kelly Waud 3. Libby Davenport 4. Macie Austin 5. Jada Hammond 6. Kate Braddick 7. Sonnie Katene 8. Abby McIlroy 9. Jaymee Cannell 10. Abby O’Brien 11. Emily Gilchrist 12. Llewellah Priest
Captain: Kelly Waud/Laura Dorgan
Management: Coach: Steph Waud Coach: Karen Dorgan Manager: Ellen Walsh Primary Care: Samantha Schrader
St Kentigern College
Last year: 6th
Squad: 1. Amorangi Malesala 2. Sydney Fraser 3. Mererangi Paul 4. Christina Oscar 5. Kristina Tipene 6. Victoria Kolose 7. Georgia Ropati 8. Viona Silao 9. Madison Morete 10. Ashleigh Garner 11. Lauren Pickett 12. Hannah Ward
Captain: Amorangi Malesala
Management: Coach: Nicola Lewis Manager: Leisha Slade Primary Care: Leisha Slade
Southland Girls’ High School
Last year: 9th
Squad: 1. Emily Henderson 2. Laura Moffatt 3. Paige Harris 4. Anna Wells 5. Moira Macdonald 6. Kerri-Anne Sinclair 7. Alena Saili 8. Jenna Kean 9. Molly Wheeley 10. Jessica Dermody 11. Patricia Hopcroft 12. Faasipa Saili
Captain: Emily Henderson
Management: Coach: Natalie Avellino Primary Care: Natalie Avellino
St Andrew’s College
Last year: 10th
Squad: 1. Olivia Clark 2. Jessica Allan 3. Catherine Kuyf 4. Samantha Molloy 5. Romana Bell 6. Samsara Guillemot-Mene 7. Nicola Baxter 8. Holly Matson 9. Holly Carr 10. Kelera Nawai 11. Pieta Hansen 12. Marilyn Harrison
Captain: Romana Bell/Holly Carr
Management: Coach: Kirsty Carline Assistant Coach: Marianne Delaney Manager: Anne-Marie Allen Primary Care: Marianne Delaney
Last year: N/A
Squad: 1. Samantha Hickey 2. Olivia (Grace) Diggelmann 3. Kerri Lovelock 4. Anahera Nin 5. Ali Wilshier 6. Brooklyn Dunn 7. Olivia Morgan 8. Tiffani Hickey 9. Kyla Abrahamson 10. McKenzie Claydon 11. Cara Wynne 12. Molly Hamilton
Captain: Samantha Hickey
Management: Coach: Wendy Hodges Manager: Kerry Hickey Primary Care: Kerry Hickey
Wellington East Girls’ College
Last year: 4th
Squad: 1. Mila Reuelu-Buchanan 2. Marcelle Parkes 3. Wanaka Noanoa 4. Selina Duggan 5. Mereana Makea 6. Tenika Leota 7. Sharnay Leef 8. Tiana Metuarau 9. Marama Makea 10. Amy O’Neill 11. Bella Cordwell
Captain: Mila Reuelu-Buchanan
Management: Coach: James Laursen. Manager: Natasha Jacobs Primary Care: George Metuarau
Wellington Girls’ College
Last year: N/A
Squad: 1. Tegan Graham 2. Caitlin Grice 3. Bianca Van Dyk 4. Emily Teono 5. Jade Fox 6. Tiana Rutene 7. Lyric Dixon 8. Abby Collier 9. Francesca Wotton 10. Hinepounamu Apanui-Barr 11. Aliyah De La Mare 12. Brooke Gordon
Captain: Bianca Van Dyk
Management: Coach: Emma Weenink Assistant Coach: Belinda Wotton Manager: Karen Harvey Primary Care: Karen Harvey
Westlake Girls’ High School
Last year: 11th
Squad: 1. Liz Olney 2. Marie Hansen 3. Celine McGahan 4. Maddy Probert 5. Kiani Stevenson 6. Jen Gale 7. Olivia Heighton 8. Daisy Burley 9. Tatiana Saunders 10. Beth Cooper 11. Asher Mason 12. Captain: Jen Gale
Management: Coach: Deb Cachopa Assistant Coach: Deb Catherwood Manager: Christine Weeks Primary Care: Christine Weeks
Sixteen of the country’s gun netball schools descend on Ashburton next week for the 2015 New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Championships.
The competing schools are split into four pools of four for pool play on Tuesday and part of Wednesday, followed by the crossover rounds on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday. The final is scheduled for 1.40pm Friday.
Teams have qualified from the recent secondary school zone tournaments, with the top six teams from the Upper North Island tournament joined by the leading five from the Lower North Island and South Island tournaments.
The three winners of these were Mount Albert Grammar School (Upper North Island), St Mary’s College (Lower North Island) and St Margaret’s College (South Island).
The schools competing and the four pools are:
Pool A: Mount Albert Grammar School, Manukura High School, Roncalli College, Baradene College
Pool B: St Mary’s College, St Andrew’s College, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, Napier Girls’ High School
Pool C: St Margaret’s College, Saint Kentigern College, Wellington Girls’ College, Southland Girls’ High School
Pool D: Wellington East Girls’ College, Cashmere High School, Westlake Girls’ High School, Waikato Diocesan
Mount Albert Grammar School is again the team to beat. The three-time defending champions have already won everything there is to collect this year at an Auckland-wide and regional level.
After winning their Auckland Secondary Schools Championship crown, MAGS won the Upper North Island tournament for the ninth year on the trot. In both finals they beat Auckland rivals Saint Kentigern College, winning 40-34 and 42-32 respectively.
MAGS also contain two players at either end of the court already signed up to play in next year’s ANZ Championship, captain and defender Holly Fowler (Northern Mystics 2016) and shooter Maia Wilson (Central Pulse 2016). Their support cast this year includes defender Elle Temu, midcourter Alanis Toia-Tigafua and shooter Caitlin Dowden.
At the start of June, MAGS also beat St Kent’s 43-32 in the final of the College Netball Series, broadcast on Sky TV. Previously, they had beaten Wellington Girls’ College 35-21 in their semi-final of this tournament, while St Kent’s had defeated Southland Girls’ High School 39-23.
As well as the leading two Auckland schools, other challenges are expected to come from the three Wellington schools, St Mary’s College, Wellington East Girls’ College and Wellington Girls’ College, and from the three Canterbury schools, St Margaret’s College, Roncalli College and Cashmere High School.
Last year’s beaten national tournament finalists St Margaret’s are the top ranked South Island school heading into the tournament – but only just. At the South Island tournament during Winter Tournament Week they beat St Andrew’s College in their semi-final, but were made to work hard to beat Cashmere High School in the final. Scores were locked up at 26-26 but they pulled off a one-point win with seconds to spare.
St Margaret’s Head Coach Helen Bryant said her team is looking forward to the National tournament.
“We know it will be a tough tournament again this year, so we will be doing our best to challenge the top teams again.” she said.
St Margaret’s lost to MAGS 26-41 in last year’s final.
Bryant said that first they need to finish as one of the top two sides in their pool to emulate last year. “We’ve got a hard pool, with Saint Kentigern College, Wellington Girls’ College and Southland Girls’ High School, so it will be a big ask of us to come through our pool and make the top eight.”
“We’ve got a good group of experienced players. In the shooting circle will be Maddie Lloyd and defensively will be Lily Marshall. And we have got the experience of Lucy Thomson and Olivia Mendonca through the midcourt.”
Of note, Olivia Mendonca and partner Ruby Willis recently finished sixth in the women’s coxless pair – just 6.5 seconds behind the winning Russian pair – at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Brazil.
Year 12 student Lily Marshall was a non-travelling reserve in the New Zealand Junior rowing team.
The Last South Island school to win the netball Nationals was Villa Maria College in 2008. Since then MAGS have dominated, with Manawatu’s Tu Toa wining in 2009 and 2011.
At the end of the week, a tournament squad will be named.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand