Sacred Heart College boast the most successful boys’ water polo program in New Zealand. The Senior A team has won the National title three times in the last seven years and are the defending Auckland Champions.
The winning attitude is contagious according to Matthew Dell who pays tribute to the water polo academy at the college.
“We have sports institutes for select codes and water polo is one of them. I trialled in year six and was lucky enough to get in. We train three times a week and really stress the competitive and preparation side of sport. The boys have been together for a long time now and that has helped us build a strong, winning culture,” he acclaims.
Dell concedes he isn’t “the best swimmer,” so was an obvious choice for goal keeper. Specific training has helped Dell became an elite in his position at age-group level.
“I am a pretty slow swimmer so while the other boys do laps I stay in goal and do reflex exercises and leg strengthening to improve my flexibility and shot stopping,” Dell explains.
Dell was a member of the Marist club team who won the Under-14 Nationals and has toured Australia and Hawaii at school earning a national call up – following in the footsteps of two former Sacred Heart goal keepers.
“We have a reputation for producing good goal keepers so that has forced me to work hard. I became a starter in Year 12 and my highlight so far has been winning the Auckland title last year. We beat King’s in the final at Diocesan School. They have a grandstand by the pool and it was packed by nearly the whole school. To win in front of so many people was pretty surreal.” Dell says.
Sacred Heart leads the Auckland competition in 2017. They have won all seven games and have scored the most goals (74) and conceded the least (25). The next month will define their season. The North Island Championships are followed by the Auckland finals and the Nationals in Wellington in April. Sacred Heart have some unfinished business from 2016.
“We lost to St. Kent’s in the semi-finals at Nationals last year. That was the most disappointing sporting moment of my life. It was a low scoring game and we panicked a bit. It was sad for the Year 13’s too leave on such a low note.” Dell laments.
Dell expects St. Kent’s to be fierce rivals again along with defending National Champions Rangitoto College and a small school in Tauranga.
“Aquinas College have a real strong side. We don’t know a lot about them, but their results have been exceptional. There is always a school in Wellington who contents, but apart from Aquinas I don’t think there are many schools who will compete with the Auckland sides.” Dell believes.
Waterpolo Key Dates
March 29 to April 2: North Island Championships, Auckland
April 9: Auckland Senior A Final
April 18-21: National Championships, Wellington
New Zealand’s leading secondary school water polo players are in action over the next fortnight in the FINA World Women’s Youth (U18) Water Polo Championships and the Tri-Nations School Series (boys and girls) and Trans-Tasman Schoolboys Tournament.
The action starts tomorrow at the National Aquatic Centre at the AUT Millennium with the third FINA World Women’s Youth (U18) Water Polo Championships, with 11 of the 13 strong New Zealand squad having been at school this year.
World Women’s Youth (U18) Water Polo Championships
New Zealand squad (2016 schools in brackets):
Bernadette Doyle (St Cuthbert’s College)*
Emmerson Houghton (Hillcrest High School)*
Malia Josephson (St Cuthbert’s College)
Jessica Marsden (Kristin School)
Morgan McDowall (Westlake Girls’ High School)*
Emily Nicholson (Westlake Girls’ High School)
Caitlin Mary Parker Allen (St Cuthbert’s College)*
Nadia Pavlovich (Westlake Girls’ High School)
Emily Sanderson (Rangitoto College)
Alisha Winstanley (Westlake Girls’ High School)
Antonia Young St Cuthbert’s College)
*At school in 2017
What: World Women’s Youth (U18) Water Polo Championships
Where: National Aquatic Centre at the AUT Millennium, North Shore, Auckland
Teams: Fifteen teams, from Europe, Asia, the Americas and Oceania. USA the defending champions
Format: Teams split into four groups for pool play, followed by crossover matches and then the final scheduled for 4.00pm on Sunday 18 December.
Coverage: The official tournament website is www.YWCAuckland16.com (all matches livestreamed).
New Zealand’s pool matches: NZ v South Africa 8.20pm Monday; NZ v Spain 8.00pm Tuesday; NZ v Russia 8.20pm Wednesday
Profile with New Zealand player Caitlin Mary Parker Allen (Source Stuff.co.nz):
There's nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry to motivate a young athlete's sporting career.
That is how junior national water polo player Caitlin Mary Parker Allen began her sporting career in the pool three years ago.
At 16 years old she is one of the youngest members of the New Zealand team that will play in the World Women's Youth Water Polo Championship next week in Auckland. The year 11 St Cuthbert's College student won the U16 Outstanding Player award for two years running in the club nationals competition.
Next week, Allen hopes she can prove herself against her older teammates.
New Zealand is pooled with South Africa, Russia and Spain.
New Zealand take on South Africa in their first pool game on Monday.
Read the rest of the Stuff article about Caitlin here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/87387126/caitlin-allen-ready-to-prove-herself-in-the-pool
Tri-Nations Schools and Trans-Tasman Schoolboys series
Nine of the New Zealand U18 girls squad above, and others – Chantelle Conroy (St Mary's College), Elizabeth Gault (Diocesan School for Girls), Gabriella MacDonald (Saint Kentigern College) and Evie Mills (Wellington East Girls' College) - will also be in the New Zealand Schoolgirls team who playing in the Tri-Nations series against their Australian and South African counterparts next week.
First this week, the New Zealand Schoolboys and Schoolboys A teams play a Trans-Tasman Schoolboys Tournament at Sacred Heart College, ahead of the Tri-Nations tournament that is being played at the AUT Millennium.
The New Zealand Schoolboys and New Zealand Schoolboys A teams for the 2016 Tri-Nations Schools Series was announced in October.
The players are:
New Zealand Schoolboys
Jake Blundell (Sacred Heart College)
Sam Cameron (Auckland Grammar School)
Sam Casey (Sacred Heart College)
Ben Fleming (Saint Kentigern College)
Bae Fountain (Mount Maunganui College)
Calum de Jager (Auckland Grammar School)
Jake Lockwood (Rangitoto College)
Matt Morris (Rangitoto College)
Nick Paterson (Sacred Heart College)
Justin Pickering (VC, Mount Maunganui College)
Dominic Rankin-Chitar (Saint Kentigern College)
Josh de Reeper (Saint Patrick's College – Wellington)
Nick Stankovich (C, Auckland Grammar School)
New Zealand Schoolboys A
Connor Bougen (Mount Albert Grammar School)
Matt Dell (Sacred Heart College)
Ryan McEwen (Saint Kentigern College)
Ben Goodwin (King's College)
Nick Hermans (Sacred Heart College)
James Martin (Mount Albert Grammar School)
Adam Milne (Avondale College)
Jake Parker Allen (King's College)
Kane Smith (Mount Albert Grammar School)
Luke Smith (Burnside High School)
Ben Sterritt (Saint Kentigern College)
Matt Stirling (Saint Kentigern College)
Hamish Sullivan (Sacred Heart College)
Hamish Waddell (Auckland Grammar School)
Congratulations to the students selected in the Water Polo NZ Schoolboys squads for the upcoming series against Australia in December.
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New Zealand Schoolboys 2016
Jake Blundell - Sacred Heart College
Sam Cameron - Auckland Grammar School
Sam Casey - Sacred Heart College
Ben Fleming - Saint Kentigern College
Bae Fountain (GK) - Mount Maunganui College
Calum de Jager - Auckland Grammar School
Jake Lockwood - Rangitoto College
Matt Morris - Rangitoto College
Nick Paterson - Sacred Heart College
Justin Pickering (VC) - Mount Maunganui College
Dominic Rankin-Chitar - Saint Kentigern College
Josh de Reeper (GK) - Saint Patrick's College - Wellington
Nick Stankovich (C) - Auckland Grammar School
New Zealand Schoolboys A 2016
Connor Bougen - Mount Albert Grammar School
Matt Dell (GK) - Sacred Heart College
Ryan McEwen - Saint Kentigern
Ben Goodwin (GK) - King's College
Nick Hermans - Sacred Heart College
James Martin (GK) - Mount Albert Grammar School
Adam Milne - Avondale College
Jake Parker Allen - King's College
Kane Smith - Mount Albert Grammar School
Luke Smith - Burnside High School
Ben Sterritt - Saint Kentigern
Matt Stirling - Saint Kentigern
Hamish Sullivan - Sacred Heart College
Hamish Waddell - Auckland Grammar School
St. Cuthbert's College beat Westlake Girls' High School twice in the Auckland Water polo championships. Despite St. Cuthbert's previous successes it was Westlake who prevailed in yesterdays National Secondary Schools' decider in Wellington.
Westlake started strongly, scoring first through Nadia Pavlovich. Tate Renata responded in St. Cuthbert's next attack to equalise, but Morgan McDowall and Emily Nicholson put themselves on the scoresheet to make it 3-1 to Westlake.
Another Nicholson goal in the second quarter saw Westlake head three goals up. Seven exclusions and two timeouts in the quarter led to no goals, to see the score at 4-1 at the halftime break.
Westlake made their mark at the beginning of the third quarter to create a four-goal buffer, but a goal from St. Cuthbert's College's Kelsey Snelgar reduced the deficit to three. Rosa Clark made the margin just two for St. Cuth's to set the tone for the final quarter.
Nicholson scored her third for the match early in the final quarter for a 6-3 Westlake lead, but 21 seconds later Hibbert was excluded to let Malia Josephson find the back of the net for St. Cuthbert's for 6-4. A St. Cuth's comeback appeared to be on the way when left-hander Bernadette Doyle made the margin just one with 3:15 left on the clock. After an exclusion and a timeout for each team inside the final three minutes, the score remained at 6-5 for the last whistle.
This is the tenth time Westlake has won the Premier Girls title. Their previous successes were in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2007, 2014, 2015.
Most Valuable Player
Emily Nicholson - Westlake Girls High School
Most Outstanding Players
Nadia Pavlovich - Westlake Girls High School
Alisha Winstanley (GK) - Westlake Girls High School
Antonia Young (GK) - St. Cuthbert's College
Malia Josephson - St. Cuthbert's College
Hannah Ngare - Diocesan School for Girls
Rangitoto College have won their fourth New Zealand Secondary Schools Boys Water Polo title, after defeating St. Kentigern College 7-6 in a thrilling National final at the Wellington Regional Aquatics Centre on Tuesday. The top four was made up exclusively of Auckland schools and they didn't fail to entertain the capital crowd.
North Island Champions Auckland Grammar School were down 5-2 after three quarters, but rallied to force penalties against Rangitoto College.
In the final quarter Nick Stankoick commenced the comeback when he gently lobbed the ball over an-out-of-position Rangitoto goal-keeper.
Fraser Brodie burst three-quarters of the pool to set-up Hamish Waddell to make it 5-4 and when Calum de Jager pulled the trigger violently to level the scores the game was extended into a penalty shootout.
Rangitoto gained an early 4-2 advantage when Christopher Downie, the North Island Secondary Schools MVP, was dramatically denied. Grammar rallied to tie the scores when Hamish Waddell blasted a fierce shoot past the startled Rangitoto keeper, but the North Shore school kept their cool and eventually prevailed 7-6. Jack Brotherton was a pivotal figure for Rangitoto. He scored two goals and shot his penalty.
Defending National Champions Sacred Heart College appeared on course for the final in the second-quarter when Nick Paterson scored three goals in two minutes to reverse a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
However St. Kent's were well organised defensively and often forced Sacred Heart to shoot from wide on the wings. Paterson's impressive ability to out-manoeuvre defenders was restricted and Sacred Heart was hassled into uncharacteristic turnovers. St. Kent's showed superior composure and scored four unanswered goals to surge ahead 6-4. Ryan McEwen was a dominant figure scoring two goals and helping create another. Despite a late Sacred Heart rally, St. Kent's held their nerve to reach the final, a best ever result at Nationals for them.
With a second left in the third quarter, tournament MVP Dominic Chitar rifled the ball three-quarters of the pool past the Rangitoto keeper to make it 6-4. At this point the final appeared over as Chitar celebrated a second goal.
However Rangitoto tightened their defence in the last quarter and when the prolific Jack Brotherton scored his third goal with 82 seconds left the scores were tied at six each.
The penalty shootout was tic for tac, but when Jake Lockwood scored to make it 7-6 Rangitoto finally subdued a stubborn St. Kent's.
Rangitoto College NZSS Water Polo Nationals Results
Photo Credit to Mike Lewis
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