Westlake Girls win Bronze at the NZSS Beach Volleyball Champs

Blessed with blue skies and a scorching sun at Mt Maunganui Beach over Waitangi weekend, 138 teams from 40 schools nationwide gladly competed in New Zealand Secondary Schools Beach Volleyball Championship after Covid-19 cancelled it last year. Westlake Girls’ top Year 11 beach volleyball team of Kaia Tuuta and Sasha Warren, performed impressively at the tournament to win their first national medal.  Tuuta and Warren’s stellar run through the preliminary and crossover rounds, saw them win 5 games from 5 without dropping a set before they met familiar foe Rangitoto in the semi-finals.  Going down in two sets to the North Shore neighbours, our pair dug deep to muster up enough strength to ward off a determined finish from Bethlehem College and win the bronze medal in two sets, 21- 12, 21-19. Rangitoto beat Cashmere High from Christchurch to win the Intermediate division.

Teams competed in two grades at the tournament, Year 11, and the Year 12-13 senior grade. Westlake’s top beach volleyball team of Mackenzie Melville and Danielle Pattimore also made a good start tournament, going through the first day unbeaten and finishing in the top eight.  They met Bethlehem College in the quarterfinals the next morning and after losing the first set, they fought back to level the game at 1-1.  However, the local team who were very well supported, went on to win and then eventually come third overall behind the winners, Rangitoto College.

Left: Mackenzie Melville and Danielle Pattimore

Right: Kaia Tuuta and Sasha Warren