Western Australia sets up for smashing volleyball win

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Max Bree (author and photographer)

Location(s): Brisbane, Queensland

Topic(s): Volleyball

Royal Australian Navy sailor, Able Seaman Mitch Armstrong, playing for Western Australia, hits the ball over the net during a match against South Australia at the ADF Volleyball Combined Services Tournament. (photo: Corporal Max Bree)
Royal Australian Navy sailor, Able Seaman Mitch Armstrong, playing for Western Australia, hits the ball over the net during a match against South Australia at the ADF Volleyball Combined Services Tournament.

A Navy dominated Western Australian side romped to victory for the first time in memory at the Australian Defence Force Volleyball Combined Services Tournament at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane, in early December.
 
The 'boys from the west' won all their pool matches in what men’s captain Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Simon Horner said was a surprise turnaround from last year.
 
“It was really hard last year because we didn’t win any games,” he said.
 
“We were happy to win the first few games this year, but then we kept winning, winning and winning.”
 
North Queensland ended their winning streak when they were defeated 2-1 in their first semi-final.
 
But the the Western Australians had their revenge after qualifying for the grand final and beating North Queensland 3-0.
 
“We controlled the match and played a really good brand of volleyball,” Leading Seaman Horner said.
 
“They’d beaten us before, and maybe they thought it was going to be similar, but we came out all guns blazing.”
 
After last year’s disappointing result, they trained twice a week for a month before the competition.
 
“Because of the training we were confident we wouldn’t come last but didn’t think we’d win the whole thing,” Leading Seaman Horner said.
 
Tears of joy flowed in the women’s competition after the Australian Capital Territory inflicted a shock defeat against South Queensland.
 
Both sides drew in their early pool match, and South Queensland beat the capital in the following game before they met again in the grand final.
 
Australian Capital Territory team captain Leading Aircraftswoman Kathryn Moloney said her side was the underdog heading into the final match.
 
“Because South Queensland had all trained and played together, they were strong from the start,” she said.
 
“There was a massive difference between them and us; they’d also played in a tournament in Darwin two weeks before.”
 
South Queensland opened the grand final with typical strength, winning the first two sets, but the Australian Capital Territory staged a remarkable fightback to win 3-2.
 
“I think they knew they’d screwed up and weren’t happy about it because they were undefeated before that point.
 
“We had one of our girls cry because she was so happy. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
 
“Nobody thought we were going to win the comp,” Leading Aircraftswoman Moloney said.