Set for a big serve of volleyball action

16:00, Jan 15 2014
Lucy Parsonson
BIG SERVE: Sonia Dunne, left, and Carli Botes are gunning for the age group champs held at the country’s beach volleyball ‘‘mecca’’, Mt Maunganui.

A beach volleyball duo says it's on track to peak right on time for a competition-packed summer.

Sonia Dunne, 42, and Carli Botes, 22, have only played together for the last four weeks but believe they have a winning combination of skill, experience, youth, fitness and stature.

"We complement each other," says Ms Dunne, the shorter of the pair.

Being smaller makes her more agile while Ms Botes is a "powerhouse blocker" because of her height, Ms Dunne says.

Ms Botes is originally from South Africa.

A netball scholarship gave her the chance to move to New Zealand.


But a foot injury while on the Northern Mystics training squad forced her to try the sand sport.

Teaming up with Ms Botes has given Ms Dunne a "new lease on life".

"Hopefully we can convert Carli completely," the sports massage therapist says.

The players are ranked third in New Zealand and believe they've got the goods to be number one and go international.

They are looking to move up the ladder after scoring a hard-won silver medal at last weekend's Volleyball New Zealand national champs in Mairangi Bay.

The women are still seeking a naming sponsor to fund travel to and from tournaments and have set up a Facebook supporter page, ‘Dunne /Botes'.

Success at national level would provide a springboard for international competition.

"It's awesome. I've been on the world circuit and it's great when the internationals come here. It's a great experience," Ms Dunne says.

North Shore Times