Waimea College's Bailey Pitcher has been recognised as the No1 college volleyball player in Australia and New Zealand.
Bailey was named the boys' tournament most valuable player and best blocker at the secondary schools trans-Tasman quadrangular competition in Christchurch last week.
Bailey captained a South Island Boys team to second place in the tournament, a team that featured six Nelson-based players.
The South Island Girls also placed second and again included six Nelson players, led by Waimea's Sophia Johnston.
From that side, Nelson College for Girls' Rosie Bywater was named the tournament's best receiver.
Teams from Queensland and New South Wales crossed the ditch to take on the top talent in the New Zealand college scene.
North Island teams completed the sides present for the annual tournament, which is in its 19th year.
Immediately following the quad tournament, teams were picked to represent their countries in a trans-Tasman test match.
Scott Cameron (Nayland College), Finn Delany (Nelson College), and Bailey made the New Zealand secondary schools boys side while Nelson College for Girls students Rosie Bywater and Sarah Turner played in the New Zealand secondary schools girls team.
As in the State of Origin-style quad tournament, the Australia teams were overwhelmed by their Kiwi counterparts.
A true test match feeling was created when the boys' side laid down the challenge with a fierce haka.
The first set was tense and with a two-point margin required to win, the set went all the way to 31-29 before the Kiwis clinched it and went on to win the next two sets for a 3-0 victory.
The girls' test was much more comfortable as the Kiwis exerted their dominance 25-20, 25-20, and 25-23 for another 3-0 sweep.
Earlier in tournament pool play, the South Island boys' team beat Queensland 3-1 and NSW 3-0; the girls' team matched the results with 3-1 victories over both their Australian opponents.
The North Islanders landed an early blow in the tournament by beating both South Island teams in the second day of pool play to claim top spot in both pools.
The results of pool play saw the Kiwi sides playing each other in the major semifinals, with the winner progressing and the loser facing a minor semifinal playoff for a spot in the final.
In the boys' draw the South Island lads inverted the pool play results to beat the North 3-1, however the girls were beaten 3-1 and were forced to play again for a spot in the big dance.
The South Island girls came from behind to beat NSW while the North Island boys earned a spot in the final.
The South started well in the boys' final to take the first two sets in commanding fashion 25-18 and 25-14, although the North fought back to take the next two 25-21 and 25-16.
This forced a deciding set to be played to 15 and the North Island ended the South's two-year reign, winning the final 15-12 for a 3-2 victory.
The South Island girls were able to take an early lead in the final, winning the first set 20-25, however the North came back to win the next three 25-18, 25-19, 25-18 and win the tournament 3-1.
The South Island team was coached by Nelson's Neil Anderson and managed by Nayland College's Brendan Crichton. Crichton said all Nelson athletes did their region proud, especially Bailey.
"The MVP was voted for by every coach at the tournament and awarded points after each game."
- © Fairfax NZ News