Waimea all set to battle top teams

A mixture of nerves, excitement and focus are gripping the Waimea College senior A netball side as the countdown to the national tournament enters its final week.

Waimea College qualified for the tournament, beginning in Timaru next Tuesday, by winning the South Island secondary schools netball title in Dunedin last month. However, coach Faye Eden has warned the side that being one of the top 16 teams in the country will bring a new level of competition.

As the top qualifiers from the South Island, Waimea College have given themselves every chance of achieving their goal of a top-eight finish.

Also in the Waimea College pool is second-placed upper-North Island qualifiers Avondale College and fourth-placed lower-North Island team Sacred Heart (Lower Hutt). Fifth-placed South Island qualifier, St Margaret's College, are also in the mix - a team Waimea defeated 30-26 at the quarterfinals in Dunedin.

The top two from pool play will go through to the national quarterfinals, a prospect Waimea captain Ella Marwick said the team had been working for since the South Island tournament finished.

"We have been working really hard lately and all the girls are really fit, we have two more trainings before we head off down on Sunday. Everything seems to be going well and I think we will be at our peak. Our ultimate goal is to make top eight and that would be amazing.

"Everyone seems pretty excited, but a lot of the girls are nervous though, because Faye has been drilling into us how big a step up it is, but everyone seems quite focused because of that. They know it is something we really have to prepare for and work hard towards."

The Nelson Mail