A CRACK Australian team arrives on Friday night on board Royal Brunei Airline, ready to do battle against the country’s leading high school squads in the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Tournament of Champions unfolding Monday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Boasting of three six-footers and three national youth players, the champion team from the State of Victoria, Australia, joins nine other local squads in the six-day championship sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza which features winners of the various regional tournaments.
NCR leg champion Hope Christian High School and runner-up Colegio San Agustin lead the local challenge as representatives of NCR North and NCR South, respectively. They will be reinforced by the top players from Angelicum and Kings Montessori high school.
The 17-year-old Hanna Wright, Katrina Jannsen and Letitia Sindt, many-time members of the Aussie youth squad, are tipped to carry the cudgels for the visiting squad, handled by coach George Santamaria, also a director of the Asian Volleyball Federation.
“The entry of the Australian team will test the mettle of our local players. Not only are they taller but have good training background,” said tournament director Johanz Buenvenida of the organizing Metro Sports.
The other team members are Kate Hutchinson, Lucy Konjarski, Katie Bacon, Eloise Leidle, Lucy Boyes, Nikita Peril, Tayla Mangles, Emma Regan, Vivien Maslov, and Mikayla Faltyn.
“The Aussie team’s visit is in line with Shakey’s advocacy of uplifting the competitiveness of local volleyball. This young Victoria team will truly give volleyball fans something to look forward to,” said Metro Sports president Freddie Infante.
Other teams vying for the crown are winners of the Northern, Central and Southern Luzon, Eastern, Central and Western Visayas, and Mindanao regionals.