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New Zealand gets set to hold one of the largest sporting festivals in the country

Matamata College girls against Hillcrest High School in the Regional Final. Regional competitions take place all over New Zealand in the first part of the school year to determine the final qualification positions for the national event.

Palmerston North, New Zealand, March 19, 2014 – Volleyball New Zealand is to hold the New Zealand Secondary School Volleyball Championships next week with 145 teams and over 2,000 players and officials participating.

The New Zealand Secondary School Volleyball Championships will be held in Palmerston North and is considered one of the largest team sporting events in the country.

The event will be hosted in the city's Arena Manawatu with this year being the 46th edition of the annual event held by Volleyball New Zealand, a record that is not matched by many sports in the country.

As has been the case in recent years, the favourites – Western Heights High School (Rotorua) in the boys’ competition and Tauranga's Otumoetai College in the girls’ – once again hail from the powerful Bay of Plenty region.

Several other strong contenders also come from the Bay of Plenty, with the South Island's Tasman region schools also expected to mount a strong challenge to the North Island dominance.

The Auckland and North Harbour regions from Auckland City will also be represented by an increased number of teams, and will be sure to have some teams in contention at least at the quarterfinal stage.

In all, nine divisions will be contested comprising five in the girls' competition and four in the boys'.

The first match of the tournament will begin on Monday, March 24 with the top division Finals to take place late on March 28. 

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