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New Zealand school volleyball championships moves into semifinals phase

Nelson's Waimea College girls in action at the New Zealand Secondary School Volleyball Championships

Palmerston North, New Zealand, March 27, 2014 – In quarterfinal action at the New Zealand Secondary School Volleyball Championships, the Bay of Plenty teams affirmed their dominant position as the country's strongest volleyball region, but not without challenge from other regional contenders.

Three strong boys’ teams from Tauranga schools (Otumoetai, Mount Maunganui and Tauranga Boys Colleges) comfortably won their quarterfinal matches in straight sets.

However, the pre-tournament title favourites Western Heights High School were beaten 3-1 by South Auckland's De La Salle College in a dramatic game, relegating the Rotorua school to the playoffs for 5th-8th place. Otumoetai and Mount Maunganui will square off in the semifinal, playing each other for the fifth time this season, while Tauranga Boys and De La Salle meet for the first time.

On the girls' side of the draw, the semifinals will see Nelson's Waimea College play Mount Maunganui, while 2013 Champions Otumoetai face second-ranked Auckland side, Rangitoto College.

Waimea, Otumoetai and Rangitoto all had tense five-set quarterfinal wins, with only the up and coming Mount Maunganui taking less than the full distance to book their semifinal place. Otumoetai were the title favourites prior to the event, but Mount Maunganui looks set to take their first ever championship title.

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