From Geraldine Panapasa in Fiji (19 May 2007)
2007 Rotuman Volleyball Tournament in Fiji
This year's Rotuma games kicked off with a volleyball tournament hosted by Suva-based Satarua at the Suva Grammer courts on 4-5 May (Easter weekend). Satarua veteran, Mr. Mafai Mausio, officially opened and closed the tournament and wished the teams well during the two-day event.
The tourney saw only five teams participate from the usual seven: Suva-based teams Sarafui, Rae’sea and Satarua; Lautoka-based Mairo; and Nadi-based Granville. However, players from Vatukoula’s Tieri team joined Granville B since Tieri was not able to participate this year. Rotuma did not form a team this year for the volleyball tournament.
The first round of games began on Friday, 4 May with the women’s A grade defending champions Satarua against Sarafui. The game was what is normally expected for any first match, characterized by nervousness and tense feelings. The end result saw Satarua women’s A beat Sarafui two straight to maintain the lead for the A grade title. Sarafui had the likes of Lorraine Antonio, Lilly Sorby, Cassandra Lenni and Mareta Mani, who were part of the winning Sarafui team some years back, whilst Satarua played most members from their A team in 2005, including sisters, Monica and Cathy Grey, Akata and Veronica, Motofaga Fonmanu, Margaret Biumaiwai and Geraldine Panapasa.
Satarua women’s A had lost 2-1 in previous years to main rivals Rae'sea despite winning the A grade title by a few points, which goes to show the level of competition amongst our players. Both Satarua women’s teams were proved too strong for their opponents, taking out the A and B grades in two straight sets except for the A grade game against Mairo, which went 2-1 to Satarua. History was created in the women’s grade as Satarua became the first team to win the women’s A and B title in the same year as well as being the only women’s team to win three years in a row.
The men’s grade was even more exciting to watch as this year's Mairo
team had the services of national volleyball reps, Hanisoko Michael and
Metuisela Mesulame, who played superb volleyball and paved the way for
more Rotumans to be part of the national volleyball squad in the future.
Best-player awards were given to outstanding volleyball players, recognizing the talent and perseverance of our fellow Rotumans. Nevertheless, the games are not about who got what award or who won what title. As long as our people are together, enjoying a common sport and admiring the talents each player possesses, then the Rotuma games have definitely served its purpose. All the teams seemed to have enjoyed their time together and now eagerly await the start of the October games, when teams will be in the running to win the rugby and netball titles.
Best Player Awards: