Winning start

HEIGHT and fitness were the contributing factors for the Fiji White women’s volleyball team as they beat Solomon Islands 3-0 in the opening round of the Oceania Zonal Competition at Vodafone Arena in Suva yesterday.

The Basilio Kalokalodroma-coached side won all three sets with a convincing scoreline of 25-8, 25-8 and 25-15.

The Fiji players had height and fitness advantage over their opponents.

Fiji’s assistant coach Esava Tikoenavuli said the team had a good start to the tournament.

“The momentum is high after a good win on the opening day of the tournament. It is a good win but the tournament is not over yet,” he said.

“We need to focus on the remaining matches. Solomon Islands were a good side but they lacked fitness and we had height advantage. The girls had been preparing for the past one month.”

Tikoenavuli said they had seen areas they needed to improve.

“The players were not reacting quick enough as this needs to be improved before the next match against Cook Islands on Wednesday. We need to improve our cover defence and we need to get our timing right for our attack,” he added.

“The players are mentally and physically fit to play.”

Fiji Volleyball Federation president Elesi Ketedroma said they were focusing more on the development of the sport.

“Hosting an Oceania tournament here is big and a way forward for Fiji and we are thankful to the opportunity given to us.

“For development we have a set of people who look after the Pacific Partnership Program grassroots development,” she said.

“We are keen in going right down to that level and we will try to get the grassroots development program in place.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Blue men’s team lost to New Zealand 3-2 in the first match of the tournament.

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