Canberra sports bites: ACT Meteors lose Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp and Volleyabll ACT hosts tournaments
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Canberra sports bites: ACT Meteors lose Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp and Volleyabll ACT hosts tournaments

METEORS REGROUP FOR WNCL

The ACT Meteors will fight to keep their WNCL finals hopes alive without their two marquee players after Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp returned to South Africa.

The Meteors will play against South Australia on Friday and Tasmania on Sunday, needing to win both to be any chance of playing in the final on February 24.

Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk have finished their stint in Canberra.

Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk have finished their stint in Canberra.

Photo: Jamila Toderas

The side will miss international stars van Niekerk and Kapp, who have gone back home for international duties. But the Meteors will be bolstered by the return of Maitlan Brown for her first game of the season.

"The key for us has been ensuring we are getting back into 50 over cricket mode," said coach James Allsopp.

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"I know the girls are itching to get down to Hobart to showcase their skills in 50 over cricket and over a longer period.

"Both [van Niekerk and Kapp] are obviously world class but their absence presents a great opportunity for other players particularly with the ball."

"We have Maitlan Brown returning from injury to play her first game for us this season off the back of some terrific form in Big Bash so I think she can do a similar role for us as Kappy did.

"Erin Burns played fantastic for the Sixers in Big Bash so I am looking forward to her playing a similar role for us as Dane did with the bat in terms of trying to take the game away from the opposition."

Meanwhile, Fast-bowler Hayley Jensen has been picked to play for the New Zealand Twenty20 White Ferns against the West Indies, but will complete her Meteors commitments first.

Jensen made her international debut four years ago and has played four one-day and nine T20 matches.

Meteors squad: Sam Bates, Emily Leys, Erin Osborne, Erin Burns, Nicole Goodwin, Clara Iemma, Angela Reakes, Katie Mack, Claire Koski, Nicola Hancock, Maitlan Brown, Hayley Jensen, Eric Kershaw.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL TO HIT CANBERRA

Canberra's beach volleyball centre will host its first international event when the Oceania Youth Olympic Games qualifiers are played at Lyneham in March.

The ACT Open will also be included on the Australian beach volleyball tour for the first time, which will help lure the sport's best to the capital.

The events will be played at the six-court facility at Lyneham, which was built in 2015.

"We look forward to working with Volleyball Australia and our neighbours from Oceania to provide the athletes with a world class facility to compete in as well as a great visitor experience to our nation's capital." said Volleyball ACT boss Adam Castle.

"The first week of March will mark the biggest annual week of usage for our facility with the ACT college beach volleyball tournament and ACT Open on the Australian beach volleyball tour running concurrently with the Oceania Youth Olympic Games qualifier so local students and players will get the experience of playing in the venue while it is dressed for an international event while community and elite sport come together."

Entries to the ACT Open are open for all new and returning players. You can register at volleyballact.com.au.

VOLLEYBALL IN CANBERRA

March 2: ACT college tournament.

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March 1-3: Oceania Youth Olympic Games qualifiers.

March 3-4: ACT Open

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