A Daylesford volleyball prodigy has returned to the top of his game after being named in the Victorian Country national title team.
It was a big thrill for Ben Tsaptsalis who is set to take on the best players in the country later this year at the Australian junior volleyball championships.
His selection comes on the back of a torrid 2018 which saw the 15-year-old take a year off the game after being struck down with glandular fever.
"It was relief more than anything to make the team," Tsaptsalis told The Courier.
"I made the team back in 2017 so I knew how everything worked. I was just relieved I got to play again."
Tsaptsalis survived six trials and two rounds of cuts to make the 30-man squad which will compete in Canberra later this year. Tsaptsalis said he had no idea whether he'd make the team, giving himself a 50-50 chance.
"The team was uploaded onto the Volleyball Victoria website. One of my friends told me that I made it, and when I checked my name was on the list," he said.
Tsaptsalis and the rest of the squad will have their work cut out for them in Canberra, particularly against Queensland who are favorites to take out the competition.
After finishing second to the Sunshine State during his last appearance in 2017, Tsaptsalis gives his side an even chance to do one better this time around.
"I think we'll get a few wins," he said.
"We have a few new people, but i think we'll have a very good chance this year."
Tsaptsalis said Victoria was customarily a good volleyball state, and usually fields competitive sides.
After taking up the game in primary school at the suggestion of a teacher, Tsaptsalis said he loved the competition.
"I love the excitement and being able to hit a ball." he said.
Boasting an ability to play at both the front and back of the net, Tsaptsalis will provide versatility to the Victorian team.
While he thinks the possibility of an Australian call-up is still long way, he wasn't ruling it out.