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St. Patricks Weekend 17/3/2007

Junior Ladies teams record wins against their Northern Ireland counterparts on St. Patrick's Weekend

Report by Grainne Culliton

The U21 and U19 Junior Ladies volleyball teams are celebrating after their success against Northern Ireland on March 19th, held in Craigavon, Armagh winning 3-0 and 3-1 in their respective matches.

Both teams consist of players who are competing for a place on the Irish team that will participate in the Small Nations European Championship during Easter 2008.

Led by captains Edel Nolan and Anna Miller, Ireland were superior to Northern Ireland in defence and attack, though strong serves from the Northern Irish team put Ireland under pressure in both matches.

Introducing Anna Farrell for the first time as a libero and Niamh O'Sullivan as an opposite attacker, illustrated the versatility of the players on this juniors squad. Excellent setting decisions from setters Aisling Gayle and Shauna Parle gave attackers Fionnuala Nevin, Emma Martin, Jennifer Corrigan, Chloe Campbell, Ruth Healy, Denise Gaule, Orla Fitzpatrick and Caileen Meehan the opportunity to shine. Substitutes Grainne Mc Nieve, Aisling Bell, Kate Heron, Gayla Stanley, Eadoin O'Flanagan, Aishling Croghan, Sinead Croghan, Charlotte Duffy, Ciara Dixon provided good variety options from the bench and experienced libero Jill McDowell was strong in defence.

Irish coaches Denise Tallon and Grainne Culliton were very impressed with the junior teams in this, their first international competition. The competition is now a regular feature of St Patrick's weekend festival and will be held in Dublin in 2008.

 

Irish Women's Senior Team
Irish Women's Junior Team (1)
Irish Women's Junior Team (2)

 

Luxembourg Camp 28/10/2007

October 2007 - Luxembourg

Irish Junior Ladies' team:

  • Aisling Gale (Portmarnock CS)
  • Ashline Croghan (Mt. St. Michael SS, Claremorris)
  • Caileen Meehan (Mt. St. Michael SS, Claremorris)
  • Chloe Campbell (St. Mary's College, Naas)
  • Denise Gaule (St. Brigid's SS, Callan)
  • Eadaoin O'Flanagan (Mt. St. Michael SS, Claremorris)
  • Edel Nolan (Mt. St. Michael SS, Claremorris)
  • Fionnuala Nevin (St. Mary's College, Naas)
  • Galya Stanley (St. Brigid's SS, Callan)
  • Grainne McNieve (Mt. St. Michael SS, Claremorris)
  • Jennifer Corrigan (St. Mary's College, Naas)
  • Niamh O'Sullivan (St. Mary's College, Naas)
  • Orla Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College, Naas)
  • Ruth Healy (St. Mary's College, Naas)
  • Shauna Parle (St. Brigid's SS, Callan)
  • Sinead Croghan (Mt. St. Michael SS, Claremorris)
  • Grainne Culliton - Coach

Day 1 - Fionnuala, Aisling C, Orla, Shauna, Chloe, Caileen

The junior and senior ladies squad had an early start in Dublin Airport Friday morning (28th) at 5:45. Once everyone had stocked up on magazines, we set off on their two hour flight to Franfurt, to catch a bus to Luxembourg.

After lunch, the junior squad trained for 2 hours. After a rest and light rest, the junior team played two matches against two teams from Echternach, both senior teams. The first match was narrowly lost 2-1, having lost set 1 by 2 points. This did nothing to dampen team spirits and we went on to play our second game, all guns blazing. This was a tougher team, with great attacks and hard serves. It was great experience to play against such a good team that beat us 2-0.

A very tired team left for the hostel for a good nights sleep. A very enjoyable time was had by all.

Day 2 - Eadaoin, Grainne, Ruth, Sinead, Gayla, Niamh

Another early start for the junior squad. After breakfast at 7:30, we headed for a 2 hour training session. Prior to training, we watched the senior team and their pre-match warmup which was a good learning experience. We did extensive training on blocking and diving before watching the final set of the seniors match. On return to the hostel, we had some "Schnitzel" for lunch and a well earned rest.

We then had a brilliant training session for a further 2.5 hours, involving cover drills and 3 on 3 game practice. Once we had showered, we met upstairs for team bonding sessions and work, before discussing with our coach the weekend itself and to reaffirm our goals going forward. We also could openly discuss development needs we would like worked on at trainings going forward.

The senior and junior coach went for a meal in an Italian restaurant with all coaches and the President of the VAI before retiring for the evening. Overall the day was a great experience for the team and it helped us to get on better as a group.

Day 3 - Edel, Jenny, Aishling G and Denise

We got up at 7.30 and got our breakfast.We were packed and ready to go from the hostel at 9am. Our match was at 10.30. The seniors played the first two sets and the juniors
played the second two sets. Fatigue got the better of us and we lost 2-0 to a junior German club team.

We had our lunch from one o'clock to two o'clock in the "Coque" restarant. After lunch we got our tickets for the European finals and then went into the arena for a look around. Russia and Poland were the first teams to play in the 3rd. and 4th.place playoff.This was an incredibly exciting match ,Russia ended up winners by 3 sets to 1 set.The next match was the final of the European championships featuring Italy and Serbia.The level of volleyball was amazing
and everyone greatly enjoyed the match as it was a great experience,unfortunatly we had to leave after the first set to to catch our plane. Overall the weekend was really enjoyable and a great experience.

We wish to thank all involved in arranging it.

St Patricks Weekend 15/3/08

St. Patrick's Weekend Tournament, March 15th 2008

The Senior Women Squad had a busy Saint Patrick’s weekend with four matches against Premier Women teams and visiting German club team, Marl.

The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday when the Seniors met Marl on the main court in DCU at 2pm, in front of a large crowd of supporters. The Seniors beat Marl 3-0, but not without a tough battle in the first two sets.

Setter Aileen Minihan led the Irish offence with varied attacks, and 2 quick kills of her own early in the first set. Captain Gemma Garvan and opposite player Tara Dawson kept long rallies alive with their quick defence of Marl middle hitters Martina Becke and Britta Frees. Aided by the passing of libero Louise McConnell, wing hitter Olive Rossiter scored 3 kills to bring Ireland to a 19-13 lead.

Not willing to give up easily, Marl fought back behind the strong service of Kathrin Zilske and net play of Silke Arms to tie the score at 19-19. Unforced errors for both sides, followed by a kill for Marl setter Sarah Marks, and another for Irish setter Minihan, tied the score again at 21-21. Garvan gave Ireland the lead for good with a kill from the wing, and the Seniors held on for a 25-21 win.

Set 2 began with the two teams neck and neck to 11-11. Ireland’s Jana Langford led her squad’s defence against the strong attack of Marl’s Verena Moritz, while Irish middle Elke Wohlleben connected for 2 early kills. Miriam Gormally helped the home team to pull away 19-13 with her quick middle attack. Marl gained a few points on Irish errors, but Pamela O’Donnell stopped Marl’s attack from starting again with her brilliant net play. Jennifer Corrigan came off the bench to add her own block, and Ireland never looked back, winning the set 25-20.

The German side were no match for Ireland in set 3. Fantastic service by Elke Wohlleben kept Marl’s passing under pressure, and pushed by Gormally’s 4 kills at the net, Ireland jumped to a fast 12-2 lead. Marl was unable to catch up, as Garvan and Dawson added 5 service points each. Substitute Edel Nolan registered a kill near the end of the set before Gormally ended the set with a stuff block at the net, Ireland on top 25-8.

Well done to the Senior Women, and Good Luck in the upcoming Small Nations European Qualifying Tournament in May!

 

Squads Raffle - WINNERS!!

The 2008 national raffle also took place with the following winners:

  1. Padraig Harrington book with 4 green fees for Portmarnock Golf Links - Caileen Meehan, Claremorris, Mayo
  2. Signed Irish National Team rugby jersey by the 2007 Triple Crown winning team - Val Murphy, Glasnevin, Dublin
  3. Signed Dublin jersey- Frances Tansey, Dublin
  4. 2 nights for 2 people B&B plus 1 dinner in Mount Wolsley 4 star hotel - Ms Ruane, Claremorris, Mayo
  5. Ipod Nano 4GB with speaker clock radio for Ipod - Daniella Delaney, Hollymount, Mayo
  6. Signed Wilson golf gloves and picture by Padraig Harrington, Danny Hynes, Loughrea Golf Club
  7. Mobile phone and digital camera - Brian Lonergan, Dublin
  8. Beauty hamper and Eur100 all for one voucher - Amy Carr, Artane, Dublin
  9. Eur150 cheque from Anglo Irish Bank - Joseph Rossiter, Artane, Dublin
  10. Eur150 cheque from Anglo Irish Bank - Maureen Meehan, Claremorris, Mayo
  11. Ipod and Beauty hamper - Fergal Cahill, Dublin
  12. Dinner for 2 at Saba restaurant, Dublin - Denise Carter, Dublin
  13. Dinner for 2 at Cruizos restaurant, Dublin - Jennifer Hoole, Dublin
  14. 1 Lily O'Brien's Easter hamper - Glen Malone, Naas, Kildare
  15. Eur50 voucher for Divan Suds beauticians, with hot styling brush and beauty hamper - Sinead Devane, Straffan, Kildare
  16. Hamper from Batchelors - Ms Power, Claremorris, Mayo
  17. Beauty hamper - Adrian Gannon, Dublin
  18. Beauty hamper - Stevie Nohilly, Dublin
  19. Wexford jersey - Brian Lonergan, Dublin
  20. Very large Easter egg - Kathleen O'Donnell, Castlebar, Mayo
  21. Kilkenny jersey - Sean Fitzpatrick, Kill, Kildare

 

Womens CEV Small Nations Jnr Chmapionship Finals 23/3/08

 

Women's CEV Small Nations Junior Championship Finals '08, March 23rd 2008

Report:

The Irish Junior Women’s Volleyball team travelled to Shaan, Liechtenstein on Easter Sunday to participate in the 2008 Small Nations European Championship finals.

Ireland v Malta

There was great excitement as Jennifer Corrigan, captain, led her team out on day 1 of the competition to play against Malta. Ireland was leading in set 1 12-11 but unfortunately could not hold onto the lead and  lost set 1 25-15. Nerves were obvious in set 2, but Ireland over-came these in set 3 to compete in a very close encounter.
Final scores Malta 3 Ireland 0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-20)

Ireland’s player of the match: Gayla Stanley

Ireland v Cyprus

Day 2 saw Ireland take on Cyprus, eventual runners-up in the competition. The score on the day did not reflect the high level and excitement of the match that took place. Ireland lost 3-0 (25-14, 25-4, 25-10) but all spectators were enthralled by set 1 and 3 where Ireland matched the skills of a very good Cypriot team, but unfortunately could not win the long rallies that were the talking point of the match.

Irelands player of the match: Fionnuala Nevin

Ireland v Liechtenstein

It is always difficult to play the home team, with the noise and number of spectators. The Irish girls felt the pressure of the enthusiastic crowd in set 1 and 2, but went out in set 3 all guns blazing, to take the set 25-22. Liechtenstein were obviously rattled in set 4 but managed to pull themselves together to win the match 3-1 (25-14, 25-14, 22-25, 25-16). It was another good performance by Ireland and the first 4-setter match of the competition

Ireland’s player of the match: Aisling Croghan

Ireland v Luxembourg

Ireland suffered a blow at training before the Lux match and lost their Opposite player, Sinead Croghan to injury.

Having resolved themselves with this disappointment, Luxembourg was a huge opposition to face, with a player on the team actively competing with the senior team. The eventual winners of the competition, Luxembourg were stronger in terms of player development and their experience of competition and previous success was evident from their play.

Their attacking took its toll on the Irish squad, with one player taken off injured as a result (luckily not a serious injury).

The result reflects the higher level of skills of the Lux team, while also the fighting spirit of the Irish team in set 2. Luxembourg won 3-0 (25-9, 25-15, 25-9).

Ireland’s player of the match: Edel Nolan

Ireland v Northern Ireland

This was the match we had all been waiting for in the week. Ireland having beaten Northern Ireland a week before the competition to win the inaugural Annual Volleyball Cup, left NI out for revenge.

The first set was evenly balanced, with Ireland narrowly winning by 2 points. Set 2 was equally competitive but Ireland feeling the confidence of the set already won, attacked and served very strongly to take the second set. Ireland lost focus in set 3 to lose it by 5 points, and never recovered their confidence from this.
Northern Ireland won the match 3-2 (24-26,18-25,25-20,25-16,15-9).

Ireland’s player of the match: Denise Gaule

The team:
Jennifer Corrigan, Edel Nolan, Denise Gaule, Aisling Gale, Sinead Croghan, Aisling Croghan, Chloe Campbell, Grainne McNieve, Eadaoin O’Flanagan, Gayla Stanley, Fionnuala Nevin, Caileen Meehan

Womens CEV Small Nations Snr Championship Qualification Round 15/5/08

Women's CEV Small Nations Senior Championship '08 - Qualificaiton Round, May 15th 2008

Report:

Squad: Gemma Garvan (Capt.), Aileen Minihan, Elke Wohlleben, Miriam Gormally, Louise McConnell, Tara Dawson, Jana Langford, Oliver Rossiter, Pamela O’Donnell, Jennifer Corrigan, Edel Nolan.
Coach: Coleen Barrett, Assistant Coach: Grainne Culliton, Team Manager: Denise Tallon

Following a two-year training regime, a new Irish squad travelled to the Faroe Islands for the Small Nations Qualifying Tournament on the 15th of May. The team were up against tough opposition from the host nation, Liechtenstein, an experienced Scottish team, and veterans to the competition, Luxembourg.

The team started a bit apprehensively against a tall and experienced Liechtenstein team, going down in 3 sets 15-25, 17- 25, 23-25. The Irish gained confidence in the third set however, as they rallied from 10-21 down. Superb blocking by middles Miriam Gormally and Elke Wohlleben (3 each), as well as serving and defence from Tara Dawson led the late comeback.

The team came out fighting the next day with great defensive play seeing them take a set off the Faroe Islands and also our closest neighbours the Scottish team. These games had several long rallies as Ireland’s defensive play – led by libero Louise McConnell and Jana Langford - made the opposition work very hard for every point. On the offensive side, Olive Rossiter tallied 11 kills vs. Faroese and 8 vs. Scotland, assisted by brilliant passing from captain Gemma Garvan.

Faroe Islands couldn’t defend the surprise attacks by setter Aileen Minihan, earning herself 8 kills. Opposite hitter Pamela O’Donnell came into the 3rd set to curb the opposition’s wing attack, and Garvan connected with her jump serve again, keeping the Faroes’ biggest hitters off the net. Gormally worked hard through the middle, tallying 3 kills late in the 3rd set. The Scotland match was very close, as the teams were well-matched, and played one another point-for-point in all sets. Strong serving by Dawson and Wohlleben kept the Scottish side under pressure. Jennifer Corrigan earned her first Senior cap and start vs. the Scottish, and had a fantastic dig in the backcourt off Scotland’s biggest attacker. The final scores in these matches were Ireland 1-3 Faroes (21-25, 12-25, 30-28, 11-25) and
Ireland 1-3 Scotland (15-25, 22-25, 25-21, 13-25).

The final day of the competition saw the Irish team play the top team of the competition, Luxembourg. It was the best game of the tournament for the Irish who blocked and ran the middle well to compete point for point with the Luxembourg team. Setter Minihan ran her quick offense accurately, finding O’Donnell late in the 2nd set and beginning the 3rd to rally the Irish. Langford added her serve to the attack late in the 2nd when the Irish were 15-23 down and kept the side out to 20-23. Edel Nolan earned her 2nd Senior cap in this match, and added a stuff block to her stats. The combined passing and defence of Rossiter and McConnell kept the strong Luxembourg attack under control, while the Irish attackers combined for 28 kills. This match finished 12-25, 20-25; 25-23, 18-25

It was a fantastic experience for the team that travelled and who received many favourable comments from other nations regarding the structure of the Irish unit. It was particularly good to see the team build and experience this level of competition with the inclusion of both Jenny Corrigan and Edel Nolan who joined the squad from the Junior set-up, and who both have very long International careers ahead of them.

More pictures available at www.volleyball.lu






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