Volleyball Ireland National Team Trials: Graves made captain.
UCD’s Alex Graves has been named captain of the Women’s Senior Team ahead of the upcoming St Patrick’s Day match against Northern Ireland. The powerful wing has been a top performer both for club and country in the last year, excelling in the Small Countries Championship before winning an All Star at last years Annual Dinner. Graves, has also performed well on the sand representing Ireland in the 2019 Continental Cup and Small Nations Championship in Scotland. The American born player, takes over the reigns from Galway’s Olivia Molloy, who has emigrated to Canada.
Commenting on the appointment, Graves said, “It’s a great honour to represent Ireland and to take a leadership role is particularly exciting. I’m humbled that Mark and the Coaching team have chosen me to captain the team, and I am so excited by all of the young talent coming into the Squad as well as a solid core of returning players. Looking forward to the match next weekend, and what the future holds for this Squad and volleyball in Ireland.”
Graves’ selection follows on from a successful trial day where 34 players from 10 clubs attended the recent event in Dublin. The day was split into two sessions with general skill assessments in the morning, followed by structured game play in the afternoon, where 18 of the 34 were retained for a closer look.
There was a youthful feel to the day, with the majority of players aged 21 or under, and many being graduates of the recent u17Womens’s Squad that competed in the Faroe Islands and Denmark. Commenting on the talent, Coach Mark Delahunty said, “We were really impressed with the quality, particularly the younger players that have shown real potential for the future. It’s a credit to the work being done by clubs, schools and Junior National Squad coaches that there are so many committed and talented players around. It was incredibly tough getting it down to 18 players for the initial squad, and then tougher still to select the final 12.”
The final 12 squad for the annual St Patrick’s Day match V Northern Ireland will be announced shortly.
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