Volleyball Ireland’s All Stars played Northern Ireland and Scotland
Congratulations to Volleyball Ireland’s All Star Men and Women’s teams were in action this weekend in Belfast, against the Scottish and Northern Irish national squads.
Both teams put on a great display of volleyball, which Northern Ireland Men very much appreciated, as they are preparing for round two of the European Championships against Finland, and need much match play against strong opposition.
The Ladies team started with a great win against Northern Ireland 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-17). It was a good chance for the team to bond before meeting a strong opposition in Scotland, in their second game. With great offensive play from repeat All Star Winners Indre Simkute and Edyta McMullan, and superb defence by libero Zydre Gupbyte, Ireland put up quite a challenge against our celtic neighbours. Just two points separated the teams in set one and two. Set three saw more unforced errors creeping in, which allowed Scotland to stamp their dominance, Ireland losing 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-14).
The Men’s team showcased some amazing volleyball skills of our premier league. With amazing hitting from Osama Edghim, Ayslan Ferreira and Bartosz Bielecki, Ireland was certainly there to compete. Blocking on both sides was immense, but many service errors cost Ireland crucial points in each set, Ireland losing 3-2 (27-25, 18-25,25-21,20-25, 15-11). The blocking of the Scottish team had was less effective, allowing the Irish hitters to put on quite a show at times, but after the 5-setter match earlier in the day, it was a big ask for Ireland to maintain the level against a fresh Scottish side. Ireland lost the game 3-0 (27-25, 25-22, 25-23). A big shout out has to go to Gianmaria Marcatelli, whose experience and quality defending, allowed Ireland to stay in points, that really should have been won. Again our serving let us down, and probably in reality cost us the game.
Overall, it was a superb day for showcasing Volleyball in Ireland. We thank the players and coaches for their very sporting attitude shown at all times, and to Denise Tallon for her efforts in organising the day from our side. Thank you also to Helen Cotter for travelling as our Referee.
In 2018, Volleyball Ireland will celebrate 50 years as the governing body for volleyball in Ireland and will be running many events as part of this celebration. One will be the St Patrick’s weekend volleyball international tournament, which they share with Northern Ireland every second year. Volleyball Ireland will shortly be advertising for the Head Coach positions for both our national squad’s teams, and hope that next year we will have senior teams strong enough to compete in this tournament, alongside our All Star teams, and continue to make the event bigger and better.
Follow the link for more Photos Photos