The Volleyball Ireland National League returns this weekend with record team entries and almost 200 newly registered players, competing for the first time.
Colaiste De HIde will host the first Game of the Week when defending Premier League champions take on newly promoted Net Force Cork (330pm Sat 8th).
Gardians Head Coach Pawel Waszkiewicz is excited about the season ahead, “We are really looking forward to the beginning of the season and starting strong. We have been keeping an eye on Net Force throughout their journey last year and know they performed really well to get promoted. We are excited ahead of Saturday’s game.”
It promises to be a tough test for the Rebel county side, who have been boosted by the form of Middle Sylwia Gomes. Gomes made her bow for the Senior national team in last weekend’s curtain raiser against the All Stars, “It’s our 1st season in the premier league and we are extremely excited to be apart of this elite group. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game our team is up for the challenge, and we will give it our all to stand up to the current Champions. Our aim is simple; have fun and learn from the experience.”
Both teams will be battling to reach the end of season playoffs and subsequent Grand Final, which is being introduced for the first time. The top three teams in the Premier Division will qualify for the flagship event with 2nd v 3rd playing off to take on the league leaders. VLY. Vice President & Competitions Director Alfredo Aloi commented, “The Grand Finals concept will bring attention to the league and showcase the best players in Ireland. The format keeps teams fighting to the end in the hope of qualifying for what will be a brilliant event and experience.”
Gardians v Tallaght Rockets in D2 Men kicks off the season, while Galway & Net Force bring down the curtain on GW 1 at 4pm Sunday in the Men’s Premier.