VLY were back in Kilkenny today for the Senior Girls C national final competition after storm Barra forced a reschedule just one week ago.
3 pools of 12 new and returning schools from all across the country competed throughout the day for the final girls senior title in 2021.
In Pool 1 St Leo’s College were back hoping for a second trophy to go alongside their Senior B won earlier in the week. They would face strong opposition from Mungret CC, Ardscoil Mhuire and Elphin CC (reigning champions). New school Mungret gave a great account of themselves in the early stages but it was Ardscoil Mhuire that topped the group sending themselves into the quarters followed by Elphin and then Leos in third.
Over in Pool 2 another new school from Cork, Coachford College were off to a rocky start against strong favourites Portlaoise College but grew in confidence to record a few wins as the day went on. Also in the pool we saw a return of Presentation Kilkenny bringing yet another strong senior team to the finals. They got their day underway registering a win against new school Loreto Crumlin. With Portlaoise going on to dominate the group Pres. Kilkenny sealed a crucial 2nd place. This left both new schools fighting it out for that first volleyball win and it was the Cork school that duly obliged with a 25-13 determined performance.
The final pool consisted of Loreto Swords and Mountrath as well as a second St Leos team stepping in last minute for the absent St Louis. Colaiste NaHlnse from Meath completed the pool. What a day of volleyball we had on court 3 as all games went down to the wire, teams desperate to secure that top spot. Mountrath finally overcame Loreto Swords 25-21 and moved straight into the quarter finals.
After a round of playoffs we had to say goodbye to Loreto Crumlin, St Leos blue, Loreto swords and Coláiste Na Hlnse.
Back in play now came all group winners and comfortable wins for both Ardscoil and Portlaoise were followed by tighter games that propelled Elphin and Leos Black into the semis also.
Leo’s in semi one caught Ardscoil off guard and raced their way into the final with a 25-5 win. Portlaoise also hoping to make the final didn’t have it all their own way as they did in earlier rounds. A real spirited Elphin performance seen them just bow out 26-24 and the Roscommon school would have to leave the trophy behind them for this year.
All eyes were on the final to see if Leos could do the double against a team they had avoided throughout the day Portlaoise.
Both teams played remarkably well with a never give up attitude but it was the Laois team that pipped them 25-21 in the first to put them just one set away from being crowned champions. The 2nd set started much the same as both teams reached double figures tied at 10-10.
It was an incredible finish of 26-24 for Portlaoise saw them crowned champions for the first time since 2014.
MVP Lucy Grace, Portlaoise College