Senior B Girls Final, Scoil Mhuire Strokestown V Partrician Presentation Fethard
Scoil Mhuire came up from Senior C last year with Patrician Presentation of Fethard, Tipperary joining them from the other direction. In fact this was the first team the teams would have faced each other. Fethard stormed ahead and took the first 25-19 with Lucy Spillane and Carrie Nolan strong. But Strokestown soon hit back playing some super three touch volleyball to take it level in a tight second set 25-23. Lauren Shanagher was impressive throughout the match getting the Roscommon team over the line and into the third set, in fact Shanagher’s performance earnt her a well deserved MVP award. However the Tipperary team just too strong in the end and won the decider 25-18.
MVP – Lauren Shanagher, Scoil Mhuire
Senior B Boys Final, Colaiste An Eachreidh V Grange CC
Another final went the distance with Colaiste an Eachreidh of Athenry winning in three sets against a spirited Grange Community College of Donaghmede, Dublin. In fact, it was the Galway sides second victory in three years at this level and a nice touch was that several of the 2017 champions returned to support their understudies. For Grange, it was the first ever National Final, in Volleyball at least – they had rushed from the National Basketball Arena where they competed earlier that day. In fact, Grange are a success story in Schools Volleyball with several teams reaching the latter stages of a variety of Competitions – the North Dublin area is becoming a hot bed.
Colaiste an Eachreidh started the stronger but the first set was tight, before they pulled away with John Gray excelling in the centre of the court. He was ably supported by Sean O’Brien and Culann Stevens. After a strong comeback from Grange they took the first 25-21. The second was very much the opposite with Grange getting and staying in front – it seemed the transition from slam dunking to spiking was complete with the inspirational captain Tomasz Nowakowski dominating. In fact, the Dubliners strolled to a 17-25 win.
That set the scene for the best of 3 decider – with Colaiste relying on a little more experience to edge an intriguing encounter 25-22. Congratulations to Coach Sean O’Brien and his team who are working with Volleyball Ireland Development Officer Conor Flood, to establish a new club in East Galway.
MVP – Tomasz Nowakowski, Grange CC
Senior C Girls Final, Elphin CC, Roscommon V St Leos College, Carlow
The only match that didn’t go the distance in a wonderful Senior Schools Finals day was the encounter between Elphin and St Leos.
In a relatively tight first set Elphin just about kept their necks in front running out 25-21 winners. Emily Keane and Chloe Higgins were the foundations of most things Elphin did well. The second and final set was much more one sided as Elphin steam rolled to a 25-8 win, despite the best efforts of the Gaffney sisters Lan & Lily. Both Schools have huge volleyball traditions and have been playing for a long time now. Elphin’s new head coach Kyra Wildy, claimed her first trophy at Elphin.
St Leo’s have been represented in numerous finals over the last few years across divisions but this time just came up against a strong Elphin side. For most of the Leo’s team that was their second final in two years, with both ending in defeat but the improvement in the team has been clear. They are certainly to be kept an eye on in 2020.
MVP – Ellen Tiernan, Elphin.