National Quarter Final of Volleyball

 

Glenstal Senior Volleyball team beat St Flannans Ennis in the National Quarter Final of the B competition.

Volleyball had its second outing of the academic year on Friday, February 3rd. Our team travelled to the University of Limerick to take on St. Flannan’s in the (Volleyball Association of Ireland) VAI Senior B Boys Cup. With the upcoming mocks, there was some changes to the usual panel of players but nonetheless the boys travelled with enthusiasm and optimism. They were hoping to join their rugby counterparts in a cup semi-final.

With the first set due to start at 10 am, it was evident Glenstal had a physical advantage over their younger opponents but the question remained over who would demonstrate the better skills. Habitually, Glenstal conceded a number of points early in the first set, mainly when a lack of communication led to the ball striking their court floor. They did stay in touch and early on the scores were level at 6 points each. Glenstal then broke the trend and scored a rally of points with services from Philip Reiche and Jaime Cabello earning Glenstal an advantage of 14 points to 9. That gap remained until St. Flannan’s, through more developed play, brought it back to a two point game with the score now at 21 points to 19. Glenstal had the first opportunity to win the set but St. Flannan’s were refusing to give in. St. Flannan’s then had two chances to win the set themselves but couldn’t land the set winning match point. The game was tied at 28 points a piece when Glenstal finally pushed the extra yard to win the set 30 points to 28.

The Glenstal men were very happy to win the first set but recognised there was many aspects of their game that needed to be addressed. Two ace serves from Harry Boland helped Glenstal get off to a good start in the second set. Some good volleying from Sam McCormack contributed also and Glenstal were very comfortable as they lead 12 points to 8 early in the set. This set saw some longer and more intense rallies. It also saw some of the similar mistakes that hindered Glenstal’s progress before creep back in. Nonetheless, the boys finished strongly to win the set 25 points to 18.

A win in the third set would mean that Glenstal would progress to the semi-finals of the cup. The difference between the teams was never greater than two throughout the set and with the score at 21 points to 19 in the final stages, a timeout was called to freshen the Glenstal side again. It didn’t have the desired effect though as St. Flannan’s powered on to win the set 25 points to 20.

The game had now reached the highest stakes. A win for Glenstal meant the game was over while a win for St. Flannan’s would take the match to a deciding 5th set. Glenstal began strongly and their focus was sharp. Leading 7 points to 5 early in the set, it was their chance to pull away. After some tense play, Glenstal were in the lead 15 points to 10. An exchange of points saw that gap remain until Glenstal hit the match winning point leaving the score at 25-20 in the set and the match concluded in Glenstal’s favour, 3 sets to 1.

Well done to all the boys involved in the volleyball so far this year. They will now play either Drumshanbo Vocational School (Leitrim) or Portlaoise College (Laois) in the semi-final.

Panel: Philip Reiche, Aidan Murphy, Sam McCormack, Jaime Cabello, David Power, Jack Clancy, Harry Boland and Maccon Keane.

 

Thomas Franklin

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