A busy week took place last week in Elphin Community College with the start of campaigns for the Under 16 Boys and Girls teams and the school also had four 1st year boys teams competing in a national Mini Volleyball Blitz in Loughrea.
1st Year Mini Volleyball
This is a new initiative by the Volleyball Association of Ireland to start the season for 1st Years with a Mini Volleyball competition and it certainly worked. There were schools from Galway, Dublin, Roscommon and Clare in Loughrea last Wednesday. A very enjoyable day was had by all students who learned a lot from the experience.
Teams as follows: Team A – L. Kearns, G. Conlon, C. McCarthy, S. Harrington, E. Nugent. Team B – J. O’Connor, J. Mulvey, J. Hanson, S. Cregg, M. Sherin, A. Cassidy. Team C – D. Scott, L. Flanagan, A. Kielty, C. Durr, E. O’Connor, R. Noone. Team D – J. Beirne, D. Callaghan, C. Elliot Oates, A. McDonagh, D. Scott, D. Meehan.
Cadette Girls Volleyball
Our cadette girls team opened up their season with a trip to nearby Strokestown to take on 2 teams from Scoil Mhuire in the 1st round of matches. In the first set the Elphin girls started nervously and lost narrowly 23-25. A much improved performance in the 2nd set reversed the score to 25-23. In the final set to 15 points Elphin were. In command for most of the match closing out the match 15-12.
The second match was better controlled by the Elphin CC outfit and they won both sets convincingly on a shoreline of 25-16, 25-17.
Team as follows: Rachel Gormley, Karina Kelly, Sinead Flanagan, Katie Mollahan, Jenny Walsh O’Hara, Ciara Nolan, Aisling Ryan, Kate Muldowney, Chloe Higgins, Binta Traboue.
Cadet Boys Volleyball
Elphin Community College has 2 teams entered in this years competition and the Cadet A team travelled to Drum Community Centre in Athlone to take on last years Cadet A winners Drumshanbo VS, St. Flannan’s Secondary school Ennis who contain 5 members from the national volleyball squad and Coláiste Chathail Naofa, Dungarvan.
In a very tough opening round of matches Elphin acquitted themselves well after a slow, nervous and error ridden start.
Elphin CC vs Drumshanbo VS: 12-25, 13-25
Facing the reigning champions is difficult way to start your first match but compound that with a number of basic errors particularly from the service line and it was clear that this match was only going to have one result.
Elphin CC vs Coláiste Chathail Naofa: 25-13, 25-6
After a very disappointing performance in the opening match, Elphin now faced an unknown opponent in Dungarvan who were the winners of the Cadet B competition last year.
Elphin were much better in this match with their serving much improved and the ball to the setter and to the hitters much more controlled. Overall a very good performance against an inexperienced side at this level showed as Elphin ran out easy winners.
Elphin CC. Vs St. Flannans 14-25, 25-20, 9-15.
St Flannans are one of the top performing teams in the country at the moment and after beating Drumshanbo in straight sets 25-15, 25-21 Elphin knew this would be a very challenging encounter. Elphin held their own against a strong hitting Clare team in the opening exchanges but gradually St. Flannan’s hit the form they had showed earlier easily winning the first set 25-14.
Elphin were not playing badly but they were not putting their opponents under any real pressure and that allowed the Clare outfit to dominate in the opening set. In the second set the team were instructed to improve on a few aspects of their game which they duly did. A tremendous effort by the Roscommon side seen them open up a 16-7 lead at one stage before St. Flannans gradually clawed themselves back into the game. Elphin remained calm under pressure and closed out the set 25-20.
Despite the huge swing in the match in the second set Elphin also were aware of the qualities that their opponents had shown earlier and while they fought hard for every point in the final set, they found it difficult to put them under any sustained pressure. St. Flannans closed out the set and match 15-9.
Elphin will now face St. Brigid’s and St. Raphaels Loughrea in the next round and while none of these matches will be easy their aim is to achieve a top four finish and book a semi final place in this years competition.
Teams as follows: A. Shannahan, L. Kearns, C. Burke, H. Dowd, D. Main, C. Ryan, J. McCawley, H. Molloy, A. Gormley.