Elphin Community College captured the Cadette C Girls Volleyball title last Wednesday in Croom, Co. Limerick. They beat Mountrath Community College in the Final. Well Done Girls!!!
Elphin All-Ireland C Champs
It was history in the making as Elphin Community College trooped home victorious with yet an All-Ireland Cup under their belt. Never before has the school’s girl team achieved this much in volley-ball.
Both the Semi-Finals and Final were played on the 10th March in Croom, Co. Limerick. Elphin had their work cut out for them as their first challengers were Dungarvan. In the starting minutes it was clear that everyone had a real bad case of the flutters and the jellyfied knees as a number of mistakes were made on both parts. Soon though, they all settled.
The scoreboard was fairly balanced until the spectacular Claire Cregg stepped up and made bits of Dungarvan’s back court, retrieving for Elphin 6 much needed points, making it 10-5. Both teams made good use of their 3 touches and worked well to keep the ball flying back and forth. But it wasn’t until the Dungarvan’s Captain began her service that the scores levelled off again. She played a crucial role as Elphin were caught off guard by her flurry of serves. Life was difficult and they were forced to change tactics. More now covered the middle and backcourt, where most of the damage was concentrated, and it worked like a charm! Elphin broke the serve and regained advantage. They finished the set at 25-17.
The second set was just as hard. The two competitors were evenly matched on numerous occasions with great defence and counter-attacks dealt y both parties. Deborah Beirne was fantastic and gave Elphin some breathing room with her serves finding the weak spots in Dungarvan’s backcourt. With captain Sorcha Dowd and Saffron Cull adding to that pile, Elphin got a good win of 25-16.
Polluted with giddiness and high hopes, Elphin were fully set for the grand final with Mountrath who had earlier defeated Portmarnock, Dublin comfortably in straight sets. For two of their players, Saffron Cull and Pooky Mitchell, this was personal. Already acquainted, the two schools had led an epic clash in the Girls All-Ireland Cadette C Final of 2007-2008. It was a tight battle but Mountrath had prevailed at Elphin’s expense. This time, hungry for revenge, losing wasn’t an option for Elphin.
Both teams were presented and looked professional as they lined for the National Anthem. Nervous heartbeats were almost audible in the buzzing atmosphere as the final went underway. Elphin were off to a great start, leading 9-3 due to superb settings from both Deborah Beirne and Pooky Mitchell who were instrumental to many scores. They were in phenomenal shape and their scores quickly leaped to 14-6, leaving Mountrath behind in their wake. Things plummeted from then on for the opposition. The Elphin court players each took turns to lash out a scoring rampage on Mountrath and the scales were tipped even further. With deadly serves from hitter Saffron Cull, the first set ended at a 25-7.
The second set was a different match entirely. Mountrath refused to back down and led for most of the set. Scores had to be hard earned until they reached 16-15 to Elphin. With praise worthy and commendable performances from everyone, especially Bronagh Weston who was relentless and covered brilliantly well, Elphin crushed Mountrath hopes and made a dramatic comeback to close the second set at 25-16. Sorcha Dowd team captain also captured the MVP award.
Elphin Panel: Sorcha Dowd, Saffron Cull, Pooky Mitchell, Deborah Beirne, Claire Cregg, Bronagh Weston, Anna Higgins, Hazel Conroy, Megan Flanagan, Sarah Lampert, Briefne O’Rourke, Katie Killoran
TY work experience interviews.
Sligo College of Further Education talk to Leaving Certs.
TY Kayaking in Lough Key.
Cadette Girls National Semi-Finals & Finals in Croom, Co.Limerick.
TY Macra na Feirme Quiz.
TY Concern Debating in Athlone
V.E.C. Staff Development Day.
The Cadette Girls Volleyball Team have reached this years All-Ireland Finals. They beat the Mercy Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna, 25-15; 25-21. They will play next Wednesday in Croom in Co. Limerick. Well done girls.
Report by Pooky Mitchell
The All-Ireland quarter-final Cadette-C girl’s volleyball was played in Lochreagh last Weds 3rd March. The two keen rivals were Elphin Community College and Lisdoonvarna. Juggling nerves and excitement, both teams were unsettled and did not come into there own until a few minutes later into the first set. With a 4 point lead from setter Deborah Beirne in their first serves, Elphin were hopeful and the outlook seemed bright. Lisdoonvarna had successfully gained back 2 points of their own but a further string of awesome serves from Elphin Sorcha Dowd had left them trailing at 7-3. From then on both teams scored little by little until they finished the first set at 25-15 to Elphin.
The second set was not as easy for Elphin as Lisdoonvarna came back with a vengeance. The Elphin ladies were leading 5-1 10 minutes into the set, thanks to more lethal serves from Bronagh Weston, until Alison O’Sullivan of Lisdoonvarna stepped to the mark and took a series of serves to close the margin at 6-5 to Elphin. Both teams were stressed as concentration began to fail and extra work had to be put in order to keep their shape. Claire Cregg didn’t disappoint as she brought home 4 more points for Elphin. The competitors all worked well and more often than not every girl on the Elphin panel took on roles as they weren’t assigned to. Deborah Beirne and Sorcha Dowd were taking turns at the front court dealing damage while the covering 4 players supported them brilliantly. Saffron Cull was spectacular as she picked her spot for the deadly spikes. Even with all of Elphin’s good play, Lisdoonvarna still fought to the finish. They responded well to impossible circumstances and survived plenty close calls, giving Elphin a good run for their money.
The teams were neck and neck as numerous spikes were made, only to be announced by unyielding blocks on both parts. At this point both teams were clawing for the finish line. Lisdoonvarna held their shape and denied any easy points. 23-19 and they were catching up. Though in the heart of it all, Elphin supporters still managed to lift up their players sprits by rooting and cheering them on. It was a very loud match as Megan Flanagan led the cheering procession. With an easy smile on their faces the Elphin girls finished the job leaving it 25-20.
Lisdoonvarna showed great sportsmanship and the teams congratulated each-other. Bringing home yet another victory, Elphin still have 2 more matches to face: the all-Ireland semi-final and grand-final! Both of which are set for the same day 10th March in Limerick. Best of Luck to them!
Set one= 25-15 to Elphin
Set two= 25-21
Elphin panel: Bronagh Weston, Sorcha Dowd, Deborah Beirne, Anna Higgins, Breifne O’Rourke, Sarah Lampert, Saffron Cull, Pooky Mitchell, Claire Cregg, Hazel Conroy and Katie Killoran.
Transition Year Students Kieran McGrath, Ieuan Weston, Claire Cregg and Megan Flanagan who rhave reached the last 16 of this years Concern Debates Competition. They defeated last years National Winners, Davitt College, Castlebar, last Thursday 26th February 2010.
Cadette Girls Vollyball Team who defeated Mercy College, Tuam last Thursday,25th February 2010. They will now play Lisdoonvarna Secondary School in the All-Ireland Quarter Finals next Wednesday in Loughrea.
CADETTE BOYS VOLLEYBALL
Elphin qualified for this years volleyball quarter-finals in impressive style when they defeated Drumshanbo V.S., Mercy College, Woodford and St. Louis’ Secondary School, Kiltimagh last Friday in Ballinagare. The boys were in scintillating form, not dropping a set on the day. Cathal Brady in particular shone out but this was overall an excellent team performance. Equally important for the coach was the opportunity to use the entire bench and each replacement blended in perfectly into the team setup.
ELPHIN V. DRUMSHANBO 25 -17, 25 -10
This game started off with Elphin quickly pulling ahead. John Sweeney’s powerful serves were broken well by the Drumshanbo team. Some good blocks from Elphin and powerful slams from Cathal Brady put Elphin into the lead. Elphin never allowed the Drumshanbo outfit into the set and ran out the comfortable winners 25 -17.
The second set started with Drumshanbo serving into the net. Stephen Ryan put Elphin into the lead with some good serves. Drumshanbo rallied well but John Sweeney got Elphin back on track with a fine smash. Cathal Brady continued his excellent display with some good blocks and a great line of serves putting Elphin well ahead. Elphin won 11-25.
ELPHIN V. WOODFORD 25 -14, 25 -22
This was a tight game with good play from both sides. Donal Bradys good serves gave Elphin points but Woodford soon levelled the scores at 6-6. Elphin retook the lead with John Sweeney picking out the open spots. With intense action Elphin won the first set 25-14.
Elphin took first serve, with the ball finding the net. Stephen Ryan had a terrific match and his combination of top class setting and consistent serving gave Elphin back the lead. With the powerful attacks from Woodford the teams were again level at 10-10. The teams traded scores before the Brady twins opened up an important gap at 20 – 16. Elphin went on to win 25-22.
ELPHIN V. KILTIMAGH 25 -20, 25 -17
An intense warm up for an intense game. This one decided the Kiltimagh teams fate in the competition. The boys were ready for glory. Conor Sweeney started the game with some very consistent serving. A great block from John Sweeney extended the lead further. Cathal Brady with a superb smash. A bad mistake by Daniel Marron gifted the opposition a point. Great blocks by Cathal Brady twice, put Elphin in the lead 7-6. A great serve from Ryan Larkin put Elphin 24-17. Cathal Brady scored the final point of the game with a smash, to send Elphin through as group winners.
Team as follows: J. Sweeney (Capt), I. Weston, S. Killoran, D. Marron, D. Ryan, M. Higgins, F. McDermott, G. McDermottroe, M. Brennan, R. Larkin, C. Sweeney, S. Ryan, D. Brady, C. Brady