U20 Men fly high on day two as U19 women make improvements
10th January 2016
The England u20 Men’s team gave a dominant performance as they stormed to a 3-0 victory over Kosovo in their second pool game at the Hala Widowiskowo Sportowa in Poland.
England came out firing, determined to make their mark early in the first set. They quickly racked up the points and took an unassailable lead – and ultimately the set 25-14.
The team from Kosovo rallied at the start of set two but they were no match for England who were looking strong in attack and comfortably won 25-13.
Even a change in line up for Kosovo couldn’t halt England‘s charge for victory as they dominated the third set from the start and won the set 25-15 – and the overall match.
After a disappointing day at the office against Belarus yesterday Coach Darren Lewis said he was delighted with the professional attitude of the team, who did all that was asked of them.
“Today’s (9 January) performance was excellent and I’m really pleased with how the team conducted themselves,” he said. “Jack Williams made a fantastic debut at this level with Ryan Poole putting in an MVP performance.
“There is a bright future going forward as these are two of our youngest players.”
England Captain, Cameron Carrington, added, “Today was bittersweet for me, I am so happy we came out fighting and took the victory, but it is my last match for the juniors and I will miss it greatly.
“The last two years have been a wonderful experience, they have flown by and I am sure the rest of the squad who are finishing this time will agree it has been very worthwhile.
“We have all learnt and grown and we’d like to wish good luck to the next junior team and we hope they have every success.”
The match ultimately finished 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-15).
The England u19 Women were also back in action at the New Volleyball Arena, Tbilisi - this time to face Belarus in their second match of Pool B.
It was Belarus who started brightest with some strong blocking to lead 8-1 at the first technical time out. England, who were showing improvements in the serve receive, and with some powerful hitting from Evans, continued to try to keep pace, going into the second technical time out trailing 8-16.
A well-timed ace from Eva Borrowdale following a time out brought England back to within five points of their opponents at 14-19, but Belarus were able to see out the set clinching it 25-15 with powerful hitting through four.
In the second set England continued to recycle the ball well, showing improvements in their passing and traded points in the early exchanges. They went in to the first technical trailing 5-8. Some powerful hitting from Rheanne Lord and Charlotte Bontems kept England within touching distance of Belarus, but consecutive points through four for Belarus led to an England time out at 6-12.
Captain Anaya Evans continued to lead the attack for England as they went into the second technical time out with the score at 9-16. Each point was fiercely fought but the blocking from Belarus continued to be profitable as they once again sealed the set 15-25.
After a marathon rally to open the third set, a line winner from Evans sealed the first point. This was quickly followed by a monster block from Borrowdale which gave England the initiative early on and they took a 5-3 lead. By the first technical time out, however, they trailed 7-8.
Belarus extended their lead courtesy of some powerful cross court hitting through four and once again took a lead of 16-9 into the second technical. England continued to pass well but were unable to consistently penetrate the Belarus block defence, with Belarus clinching the third set (12-25) and the match against a battling England side.
Assistant Coach Paul Welsh said the performance was really promising and the team showed fantastic spirit, battling back after the disappointment of yesterday’s performance against Georgia.
“After a disappointing day yesterday we challenged the players to bounce back and give a stronger performance,” he said. “After a solid training session this morning, and a detailed team briefing this afternoon, we had small process-focused goals going into the game.
“The girls did an excellent job against a higher ranked team, and it was pleasing to see them react so positively, achieving all except one of our team goals. The future with this group is looking positive moving forward.”
The final score was England 0 – Belarus 3 (15-25, 15-25, 12-25).