Fourth For Boys While Girls Secure Sixth at NEVZA u17
20th October 2016
The England Cadet boys finished in fourth place overall at the NEVZA U17 event in Denmark.
The team overcame Iceland in the quarter finals to comfortably win 3-0. They dictated play from start to finish winning the sets by 25-20, 25-19, 25-19.
Feeling confident, the team had a great warm up as they prepared for their semi-final match versus Finland.
With nothing to lose the boys started the match with great determination and were level with the Fins at 12-all. A lapse in concentration saw them fall three points behind but they recovered and took the lead 20-19, forcing Finland to call a time out. This appeared to do the trick as they regrouped and retook the lead from England to close out the set 25-22.
In the following two sets, the England team played exceptionally well but unfortunately lost out to a well-drilled Finland side, who play together daily. By far their best match of the tournament, England were proud of their performance as they looked ahead to their bronze medal play off against Denmark.
A strong start by England saw them neck and neck with the hosts at 16-all but they lost concentration allowing Denmark to extend the gap and pull away. A final fightback saw them pull back within three to narrowly lose the first set 22-25.
Determined to make amends, the England team fought back in the second, opening up a 5-1 lead at the start of the set. But the hosts regrouped and came back at England with a run of serves which England were unable to match. They eventually lost the second set 18-25.
A dejected England, saw victory slipping away when Denmark extended a 12-3 lead at the start of the third set. A change in players enabled England to claw some points back but the confident Danes secured the bronze medal, winning the third set 25-15 to close the match 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-15).
Head coach Luis Bello said: “This NEVZA tournament has been a very positive experience for the Cadet boys team with 6 competed matches, each of them placing different challenges in front of us.
“We have a generation of very talented players who from a very compact and efficient team.
“Unfortunately, some injuries have not allowed us to show our best volleyball and return home with a medal, which was our target, but we are all proud of how the team has fought and performed at all times.”
England finished in fourth place overall.
In the Girl’s competition England faced Iceland in the quarter finals as they aimed to follow the boys in to the semi finals.
England started the match with great confidence and skill, quickly opening up at 15-5 lead over Iceland. Anna Keefe went to serve at 16-7 and she finished the set at 25-7.
The second set saw some outstanding play from Ellie Austin on the net supported by the team in defence. With excellent serving from Saskia Schoeffel Freitas, England comfortably won 25-16.
Iceland found their form in the third set, which was a much closer affair. Injury induced substitutions broke the English momentum and Iceland snuck back into the game taking the set 25-21.
England struggled at the start of the fourth. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Iceland were more aggressive from the serve line and England weren’t able to handle the pressure. Iceland levelled the match by winning the fourth set 25-20.
After defeat in the fourth set, the morale in the England camp was low and the team started slowly. Iceland continued to build on their confidence and they won the deciding set comfortably 15-5, and ultimately the game 3-2 (7-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-5).
England then faced the Faroe Islands followed by Sweden in the 5-7 place playoff group.
Up first were the Faroe Islands who England comfortably beat in the rounds.
The starting six of G. McGovern, I. Russell, H.Bentley, L.Short, A.Keefe, S. Freitas Schoeffel and M. Bullen at libero started the game well. With a strong serve from Isobel Russell, and good passing from by libero Martha Bullen, England took an early lead 25-22.
The Faroe Islands, looking for their first win of the tournament, improved their service game in the second set to put more pressure on England, taking the second set 25-21.
An inspiring team talk by the England coaches at the interval, saw the team start the third set like a new side. Excellent serves from all players and well executed passes that allowed England’s middle players Saskia and Isobel to dominate the net. They comfortably took the lead again 25-13 with a determination to close out the match in the fourth set.
The English determination put pressure on the Faroe Islands and more excellent serving, supported by good defence by Lauren Short, enabled England to win the set 25-20 and the match 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20).
Guaranteed six place overall, England hoped to go one better when they faced Sweden in the 5/6th place play off.
The Swedish team played disciplined and consistent volleyball throughout the match and took the win 3-0. England came close in the third set but sadly not close enough.
Talent manager for Volleyball England, Adi Fawcett, said there had been some very promising play in Denmark.
"For many of these players this is their first international competition away from home and they did really well in a new environment.
"We saw some exceptional results and really promising performances from the teams and we're looking forward to building on that in the coming season."
The England U17 cadet teams comprise:
Javier Bello (C) Richmond Volleyball London
Joaquin Bello Richmond Volleyball London
Ben Lucas New Forest & Lymington Volleyball Lymington
Daniel Thompson Leeds University VC Haxby / York
Joe Palombo Team Essex Woodside Green
Samuel Marsh Boswells Winchmore Hill
Ali Ahmed (libero) EBC Greenhouse (London) Mitcham, Greater London
Dimetrie Grey-Richards EBC Greenhouse (London) London
Noah Goalen Richmond Volleyball Twickenham
Yoan Kuzmanov Richmond Volleyball Ashford
Adam Ketley Team Essex Chelmsford
Iraj Safaee Wessex Bournemouth
Georgia McGovern Taunton Norton Fitzwarren, Tauton
Holly Bentley Team Essex Volleyball Club Chelmsford
Anna Keefe (C) Richmond Volleyball London
Ellie Austin Academy of Beach Sports Croyde
Katie Keefe Richmond Volleyball London
Saskia Freitas Schoeffel Malory Eagles Oxford
Isobel Russell Ashcombe Volleyball Club Betchworth
Charlotte Wittram (libero) Wessex Poole
Martha Bullen (libero) Richmond Volleyball Twickenham
Zsofia Omoshebi Malory Eagles London
Lauren Short Academy of Beach Sports Barnstaple
Ana Del-Rio Mullarkey Hull Thunder Scunthorpe