Mammoth day of volleyball at the School Games
1st September 2017
It was a mammoth day of volleyball action at the 2017 School Games, with Day Two seeing fourteen matches. If you missed out on the action in Loughborough, fear not! Our roving reporter has put togther a handy game-by-game rundown of all the action!
Day Two at 2017 School Games in Loughborough saw seven women’s matches completed, including the battle of the loudest teams, Wales vs Northern Ireland. Can the England girls remain undefeated for the second day running?
Northern Ireland Girls vs Scotland East Girls
Scotland East came out victorious with a 2-0 win in the opening match of day two against the ever-cheering Northern Ireland Girls.
In a close fought first set the Northern Ireland Girls found themselves down 16-9 at the first technical time out. Both sides showed great play with long rallies throughout the set before unforced errors put Ireland on the back foot, losing the set 25-19.
The second set was much the same with both sides showing great fighting spirit and chanting for the duration, but it was Scotland East that eventually pulled away against the Irish Girls and closed the match 25-12.
Scotland West Girls vs Wales Girls
Like buses, no three set then two come at once! It was the Scottish Girls who took the decider and edge out the gutsy Welsh performance.
Strong defence, led by libero, Emily Stewart, allowed for Scotland to pull away for a seven-point lead by the second technical timeout. The Welsh pulled back but couldn’t put the ball down, losing the first 25-14.
With Wales having calmed their nerves, they put the pressure on Scotland from the service line and pushed hard in their play which paid off in their favour as they took the set 25-23, forcing a deciding set.
The heart of the Scots showed as they pulled away early in the deciding set, and extended their run after Heather Hamilton ran into the advertising boarding behind the baseline. The Welsh showed they cannot be written off to cause an upset this competition pushing Scotland to 15-12.
England Cadet Women v Northern Ireland Girls
Reigning Champions Cadets showed their professionalism again with a clean sweep of a gutsy Northern Ireland side to remain undefeated.
The Cadets serve receive unit was close to flawless, lead by Wessex libero, Charlotte Wittram, allowing for setter, Bluck, to spread the attack and put pressure on the Irish defence. Their eight-point lead was extended, as they took the set 25-15.
Niamh Davies lead the Cadets to an early lead from strong serving, opening a quick nine- point gap, leading 11-2. Keeping unforced errors to a minimum, England ended the set with a prevailing 25-10.
England Junior Women vs Scotland East Girls
2016 Runners-Up, England Juniors, worked hard for their sweep of Scotland East, after falling behind in the second set.
Captain, Holly Bentley, put her height to work showing dominance at the net. The left-handed setter controlled the first set using her second touch to catch the Scots off-guard. The Juniors held off the determined Scots to take the first set.
The second set, Juniors started off slow trailing the Scots by three at the first technical. Substitute, Amy Lane, bought England back to within one from the serving line. Holly Bentley saved three set points as England took the second 26-24.
Wales Girls vs Northern Ireland Girls
It was the battle of the noise as both teams had their support out in full force. Wales won their first match of the tournament in a close encounter.
The anticipated match was a tight affair but it was Wales that stormed to victory, 25-21 in the second set. Northern Ireland are still to register a win at the 2017 School Games.
England Cadet Women vs Scotland East Girls
Cadets remain undefeated in their last match of day two with a clean sweep of the plucky Scottish side.
The first set was a close encounter before left-handed opposite, Leah Blight, had a storm at the net with excellent cross-court spiking, leaving Scotland on the back foot. England persisted and took the first set.
England converted a three-point deficit to lead by four at the second technical time out. Continuing their lead by serving strong to mount the pressure on the Scots serve receive. England closed the match with a powerful cross court spike to remain undefeated.
Scotland West Girls vs England Junior Women
England Juniors also remain undefeated, after their second win of the day, with a 2-0 victory over Scotland West. England Juniors fought for a six-point lead at the second technical timeout, soon scuppered from the super serving of Erin Kavanagh, to bring the score level at 18-18. Junior, Jessica Tasker, ended the service run with a spike through the middle, with England going on to take the set 25-20.
England raced ahead in the final set of the day taking a six-point advantage at the technical. Amy Antonio finished out the match on an ace to take the set and match, 25-16.
There was more action for the boys, including England Junior Men's first game of the tournament. Here are the results:
Scotland West Boys vs England Junior Men
England Junior Men started off their 2017 tournament with a 2-0 win over the Scotland West Boys in the first match of the day.
The first set was neck and neck with just one point separating the two sides by the second technical time out. England setter, Josh Green, managed to spread the attack to pile the pressure on the Scottish defence. Junior Men managed to pull away just in time to take the first set 25-21.
Junior Men pulled an early lead in the second set, going into the second timeout three points ahead of their Scottish counterparts. The lead was extended by Noah Goalen from the service line who served out the remainder of the match to end 25-13.
Scotland East Boys vs England Cadet Men
The first England loss of the tournament was inflicted by a well drilled Scotland East Boys side against the England Cadets, as they fell 2-1. England Cadets found themselves own for the first time in the tournament after a magnificent blocking display from Scotland East leaving it hard to fire attacks across the net. Fraser Glass led the blocking effort, getting three roof blocks in a row to extend their lead and eventually take the first set 25-16.
Cadets gained their composure and rallied back to lead for the first time in the match. The Scots rose to the challenge, which was nip and tuck to the end of the set. Eventually, England Cadets edging the set 25-21.
Heading into the deciding set, England were soon on the back foot 8-1 down at the change of ends. Connor Reeve saved two match points from the service line but England failed to convert the score line and were defeated 15-13.
Northern Ireland Boys vs Scotland West Boys
In a close encounter, the Scotland West Boys prevailed 2-0 winners, in a match filled with big swings from both sides.
The first set was nip and tuck, Ireland were a force to be reckoned with at the net with the ever dominant, Ross McMorris producing big swings through the Scots defence. Eventually, Scotland pulled away to take the first set. Ireland couldn’t keep up with the pace of the Scottish attack, after fighting hard to get a grip in the second set, their efforts were ended in a 25-9 defeat to the strong Scots.
Wales Boys vs England Junior Men
England Juniors show their class with a clean sweep over the Wales Boys in a match controlled from the service line. The Welsh struggled with serve receive and soon found themselves on a ten-point deficit at 16-6. Jonathon Drysdale-Anderson pulling out his jump top-spin serve to help his team take command of the set.
England were slow taking charge of the second set with just three-points separating the teams. Wales were gritty throughout, and saved two match points but succumbed 25-13.
England Cadet Men vs Scotland West Boys
After a loss earlier in the day, England Cadets meant business as they won 2-0 against the strong Scottish side. Libero, Enrique Bello, lead the serve receive and defence in fine form to limit the damage of the Scottish attack. Their teamwork prevailed as they took the first set to build their confidence going into the second.
In a close fought set, it was the Cadets that came out on top after unforced errors on the Scottish side allowed the Men to take the lead early on and see out the set 25-21.
Northern Ireland Boys vs England Junior Men
England Juniors finished day two undefeated with a poised 2-0 win over Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland showed their determination to cause an upset through incredible defence. Captain, Ryan Upton, led the defence making it hard for England to score against the scrappy team. The Juniors prevailed to take the set, 25-11.
Ireland started the set strong but it proved too much to stay in touch with the experienced England side and fell to their third consecutive loss of the 2017 School Games tournament.
Scotland East Boys vs Wales Boys
The Welsh fans came out in force for the final men’s match of the day but failed to register their first win, with a 2-0 loss against Scotland East.
Scotland East raced to an early lead with their scrappy defence and strong attacking on the net. With Wales under-pressure, the boys couldn’t keep up with the pace of Scottish play and fell short, 25-9. The second set was finished in similar fashion with a 25-10 win for the Scots, Wales unable to stay up with their counterparts.
This year, the media team and commentators are picking their female and male player of the day and the team of the day. The decisions will be based not only on stats, but on their leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship and having fun while playing!
Female Player of the Day
Holly Bentley – saving three set points from the service line, showing her prowess along the net, another young raw talent!
Female Team of the Day
England Cadet Women – what unity they show! They played in the perfect way and fought well together, the coaching mentality of ex-Olympians Maria Bertelli and Rachel Hutt has rubbed off on their team.
Male Player of the Day
Ben Lucas – from leadership of the team performance from the service line, future one to watch!
Male Team of the Day
Scotland West – a raw talented team, such a good quality of team that look to cause a few upsets throughout the tournament.
That’s all the action from Day Two, join us at the same time tomorrow for the final full day of volleyball at the 2017 School Games. Matches start at 8:30am, with finals and play off positions being decided, what will tomorrow hold? Remember to catch all the action on the live stream here - matches start tomorrow from 8:30am, so set those alarm clocks!