ECVD Continental Cup kicks off at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering

11th July 2011

ECVD Continental Cup kicks off at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering

A busy National Volleyball Centre, Kettering saw the inaugural menís Continental Cup officially opened this afternoon. Singing sensation Faryl Smith opened the proceeding before Great Britain played Brazil in the curtain raiser to the 6 day tournament.

Local celebrity Faryl has had a busy few months combining a busy singing schedule with her GSCEís. Faryl first wowed audiences in 2008 with her performance of ëAve Mariaí on ITVís hit show ëBritainís Got Talentí.

ìI am proud to have been part of an event of this calibre in my home town of Kettering. It was great to see so many people in the National Volleyball Centre, many from local schools. I have a busy few months ahead with festivals and shows but it was great to open such a prestigious tournament especially with the lead up to 2012.î

The ECVD Continental Cup tournament is one of the last major international Sitting Volleyball tournaments ahead of the London Paralympic Games in 2012. The confirmed teams to compete at the event are: Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Egypt, China, Russia and USA.

In the opening match of the competition and in front of a noisy crowd, GB raced to a three point lead after a rocky start by the opponents Brazil. However, they let things slip losing the first set 15-25.

In the second set GB matched Brazil all the way with both teams trading points throughout the set, still remaining levelling pegging towards the business end of the set.  GB managed to grab three quick points but Brazil battled hard to level at 24 all. Anton Raimondoís attacking hit gave GB set point forcing Brazil to call a time-out. Attacking play by Oliveira gave Brazil their first set point, an error by GB let Brazil take the critical point that gave them the second set 27-25.

Brazil stormed to an 8-4 lead in the third set. Attacking errors by GB extended, the visitors lead to seven at 12-5, forcing a time -out from GB coach Ian Legrand. Excellent work by GBís Richard Dobell gave full attacking advantage to GB and closed the gap to 14 -12. Brazil extended the gap against at the second technical time-out 16 -12. GB saved three match points through Dobells serving and Charlie Walker blocking. A block out by Philips gave Brazil the set and the match 3-0 (25-15, 27-25,25 -17).

After the match, GB captain Rob Richardson said, ìWe have set ourselves a benchmark of the level we want to play at in this competition. If we had set better through the tournament we will do well. Brazil finished fifth in the worlds, so this was always a testing game on paper. We will take many positives but need to be more consistent.î

Ian Legrand coach of the GB menís team said, ìOn the whole I am encouraged but disappointed that we could not take it to a fourth set. We feel we deserved more but believe itís a foundation from which to build from this week. We have plenty to work on and the team is looking forward to getting on court tomorrow against Ukraine.î

Competition Results 11 July 2011

Pool A

Great Britain vs Brazil                             0-3 (15-25, 25-27, 17-25)

Ukraine vs Canada                                 3-0 (25-9, 25-7, 25 -16)

Kazakhstan vs Bosnia & Herzegovina     0-3 (25-11, 25-8, 25-11)

Pool B

USA vs China                                       3-1 (15-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-20)

Azerbaijan vs Russia                              0-3 (10-25, 5-25, 7- 25)

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ECVD Continental Cup kicks off at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering