NEVZA Under 17 Volleyball Championships

18th October 2016

NEVZA Under 17 Volleyball Championships

Following three successful years in the UK at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering, the NEVZA Under 17 Competition moves to Ikast, Denmark this week

Last year, the competition saw the most successful finish for the England Girls team finishing fourth in a play-off against Sweden. While, 2014 saw the same finish for the boys’ team also against Sweden.

Led by head coach Dave Roberts, England’s Cadet girls won their first match of the tournament, seeing off Faroe Islands on Monday 17 October.

England’s starting six of G. McGovern, I. Russell, H.Bentley,E.Austin, A.Keefe, S. Freitas Schoeffel and libero M. Bullen started the game timidly but they quickly got their confidence following a strong serve from Isobel Russell. Composed passing from Anna Keefe saw England win the first set 25-17.

From the start of the second set it was the England team who dominated the rest of the game from the service line with the whole squad having opportunities to positively impact the result.

With 19 aces and strong all-round the game from Georgia McGovern and Saskia Freitas Schoeffel dominated at the net as England won the next two sets 25-18 and 25-12 to take the match 3-0. Their next match is against hosts Denmark followed by Finland.

In their second match against hosts Denmark, the England girls again reigned supreme, taking the win in a five set test.

The starting six of McGovern, Russell, Bentley, Austin, Keefe, Freitas Schoeffel and M. Bullen (libero)started nervously but built on their performances throughout first set which they narrowly lost 21-25.

England dominated the second set, winning 25:17 with very good performances from all of the players, particularly strong serving from Saskia Freitas Schoeffel and excellent block defence by Isobel Russell brought the team back level with the hosts.

The third set was neck and neck with both teams point for point up to 17-all before the Danes, backed by their home crowd, edged ahead to win 25:21.

England started well in the fourth, with a strong service game. Both teams attacked equally and coach Dave Robert called a time out when England were 21-23 down. Good attacking play by Ellie Austin through the back end of the set saw England take the game to a tie-breaker.

With the bit between their teeth, the England girls were determined to keep their clean sheet. Keeping their composure as the game was level at 9-all, captain Anna Keefe started serving at 10-12 and eventually saw the set out 15-12 for England to claim their second victory of the tournament with final score of 3:2 (21:25, 25:17, 21:25,25:23,15:12) ) 

Coached by Luis Bellow the U17 boys were in action against Denmark on the opening day of competition.

They started well in the first set, with both teams equally attacking and blocking. England led at 24-22 but couldn’t finish the set off and the Danes snuck ahead to take the set 26-24.

Morale was down in the second set and England were slow to get started which  ultimately cost them the set, 15-25.

Picking up at the back end of set 2, the team took some positive momentum into the third. They led at the start, building to a 4-1 then 8-2 lead in the third. Continually applying pressure led to the Danish coach using his time outs within the first 10 points and England taking the set 25-21.

In the decider the England team were flying high. Spirits were high in the camp and the team was on the brink of levelling the match at 24-21 but a well organised comeback saw Denmark once again leapfrog England at the close of the set to win the final set 26-24 and the match 3-1.

Their second match was against Norway today (18 October) and was a more successful outing.

Despite a slow start in the first set, which England lost 16-25, a team talk by assistant coach Ashley Trodden saw England start the second set like a new team. With some excellent service and blocking, England pulled away to level the match one set all with a 25-15 win.

The third and fourth sets saw both teams neck and neck to 16 points. England injected some much needed energy to close out both sets to win 3:1 (16:25, 25:15, 25:21, 25:19) showing excellent determination to win after yesterday loss.

The England U17 cadet teams comprise:


England Boys

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


England Girls 

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


NEVZA Under 17 Volleyball Championships