Double success for UCC Volleyball
On the weekend of the 14-17 November, UCC Volleyball made history by winning both the men’s and women’s intervarsity competitions. While both UCC men and women have won the competitions previously at various points in time, this is the first time that both teams have won their respective competitions in the same year, so it truly is a momentous occasion for the club.
The competition was a three-day event, with the first day being a group stage where each of the UCC teams battled their way to the top of their group. The second day saw the teams going into a winner’s pool, where the teams again came out on top to secure their place in the semi-finals on the final day. After both teams defeated the respective Trinity College teams, both the men’s and women’s finals saw UCC pitted against the hosts, UCD.
Both finals turned out to be great games. While the women have previously known the bitter taste of losing to the formidable UCD team in the past, this year UCC were well prepared and full of confidence. While UCD pressed and performed to a high level, UCC were on another level and cruised to a 3-0 victory. Things were not quite as smooth for the men, however. After losing the first set and looking a bit shaky in the second, trailing 15-4, it looked as if the match could be slipping away. However, the men showed character and determination to close the gap and went on to win the match 3-1, in what turned out to be a thrilling encounter.
At the awards ceremony after the games, many UCC players were presented with individual awards for the efforts. For the women, the MVP and best middle award went to Kelsey Robinson, the best setter went to Julia Avoletta, and the best opposite went to Fernanda Barazza. For the men, the MVP and best setter went to Nick McCaughan, the best middle went to James Meeke and the best opposite went to Soumya Shah.
While this was a great achievement for the teams, this is just the first step on their intervarsity journey, as victory in the Irish Intervarsities means they have been invited to compete in the English intervarsity competition in February. While this will be an even greater challenge for our players, we have no doubt they will make UCC proud again. Here’s hoping our next article in February will be the story of our success in England!