High praise indeed for VB coaches
ST Mary’s College Naas continued their successful rise up the ranks of schools volleyball when they secured their second consecutive All-Ireland Cadette Girls ‘A’ crown with a two sets victory over close rivals Holy Family Secondary School Newbridge in a thrilling decider played at UCD last Thursday afternoon.
Speaking after the game, joint Mary’s coach Marion Maloney was delighted to have come away with the victory, as it is the culmination of the hard work that has been put in by her squad over the past few years.
“The girls have worked very hard since September. There’s three or four years work gone into that team, and we have a very good standard. Aisling Clancy is a Junior International. We’re absolutely delighted with our victory. We probably didn’t play to our potential today. We have played better in the past, but at the end of the day a win is a win,” Maloney stated.
Before sealing a 25-23 second set triumph, Mary’s had to fight back from a considerable deficit, and Maloney (who coaches the team along with Aoife Hennessy) feels that they showed tremendous character in the face of adversity.
“I think when you’re 16-11 down, it shows real character to come back and win 25-23. I suppose that’s what is in this team. They do have a lot of character, they’re from all different age groups and classes in the school. It really is a big team effort in the end, and we’re delighted with the victory.”
Along with their Cadette A victory from last year, Mary’s also won the Senior A title in December, and were the winners in the first year and second year Spike Ball All-Irelands last week. This shows just how prominent Mary’s are in volleyball at the moment, and with two teams from Kildare having contested this final, Maloney feels it is time that the two schools were given some recognition in the county.
“I think it’s about time maybe in Kildare that they gave us a little bit of recognition in Naas and Newbridge for the huge, huge effort that goes into coaching girls. It is about girls playing sport.”
“We have an awful lot of gaelic and rugby, but it’s about keeping girls playing sport. (The work done by) Tom Landers, Holy Family in Newbridge, Marie Sheridan in the Naas Volleyball Club, and with the school connection, it is really keeping girls in adolescent years in sport, and that is so important,” Maloney added.
– Daire Walsh