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Naas V Aer Lingus

March 6, 2012
By Marie Sheridan of Naas Cobras Volleyball

Naas Cobras Premier Volleyball team were unlucky to lose to Aer Lingus in a home match this weekend. The Cobras were up against it as Aer Lingus amazingly haven't lost a match for 62 games in a row. They've won the league for countless years in succession and Naas were hoping to try and stop that this weekend in a home match in St Mary's Naas. And in the first set of the match it looked like Naas were in with a major shot at winning the game. They had a dream start with months of hard work and training coming together.  The home side did well in receive of servce which allowed setter Kate Ryan to pop the ball up for her hitters to smash. Wing player Lisa Rohan particularly did well at the net and the girls took an easy lead 13-5. Naas were suprised with how well they against dealing with the Champions Aer Lingus but they didn't let it phase them. More good work at the net from captain Emily Ryan extended the lead to 20-12.  Aer Lingus then got a few balls back with good hitting from opposite player Katie Hanarahan. But the first set was always going to be the Cobras and they closed it out 25-21. Naas were thrilled and overawed with their pretty easy first set win and went onto the court in the second set determined to stay on the winning side. The second set started well again for the Cobras through good defensive work from Aoife Carroll and wing player Claire Walsh. However, something started going wrong for Naas when Aer Lingus got a string of good plays.  The away side were leading 15-8 and one thing after another started going wrong for Naas. Serves went into the net, hits went out and receives were missed badly. Aer Lingus, an extremely experienced side, lapped all this up and kept notching points on the score board. A slightly over the top referee didn't help Naas's cause either when she yellow carded the home side when a substitute left the hall to go to the bathroom without her permission. At this stage, Naas could either laugh or cry and they decided to laugh. They lost the second set 25 - 12 but realised it could only go up from there. Welll, so they thought until they began the third set and went down 9-0 in five mins. Things didn't get much better and Aer Lingus Sinead O'Connor rattled the Cobras and soon the away side were ahead 16-3. Naas were now so annoyed with themselves for losing the early lead that they started playing out of their skin. Something magical finally started happening for the home side and they played some of their best volleyball of the season. Middle player Debbie Murray and Katie Nolan blocked for their lives while the hitters attacked everything with all their force. Naas began climbing what seemed like a very high mountain and somehow brought themselves back into the game 16-13. The noise in St Mary's was deafening as their supporters shouted them on. And despite a comeback that Rocky would have been proud of, it wasn't to be and Naas lost the third set 25-20. Aer Lingus were now 2 set to 1 up and Naas knew they had to play with everything to stay in the match. Captain Emily Ryan led by example in the fourth set scooping up hits from Aer Lingus left, right and centre. Fabi Souza and Claire Treay did well in the middle to take the score to 5-5. It was then a set that went point for point as Naas fought tooth and nail to keep in the game,. Aer Lingus kept up the pressure with their big block which had caused Naas some problems all match to take the lead 15-13. Naas again clawed their way back through hitting from Claire Walsh to take it to 20-18. It was hard to call which way the match would go but Aer Lingus got some good balls as well as a bit of luck to close out the fourth set and the match 25-20. This means Aer Lingus have won the league as no other can catch them at this stage. It was a hard day at the office for Naas but they left the hall with their heads held high knowing they had done their best against undoubtedly the best volleyball team in the country.  Team: Emily Ryan (c), Kate Ryan, Claire Walsh, Claire Treacy, Debbie Murray, Aoife Carroll, Lisa Rohan, Fabiola Souza, Stephanie Grogan, Sarah Benn, Heather Clancy, Katie Nolan Coaches: Marie Sheridan, Orla McElroy

Tags Naas Cobras Volleyball • Publisher
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