Exeter Storm Finish Fifth in U18 Men’s National Championships

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Exeter Storm has finished fifth in the entire country, after making its debut appearance in the Volleyball England U18 Men’s National Championships.

In the ‘last 8’ of the competition, at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering, they were placed in a very evenly matched pool of four teams, with The Boswells Blaze A, Ernest Bevin College and Newcastle Staffs A. Exeter Storm started with a narrow defeat to Boswells Blaze. Far from being overwhelmed, Storm felt they could have defeated the defending champions on another day. They went on to beat Newcastle Staffs in their next match, with spells of real dominance. Each team won one and lost one in the first two rounds of matches, so victory against Ernest Bevin would earn Storm a place in the semi-finals. Exeter Storm gave away a big lead early on in each set and both times clawed it back, only to lose the decisive points.A 22-25, 23-25 loss ended their run in the competition.

“I am very proud of the boys who came to Kettering and those who have featured throughout the competition. Slightly disappointing that we couldn’t make the semi-final, but the improvement is outstanding and very apparent as we went toe to toe with all the teams within our group, including Boswells who won the competition last year.” said Danny Lewis.

Qualifying for the ‘last 8’ of the competition was a fantastic achievement, as Exeter Storm was one of the only teams to qualify that wasn’t representing a national volleyball academy. Competing with every opposition they faced and finishing in a very respectable fifthplace, after less than three months together as a team, shows the talent and dedication of the players and coaches.

Exeter Storm has been invited to Volleyball England’s pilot U18 Grand Prix event, in the New Year, to compete with the top teams at the National Volleyball Centre once more. Ben Fairweather declared, “Although fifth place was a huge achievement, we will come back stronger, with the confidence that we can beat any team on our day.”

Exeter Storm Volleyball Club is always looking to add to its squads. Full details are available on the club website: www.exeterstormvc.co.uk

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