Day 3 of competition at the 2014 Sainsbury’s School Games means Finals day, four medal matches took place to conclude a fantastic showcase of junior talent from across Great Britain.
Girls Bronze Match – England Junior v Scotland East
The England Junior girls took on Scotland East for the 3rd and 4th position. The England girls had a confident start with a strong series of serving from the captain Lois Chitticks and Grace Thomas finding the gaps on the opposite court by running the middle attack. The England Juniors lead (8-4) at the first technical timeout. A couple of errors in communication followed but England managed to keep their lead and were (16-10) up at the second technical timeout. Katie Gregson came to the baseline and delivered some accurate serves in the space on the Scotland East side, taking the Juniors on to win the first set (25-14).
Winning the first set took England confidently into the second set, but they struggled to find the middle attack and made six errors in a row. Sarah Edwards helped to gain back the lead with 3 strong serves and Fran Smith-Daye hit strong on the outside to have a (16-11) lead at the second technical timeout. The Juniors continued their advance with Grace Thomas strong blocking at the net. Ellie Cranch hit the line from position four and the England Junior girls won the set (25-14) and the well deserved bronze medal.
3rd and 4th Play off Men – Scotland East v England Cadets
Scotland East put in a dominant display of volleyball with the England Cadets successfully penetrating the attack, however Scotland continued to apply the pressure especially during the second set, leading to Scotland East winning in straight sets (25-20, 25-18) and the Cadets taking 4th place in the competition.
Girls Finals – England Cadet v Scotland West
The girls final was the first final of the day for gold or silver with the England Cadets Girls not having dropped a set in previous matches and also beating Scotland West in the pool phase (25-9, 25-8).
Scotland West started strong in the early part of the first set before the technical time out and took an early lead. The Cadet girls began to relax after a shaky start finding their rhythm and taking control of the first set to win with (25-14). The second set saw the England Cadets girls dominate and take an early lead with Scotland West fighting every point, the Cadets pushed ahead to a (19-12) lead. Scotland West did not want to give up and began to break the English defence and pulled ahead to lead (22-21). The English girls came back and a time out was called by Scotland at 23 all, after the time out the English girls held their nerves and with a late substitution of Yasmin Kaashoek, they took the set and the gold medal (28-26).
Boys Finals – England Junior v Scotland West
The England Junior boys entered the final unbeaten, only dropping one set to their final opponents, Scotland West in the pool stage.
The England Juniors came out fighting and took an early lead in the first set. Scotland started to put some pressure on the Juniors and by the first technical time out the Juniors were trailing (7-8). The Juniors began to push through the Scottish defence to take the first set (25-15). The England Juniors had an unsettled start to the second set with Scotland taking an early lead of (4-0). However, England quickly settled into their stride and displayed some excellent skills at the centre of the net resulting in points being won. The might of the Juniors was too much for Scotland to overcome with the Juniors taking the second set and gold medal (25-17).
Sportset Super Six
This award is kindly sponsored by Sportset (www.sportset.com) and recognises the strongest and most valued volleyball players in the 2014 Sainsbury’s School Games.
- Francesca Smith-Daye – England Junior Girls – 9
- Katy Begley – England Cadet Girls – 12
- Rachel Morrison (C) – Scotland West Girls – 1
- Ffion Churchill (C) – Wales Girls – 2
- Yasmin Kaashoek – England Cadet Girls – 3
- Raveen Gill (L) – Scotland West Girls – 2
- Nathan Fullerton – England Junior Boys – 3
- William Ewings – Wales Boys – 10
- Cameron Carrington – England Junior Boys – 4
- Marc McLaughlin – Scotland West Boys – 2
- Joel Roberts – England Junior Boys – 11
- Rhys Arthur – Scotland East Boys – 1
Congratulations to all players who were selected to compete in the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games, but particularly the medallists and the Sportset Super Six.
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