by Megan Burgdorf
The Volleyball Association of Ireland hosts the annual Association Cup Final in the Artane Recreation Centre in Dublin this Saturday. The men’s final kicks off the day at 12.30 with a match-up between league winners UCD and league runners-up Ballymun Patriots. The women’s final will follow at 14.30 with the third placed DVC and fourth placed NUIG Alliance.
Don’t let the rankings deceive you because this women’s final is going to be top class. NUIG Alliance has had a strong season and just knocked Naas out of contention for the league title last weekend 3-0. DVC are the reigning champions from 2014 winning both the league and all-Ireland titles.
The NUIG Alliance squad will feature a strong service game. Katerina Aimelia Axaopoulou will be a dominating force on the wing and if match-ups fall to plan, could pose a real threat to DVC. Running NUIG Alliance’s offense will be Lucie Ruzickova who has consistently delivered creative options under pressure. NUIG Alliance will depend on the experience of Ireland’s National Squad player Regina Halpin in defence.
DVC’s squad has some of Ireland’s best players with five nominated by the league for all-star awards. DVC has a very consistent block in the middle with Nicole Horsman and Edyta McMullan splitting the coverage. What the block doesn’t stop you will find Ivett Simon picking up on defence from the back court. DVC will spread the offensive threat with the middles and will look to Indre Simkute on the wing and Jana Langford on the opposite.
These two teams will demonstrate some of the best women’s volleyball to be played in Ireland this spring. Tickets are sold at the door, all are welcome to attend. Best of luck to all teams on the day in this showcase event.
For more information please visit www.volleyballireland.com