UEL volleyball scholars hit Europe
- Credit: Archant
Squads compete in Cyprus
UEL’s volleyball scholars represented Great Britain at the annual European University Sports Association Beach Volleyball Championship.
The event in Cyprus featured the best European student beach volleyball talent, with 26 teams in the men’s competition and 18 teams in the women’s from a total of 15 European countries.
UEL’s men’s pairing was Mark Garcia-Kidd and Scott Weninger; while Alex Vajdova and alumni Nikki Hoevanaars were the women’s duo.
Both teams qualified for the championship by winning the men’s and women’s Volleyball England Beach Student Cup in 2014, titles UEL recently retained in Devon.
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The men was handed a tough schedule with matches against hosts Cyprus, Portugal, and eventual winners Poland.
Two losses in pool play put the team in the classification game bracket where they eventually defeated Cyprus to finish 19th overall.
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“It was a great experience, not only playing against some of the best university teams in Europe, but some of the best teams in the world,” said Garcia-Kidd.
“It was a privilege and an honour to represent UEL and GB on the international stage. This will only help further develop ourselves and the UEL volleyball programme.”
The women also came up against tough opposition, including Poland, Germany and Portugal. But with three wins and four losses the duo eventually defeated Slovenia to finish 11th.
“It was an awesome experience playing against strong teams with a lot of experience gained from high level games,” said Vajdova.
Both teams were backed by Volleyball England and Matthew Tansley, UELSports high performance manager, said there were plenty of positives to take from the trip.
“This is the first time we have competed at this event and it will have provided a great opportunity for our students to test themselves against some of the best beach volleyball talent in Europe,” said Tansley.
“It also demonstrates our commitment to the indoor and outdoor formats of the game. We are continuing to develop our programme and this is another important step on the way to future success.”
UEL’s Director of Sport David Cosford was very proud of the players, adding: “UEL is particularly proud of the efforts and achievements shown by our men’s and women’s volleyball pairings at this European University competition.
“Our volleyball programme goes from strength to strength and I hope our results at EUSA will attract a continual flow of talented players to come and study and play volleyball at UEL.”