Above - The Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel team that won the All-Ireland Volleyball Association of Ireland Post-Primary Schools Spikeball Championship. From left, Michael O'Loughlin, Vice-Principal; Mya Clancy, Ava Cooney, Lucia Cusnaider, Keelan Hanrahan, Lily O'Mahony, Laura Cooney (captain), Ciara Long and Sinead Millea, coach.
There were euphoric celebrations in UCD when the Presentation Secondary School Clonmel were crowned Volleyball Association of Ireland All-Ireland Schools, First Year Spikeball Champions.
This was a first win for the school in this competition, having previously reached the national semi-finals.
The competition is ferociously competitive and garners great interest among schools, as it is a very inclusive game that is an adapted volleyball game.This was evident at the start of the year when almost 50 teams competed in their regional pools nationwide.
The Presentation Clonmel came through their preliminary regional rounds, topping the table in three rounds and not losing a single match.
Hopes were high as they went through to the national semi-finals in Kilkenny. This was the only time that the Presentation lost a game in their whole campaign, finishing second in the table, but it was enough to see them through to the national finals in UCD.
The pool stage of the national finals saw them beat off opposition from Mount St. Michael, Mayo; Mercy Mounthawk, Kerry and St. Mary's, Naas.
The Pres girls never dropped a set all through and set down a marker for their semi-final place against Mayo.Great performances by Mya Clancy, Laura Cooney, Lucia Cusnaider and Ciara Long were instrumental in these wins.
The semi-final was a great match, with brilliant defensive digs from Lily O'Mahony the hallmark of this game. She was ably assisted by Ava Cooney while at the net Lucia Cusnaider and Ciara Long were formidable with their attacking and clever play.
Victory was achieved and the girls faced Charlestown, Mayo in the final. Each team won a set each and it all came down to the final set, which was won by the Pres amid amazing scenes of jubilation and joy.
Geraldine Long (neé Ryan), mother of Ciara Long was there to shout her daughter on. Geraldine, a past pupil of the Presentation Clonmel won a volleyball All-Ireland with the school in the mid 90s, which was also the last time an All-Ireland title came to the school.
The girls proudly brought home the cup to a jubilant reception from their classmates and teachers.They are brilliant ambassadors for themselves, their families and their school.
The team was Mya Clancy, Laura Cooney, Ava Cooney, Lily O'Mahony, Lucia Cusnaider, Ciara Long and Keelan Hanrahan.