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Record fourth title for Mary's girls

For an unprecedented fourth year, St Mary's Naas took the girls' senior A title at the Irish Schools Volleyball Championship with a new-look team.

Aisling Clancy, a member of the Irish senior squad, was one of the few players remaining from the squad that had dominated Irish schools volleyball for the past few years.

Because the usual venue of UCD was unavailable, the girls and boys finals were split this year. O'Loughlin Gaels GAA Club hosted the girls, while the boys finals took place at Streete Sports Complex in Co Westmeath.

In the girls' final, St Mary's faced their perennial rivals, Holy Family Newbridge. Last year, Holy Family had pushed St Mary's close, and there were tears of joy at the end of the match when St Mary's pulled through.

The pattern was repeated this year with both sides starting nervously before St Mary's pulled away to win the first set 25-18.

In the second, Holy Family dominated and came through to win 25-16. In a close-fought match, St Mary's had a slight edge, winning the third set 25-21.

In the fourth, it was tit-for-tat until the end, when St Mary's finally got the two points they needed to win at 27-25.

Taking the MVP award was Aisling Clancy for her all-round court excellence both in attack and defence.


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