Ashfield School reach national volleyball last eight

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Ashfield School’s U16 girls’ volleyball team have qualified for the last eight of the National Championships.

They will hope to join Ashfield boys duo Greg Smith and Ben Woodhouse on finals day.

The girls have played seven matches to get to this stage and they haven’t yet dropped a set, with some teams even struggling to get into double figures against them!

The squad are now firmly focused on the last eights, to be played in Kettering on Sunday, 9th March, which which will include a group stage and the semi-finals to decide who will go through to the final.

The squad which qualified consisted of Alice Kenworthy (who represented England U17 Girls at the Northern European Volleyball Zonal Association Championships in November), Paige Nussey, Shelby Hague, Jess Edwards, Chloe Lounds, Emily Lounds, Megan Worley (all Year 11), Paisley Ward (Year 9), and Emily Smith (Year 8).

The squad were also entered into the National Volleyball League this year, playing in Division Three.

Already the youngest squad in the NVL, the average age was lowered further by the inclusion of Emily Smith, at just 12 years of age.

Team coach Ian Clews said: “This would be satisfying for anyone making their National League debut, but for a 12-year-old to do it is, quite frankly, ridiculous!

“It speaks volumes for her character and the ability she has. To put it in context, NVL Division Three is the same level that I play at!”

Not to be outdone, Ashfield students Greg Smith and Ben Woodhouse represented Nottingham Rockets in the U18 National Championship this season and have qualified for the national final, to be held on 30th March at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering.

The girls will be hoping to get through to the U16 national final that will be played on the same day.