Whitby hosts first national league volleyball fixture

WHITBY Leisure Centre hosted its first ever National League Volleyball fixture when the famous Leeds Carnegie came to town to play local team North Riding Eagles.

The feedback to Volleyball England from visiting team and the match officials was very positive with regards how clean the sports hall and changing rooms were.

There was special praise for the staff who helped in making sure everything was in place to meet the high criteria that is set for hosting national league volleyball matches.

This positive impression of Whitby has also been enhanced on court by the continuing progress of North Riding Eagles.

The club was credited as the fourth best club in the country in an official survey by Volleyball England and it is the progress that the mainly junior club is making on court that is catching the headlines.

While Leeds Carnegie arrived boasting a team of international players from across Europe in their line-up, North Riding is made up of all local players and only two adults in the team. The mainly junior team came within five points of pulling off a surprise win in the second set of their 3-0 defeat.

All the positive feedback about volleyball in and around Whitby has seen North Riding Eagles, in partnership with Whitby Leisure Centre, get awarded the hosting of two junior national cup regional qualifiers.

On the weekend of 14/15 January, the northern qualifiers of the girls’ under 16 and 18 English Cup will be hosted in Whitby. The qualifiers go through to the national last eights in Kettering.

Coach Anthony Laffan said: “The support we receive from Whitby Leisure Centre has been a big boost to the club and for the development of volleyball in the area.

“Hosting the national cup qualifiers gives us home advantage and on Sunday will see the top junior club side and current champions (Manchester) travelling up to play us which is a surprise for they usually get to host.”