National Beachvolley Cup sees Ladies and U23 winners

On Sunday 24th July 2016 saw the conclusion of the Ladies and U23 categories of the National Beachvolley Cup being organised by the Malta Volleyball Association. The matches were played over a series of Sundays at the beach-games courts in Birzebbugia. The Ladies category was won by the pair made up of Melissa Cheviron and Dominika Dwoniczak, who managed to get the better of Alison Borg and Marjoe Falzon in the final on Sunday by two sets to nil. The new Ladies champions had earlier fought their way through a tough semi-final against the pair made up of Maria Uvacikova and Linda Margetiakova, which ended 2-1.

In the U23 category, Mikaela Galea and Lif Benediktsdottir overcame the challenge of Mariana and Monica Zammit Munro with the score of 2-0 to be crowned champions of this category. Earlier on in the day, the Zammit Munro pair had come out best in a challenging three-set semi-final against Linda Margetiakova and Dana Falzon.

Commenting on the competition, David Bonnici, MVA executive council member responsible for its organisation, said that the past weeks had seen some great displays of beach volleyball in all categories. Bonnici also referred to the excitement building up around the men’s competition, which will continue this Sunday morning, always at the courts in Birzebbugia.

Malta Volleyball Association President Jesmond Saliba reiterated the significance of this competition. “Having a National Beachvolley Cup is important on many counts, not least because this is the first step towards giving a participative and developmental structure to an Olympic sport which holds a lot of promise for Malta internationally”. He added that the Cup has been “a great showcase for beachvolley” and was attracting a lot of interest locally in the sport. “This augurs well for the future of beachvolley in Malta”, he said.

For more information about the MVA’s National Beachvolley Cup, as well as about beachvolley and indoor volleyball in Malta, visit the Association’s website at www.maltavolleyball.org, and on its Facebook page.

Displaying MVA_Beach 2.jpgMVABEACHPic

 

MVABEACHPic2

 

Photo Credits Ms. Maxine Busuttil

Balzan Flyers, Fleur de Lys take last honours

Balzan Flyers Crosscraft and Fleur de Lys Twistees grabbed the final title of the season, the Fr. Tony Parnis Cup, to close their volleyball year in style. They both managed to find the correct rhythm in the first two matches of the final series to wrap up the last honours of the season immediately. Balzan Flyers Crosscraft continued where they left last week, managing to overcome a determined Fleur de Lys Twistees’ side 3-1 after the latter had taken a first hard fought set 26-24, mainly through consistent attacks by their outside hitters. Nevertheless, Balzan Flyers were still playing well, and managed to find a better rhythm in the second set, with Zane Maly once again winning a number of points for her team, with Fleur de Lys losing heavily 14-25. Although the latter tried to play better in the next sets, Balzan Flyers Crosscraft were too strong for their liking, with the girls in pink closing this match quickly 3-1 and thus winning their fourth honour this season.

In the Men’s section, with champions Valletta Mapei out of contention after their loss in the semi-final against Fleur de Lys Twistees, it was quite curious to see whether Aloysians could manage to offer enough resistance in the final series to claim their first honour for this season. Fleur de Lys however had other thoughts, and playing some of the best volleyball this season saw them twice beating Aloysians with an identical score of 3-0. The latter tried as hard as they could, but with some regular players missing, it was too difficult to stop Silvan Gauci’s boys from winning their third title this season, adding it to the John Bugeja and Christmas Cups won earlier.

IMG_9304Fr. Tony Parnis National Cup Women’s Category – Balzan Flyers CrosscraftIMG_9480Fr. Tony Parnis National Cup Men’s Category – Fleur de Lys Twistees

Photos Credit : Mr. Julian Calleja

Swieqi Phoenix Triple Success

2015-2016 has been a memorable season for Swieqi Phoenix Volleyball Club when it managed to win the three youth categories organised by the Malta Volleyball Association. Coach Leonard Zammit Munro managed to get the best out of his young players, thus managing to overcome the resistance offered by the other teams in the U/14, U/16 and U/18 categories. The U/16 league turned out to be the most interesting one, with Fleur de Lys Twistees and Balzan Flyers Crosscraft managing to provide some serious opposition to Phoenix, although the latter turned out to be superior during most of the matches. In fact Swieqi Phoenix lost just one game, against second place Fleur de Lys Twistees, but only when the title had already been acquired by the Swieqi girls for the second consecutive year.

In the U/18 League, everything was much simpler, with the Swieqi Phoenix ladies winning all their matches against their opponents. Fleur de Lys Twistees seemed to be the team with the highest probability of challenging the eventual champions, however, after a good start to the season they faltered altogether, with Balzan Flyers Crosscraft, coached by Steve Farrugia, overtaking them in second position half way through the season. This was the first time that Swieqi Phoenix managed to win the U/18 category.

The U/14 category was the last one to be earned by the Swieqi girls, after they made sure that they could not be taken over mathematically by second played Balzan Flyers. The latter managed to inflict the only defeat on Phoenix in this category, however the two defeats Balzan suffered at the hands of the Phoenix girls were enough to give the title to their opponents. Paola finished in third place in this section. This was Phoenix’s second consecutive title in this category.

 

12764795_10207981592954296_172891812483797259_oPhoto Credit :- Mark Soler Msfotography

 

Valletta Mapei Champions

Valletta Mapei secured another title in their history when they managed to beat Aloysians 3-1 in the second match from the final series of the Men’s Volleyball League playoffs, thus winning the second match from a best out of three series. This meant that Valletta Mapei managed to win this year’s championship after staying undefeated throughout the whole season. Aloysians started the second match against Valletta knowing that they had to improve on their level of volleyball shown in the first match. In the first set they managed just that, and although Valletta played very well, Aloysians managed to keep the momentum in their favour and win the first set 26-24.

However, Valletta wanted to close off the championship race as quickly as possible, and they managed to overturn the game in their favour by winning the next three sets 25-17, 25-21, 25-17 in a match that lasted 1 hour 46 minutes. This was Valletta’s thirteenth win during this season, nine of which came in the regular season, and the other four in the playoffs. Six of these matches were won with a 3-0 score line, whilst in the other seven matches Valletta lost a set to their opponents. However, no team managed to stretch Valletta to a fifth set, with the latter winning a total of 39 sets and losing just seven throughout the whole season.

Player-coach Goffredo Guazzoni had an interesting mix of local experienced and some young foreigners on which to base his team. Josef Pirotta, Owen Spiteri and occasionally Mark Soler played in the setter’s role, with Paul Tonna and Aaron Stivala taking the opposite’s role, although they were also used in other roles throughout the season. In the middle, Jonathan Chetcuti and Kevin Marembert used all their experience when attacking and blocking, whilst outside hitters Robert Balzan and Wojciech Stellmach were the offensive terminals gaining a number of points for their team. Experienced libero Vince Pace also had another strong season, whilst Filip Szewczyk and Reuben Vella were always ready to come in and help their team mates when needed.

Roll of Honour – Men’s Volleyball League

2007-2008: Marsascala Mapei

2008-2009: Valletta Mapei

2009-2010: Valletta Mapei

2010-2011: Valletta San Antonio

2011-2012: Valletta San Antonio

2012-2013: Fleur de Lys Office Group

2013-2014: Fleur de Lys Office Group

2015-2016: Valletta Mapei

 

MAPEI Valletta

Balzan Flyers Crosscraft secure Super League title

Balzan Flyers Crosscraft saw their dream come true when they managed to win their first ever Women’s League title after their straightforward 3-0 win over Fleur de Lys Twistees.  Meanwhile, Valletta Mapei showed why they were regarded as favourites for this year’s title in the Men’s League when they won the first match from the series to determine this year’s champion.

Balzan Flyers Crosscraft continued on their string of successes this season, when after winning the John Bugeja Tribute Cup and the Super Cup at the beginning, they managed to remain unbeaten in both the Ladies’ League 1st Round, as well as in the Super League.  David Caruana’s girls were too strong for Fleur de Lys Twistees in the match played during this weekend, the former winning 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-20) in one hour 16 minutes, to win their first ever championship title.  This was Balzan Flyers’ twentieth win in all the competitions they participated in this season.

In the Men’s League playoffs, Valletta Mapei took the first step towards regaining the title they won last in 2011-2012 by beating Aloysians 3-0 in the first match of the final series.  Valletta had Robert Balzan in fine form, and with their players serving repeatedly well, Aloysians found difficulty in gaining points, managing just 47 points in the whole three sets.  The latter would need to find the same rhythm that they had in the semi-final series against Fleur de Lys to be able to put Valletta under pressure in the second match next week.

Fleur de Lys Twistees regained some composure after losing out the battle against Aloysians in the semi-final matches by beating Mgarr 3-0 in the match for the third place.  Fleur de Lys were the better team all along the match, giving Mgarr no chance to organise themselves, with the former winning the sets 25-14, 25-14, 25-16 in the process.

Meanwhile, in the other match from the Ladies’ Super League, Mellieha Tritones beat Balzan Flyers Crosscraft 2 3-0, thus catching up with the same Balzan 2 at the bottom end of the standings.

Sliema Wanderers kept their hopes alive of winning the Ladies’ First Division when they beat Swieqi Phoenix 3-1 in a very entertaining match.  Both sets of young players showed some good volleyball, with Phoenix settling in nicely in the first set, winning it 25-20, and then succumbing in the second set only at 24-26.  Sliema took advantage of Swieqi’s mistakes in the next two sets, winning 25-17 and 25-18 in the process.  The Wanderers are now just three points behind Playvolley General Membrane, and the result of the match between these two teams this coming Saturday might determine who wins this season’s Ladies’ First Division.

In the other match from the same Ladies’ First Division, Mgarr beat Birkirkara 3-0 (2515, 25-14, 27-25) to overcome the same Birkirkara in third place.

13064009_10208549766638283_1938045259_oPhoto Credit to MarkSoler MSPhotography

Swieqi Phoenix U/16 and U/18 Girls’ Champions

Swieqi Phoenix were crowned U/16 and U/18 Girls’ Champions for this season at the end of the two leagues which they dominated from start to finish. In the last match of the U/16 league, however, they suffered their only defeat this season, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat to Fleur de Lys Twistees, which in turn finished in the Runners’ Up position.

Meanwhile, Swieqi Phoenix have also mathematically won the Girls’ U/18 league where they havemanaged to remain unbeaten throughout the whole season, with Balzan Flyers Crosscraft finishing in second place.

Congratulations to Swieqi Phoenix coach Leonard Zammit Munro, his assistant coaches, and his players for these successes.

13022312_496480700542008_2080395976_n

Valletta Mapei to face Aloysians in the Men’s League Final

Valletta Mapei became the first team to qualify for the Men’s League playoffs final after beating Mgarr Volley 3-0 in the second semi-final match between these two teams. Their opponents will be Aloysians, who managed to turn the tables around in the semi-final series against Fleur de Lys Twistees after losing the first match last week.

Valletta repeated the same score that they had against Mgarr in the first semi-final played last week, although the latter played much better than in their first match. After leading throughout the first set, Valletta were shaken up by Mgarr’s resilience at the end of the set, the former managing to win only at 26-24. However, Mgarr could not keep up the same level of play throughout the remaining sets, losing 25-11 and 25-19, with Valletta becoming the first finalists and extending their run of unbeaten matches to a total of 11 matches this season.

In the other semi-final series, Aloysians managed to turn the series in their favour by winning the second and third matches, thus managing to book a place in the final series against Valletta Mapei. In the second match, Fleur de Lys, leading 1-0 after the first semi-final played last week, started on a high note, taking the first set 25-13 with Aloysians not able to compete on the same level. However, Aloysians soon equalised in the second set, and again in the fourth set to stretch the match to a deciding fifth set.

This was a do or die situation for Aloysians, however, they won 15-5 to extend the series of matches to the deciding third match. In the decisive third match, Fleur de Lys again started better, taking the first set 25-23. Aloysians however were always very much in the game, taking the second set 25-20, and then completely overwhelming their opponents in the third set, winning it 25-15. Fleur de Lys could not manage to up their game in the fourth set, while Aloysians kept playing well, closing this set 25-20, and the series of matches 2-1 in their favour.

Balzan Flyers Crosscraft increased their lead at the top of the Women’s Senior League after beating Mellieha 3-0, whilst their closest rivals, Paola, only managed to beat Balzan Flyers’ second team 3-2 in another tight match. Balzan found the going tough in their first set against Mellieha, but then sailed through the next two sets to obtain their sixth win in the Women’s Super League.

On the other hand, Paola found the going very tough against the second Balzan Flyers’ team, the latter winning the first two sets 30-28 and 26-24 to take a two set advantage. Paola, however, managed to turn the match in their favour, winning the next three sets in a row.

In the Ladies’ First Division, Sliema Wanderers obtained another three points after beating Mgarr Volley 3-1. The first two sets were very balanced, with Sliema taking the first set 29-27, and Mgarr equalising by winning the second one 25-23. From the third set onwards Sliema kept playing well, and with Mgarr committing too many unforced errors, they won the next two sets to obtain three valuable points.

Cyprus Tournament for local volleyball referee

International Volleyball referee Mr. Frankie Tanti will be in Nicosia, Cyprus, this coming weekend as one of the group of referees appointed by the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) for the Men’s U/20 European Championships (Small Countries Division). Six teams will be taking part in this competition, these being Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland, San Marino and Scotland. The qualification matches for this tournament will be played on Friday, whilst the semi-finals between the top teams in each group will be played on Saturday. Sunday will be dedicated to the final matches to determine the final classification.

Mr. Tanti will be making part of a group of six referees appointed to officiate the matches from this tournament.

Frankie Tanti Photo Reffing 3

Photo Credit: MarK Soler MSfotography.net