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UEL's volleyball scholars debut at EUSA Championships

UEL students

For the first time ever, UEL’s volleyball scholars have competed at the annual European University Sports Association Beach Volleyball Championship.

The championships, in Cyprus, featured the best European student beach volleyball talent with 26 teams in the men’s and 18 teams in the women’s competition from a total of 15 European countries.

The men’s pairing was Mark Garcia-Kidd and Scott Weninger; Alex Vajdova and alumni Nikki Hoevenaars were the women’s duo. Both teams qualified for the championship by winning the men’s and women’s Volleyball England Beach Student Cup in 2014.

The men’s team was handed a tough schedule with matches against the hosts Cyprus, Portugal, and eventual winners Poland. Two losses in pool play put the team in the classification game bracket where they eventually defeated Cyprus to finish 19th overall.

“It was a great experience not only playing against some of the best university teams in Europe but some of the best teams in the world,” said Mark, men’s volleyball scholar. “It was a privilege and an honour to represent UEL and GB on the international stage. This will only help further develop ourselves and the UEL Volleyball programme.”

The women’s pairing also came up against tough opposition, including Poland, Germany and Portugal. With three wins and four losses the duo eventually defeated Slovenia to finish 11th.

“It was an awesome experience playing against strong teams with a lot of experience gained from high level games,” said Alex Vajdova, women’s volleyball scholar.

Both teams were backed by Volleyball England.

Matthew Tansley, UELSports High-Performance Manager, said that there were plenty of positives to take from the trip.

 “This is the first time we have competed at this event and it will have provided a great opportunity for our students to test themselves against some of the best Beach Volleyball talent in Europe,” said Mr Tansley. “It also demonstrates our commitment to both the indoor and outdoor formats of the game. We are continuing to develop our programme and this is another important step on the way to future success.”

David Cosford, UEL’s Director of Sport, was very proud of the players.

“UEL is particularly proud of the efforts and achievements shown by our men’s and women’s volleyball pairings at this European University competition,” said Mr Cosford. “Our volleyball programme goes from strength to strength, and I hope that our results at EUSA will attract a continual flow of talented players to come and study and play volleyball at UEL.”

Notes to Editors

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.