Seychelles Volleyball Federation (SVF) Shields- Arsu, Beau Vallon win after three-year wait


Arsu’s and Beau Vallon’s 3-2 SVF Shield victories on Saturday at the Palais des Sports have somehow proved that the level of the game here, especially the men’s,  is still very good and this gives us all hope for an interesting 2013 season.

Arsu make it eight wins

Reigning SVF Cup winners Arsu were up against division one league champions Friends in the women’s match and they continued from where they left off last season.

Arsu’s Tina Agathine beats the Friends block

After trading sets with Friends, Arsu fell behind 1-0 in the decisive fifth set and the last time the two teams were equal was at 3-3. From then on Arsu took the initiative and dictated the momentum to lead 6-3, 6-5, 11-5, 14-9 before Tina Agathine put all her strength behind setter Anzel Melanie pass to send a bullet-like attack into Friends’ half of the court to close the set at 15-9 and the match 3-2.

The set score: 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-11, 12-25, 15-9).
Despite the game going to five sets and 103 minutes of play, the level of play was not to the fans’ expectation although it is clear it is early in the season.

The two teams took turns to lose sets – third and fourth – in mistake-filled fashion and some of the players looked like trying to catch their breath – a clear sign of little preparation.

It is hoped that the coaches go back to the drawing boards and rethink not only tactics, but also do some endurance work to help the players, who have the ability and have proved in the past, compete to the level expected of them.

The win has helped Arsu, coached by David Denis, reclaim the SVF Shield which had been in Cascade’s possession for the past three years. They have now made it eight wins in 14 years after past wins in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, meaning Friends, under coach Jude Preira, will have to wait before claiming their first.

Cascade have won the title five times – in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2011 and 2012.
Reigning young female athlete of the year Marie-Helen Rose, who captained Arsu to victory on Saturday, gave herself a nice 18th birthday present and told Sports Nation that the team deserved the victory.

“We deserved it. We played better than them although we also made a lot of mistakes. We need to stay united and train harder if we want to enjoy a good 2013 season,” Rose told Sports Nation after accepting the winners’ shield from community development and sports principal secretary Denis Rose.

Beau Vallon dethrone Spikers

Beau Vallon look more organised management-wise this year and on the court, the players delivered despite at times sending shivers down their fans’ back.

With former professional Ian Furneau back with the team, Beau Vallon countered what Premium Spikers could throw at them and took coach Bernard Denis’ team out of their rhythm and system.

Although Premium Spikers served tough through another former pro – Guy Valentin – and Kevin Sinon, Beau Vallon cleverly absorbed their opponents’ best before blasting away in the decisive fifth set, combining finesse and fire to down Premium Spikers who were gunning for a third consecutive SVF Shield win and a sixth after past victories in 2003, 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Ian Furneau was instrumental in Beau Vallon win over Premium Spikers

After some very entertaining volleyball where the two sets of players moved well in the middle, blocked well, changed up their patterns to get the better of the other, and stars Furneau (Beau Vallon) and Valentin and Sinon (Premium Spikers) using their vertical leap ability to the maximum to send cracking shots onto the court, the game ended on a simple mistake.

At game-point (16-15), Benjamin Bijoux, who had come off the bench to marshall his team’s defence at the net, went to the service line and considered not to be one of the best servers on his team, he floated his service into Premium Spikers’ half of the court. His teammates must have been happy he had been able to do that well, but little did he know that one of the best receptionists – Premium Spikers’ veteran skipper Jean-Paul Lepathy – would make a meal of what looked like an easy ball to receive. The ball skidded of Lepathy’s arms and flew in the blue yonder as Beau Vallon celebrated beating Spikers and giving coach Adolf Nalletamby a winning debut.

The final score: 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 20-25, 25-18, 17-15) after 118 minutes of play.
After dethroning Spikers, Beau Vallon have extended their number of wins in the SVF Shield to nine in 14 years – 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013.

“We expected Premium Spikers to change their game plan after we won the first set. But still we could have won the match on a 3-1 score, but some players did not follow the instructions given. I’m happy we have won and I expect my team to play much better during the course of the year,” Nalletamby told Sports Nation.
PS Rose was on hand to decorate the winners.

G. G.