|Queens Win 2012 NIVA Women's Cup|
|Published: 28 Apr 2012|
Queen's Ladies finished the year on a high after adding the 2012 NIVA Cup to their League Title on Saturday.
The girls needed to work hard from the start as they were missing their star setter Keissy Guerra and were also without middle hitter Aoife Walsh in the morning, meaning many players were forced out of position. This proved difficult to begin with and resulted in Queen's losing the first set of the day to Aztecs 2 - who had finished the season in the middle of Division one. Queen's learned their lesson and dug in their heels to win the second set but it was by no means easy, with the young Aztecs team performing well above their league position.
Queen's won their second group game against North Down 2-0 to top the group and face Blaze 2 in the quarter finals. The young Blaze squad were no match for big hitters Claire Dowey and Aska Wiesowska and couldn't seem to deal with effective serving from Elaine Cunningham. Queen's won the game comfortably to face Old School in the semi final.
The Old School team, made up of former UUJ players and two of the most talented current UUJ squad, took the first set and prompted a change up in the Queen's lineup. Coach Alan Dowey switched Irena Mihneva to hit outside and Cunningham in to set. This proved effective and great passing from the Queen's defence, notably Adcharaporn Mumsalee, allowed Queen's to take the second set, forcing a tie break. The final set was close at the change of ends but Queen's capitalised with four unreturned points creating an unassailable lead. Queen's moved on to the final where they faced their arch nemesis - UUC!
Coach Dowey decided to keep the line-up unchanged for the final and precision serving from Walsh and Mihneva allowed queens to take the first set. However UUC showed their mettle and were impressive in their defensive play, capitalising on some unforced errors from the Queen's girls to force a deciding set. Samira Bouazzaoui came back in to start the final set at universal following good play in the second from Tina Debeljak and Mercedes Kovacsics and Queen's fought through their fatigue to take the set and the title with a perfect pass from Mihneva, fantastic set from Cunningham and an unreturnable spike from Dowey.