POULSHOT teenager Yasmin Kaashoek hopes to have laid down a marker for future international success after helping England to a top-ten finish at the FIVB U17 World Championships.
The 15-year-old and team partner Anaya Evans, from Croyde, Devon, came ninth out of 29 teams in Mexico, having qualified via June’s European Championships in Portugal.
Kaashoek, who has played adult volleyball for the Team Bath and Devizes volleyball clubs, were knocked out by the eventual runners up from the United States, but was buoyed by her experience at what was the first world championships for the U17 age group.
“It was a really good experience and I learned a lot from it,’’ she told the Gazette & Herald.
“We went out about five days before it to acclimatise because even in the evening it could still be more than 30 degrees. But we played well and did quite well in the tournament, so we were pleased with it.’’
Kaashoek, who studies at the LeAF Elite Athlete Academy in Bournemouth while honing her volleyball skills, and Evans took part in the first match of the tournament, where they were beaten in straight sets by Puerto Rico.
A battle royal against Australia saw them just edged in the third set losing 20-22, 21-16, 13-15 and lost by a similar score to the host nation.
In the knockout stages, they faced a Mexico 2 pairing of Alejandra Tapia and Daniela Torres that had already racked up three pool wins, but 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) to guarantee themselves ninth place.
In the last 16, they took one the USA pairing of Haley Hallgren and Joy Dennis, but lost out in straight sets.
Kaashoek, who has previously trained with the England beach and indoor cadet squads, will now compete in national beach volleyball rounds in Weymouth and Margate.
They will be followed by another European round in Norway to bring the beach volleyball season to a close.
She has also been selected for the England Cadet Women at this year’s Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games in Manchester in September, an event she won in last year.
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