Incoming Huntington High School freshman Shannon Kehoe is one of the key players on Ireland’s women’s volleyball team that will compete in the European Youth Championships for the first time in January 2019.
Ireland’s 12-player Under-16 team will travel to the Faroe Islands and play against Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and the hosts for a spot in the main draw of the Confederation of European Volleyball Championships tournament. It’s the first time an Irish youth team has entered such an international event.
Ms. Kehoe and Skye Haughton of Orlando, Florida lead the Irish team. The duo regularly flies to Ireland to train and compete with their fellow team members.
The 14-year old Ms. Kehoe has been playing club volleyball for many years, including five with Creole Big Apple Volleyball Club in Queens and more recently with Sportime Volleyball Club in Bethpage.
“I played a lot of sports growing up, but was exposed early to volleyball as my dad coached high school and club volleyball in New York City,” Ms. Kehoe said. “When I was in elementary school, my dad would bring me to his high school and club teams’ practices. I was the little girl in the big gym trying to keep up with the big girls. Most of the time I could only get on the court during water breaks and time outs, but it exposed me to some great coaches who were always willing to work with me. Now I can’t get enough volleyball. I started playing beach this summer, which has helped my fitness and made me a better all-around player.”
An American born Irish citizen, Ms. Kehoe is playing on the Huntington High School girls’ volleyball team this fall. “I’ve played volleyball for such a long time for my club and school team, but being able to represent Ireland and put on the national team kit would be an opportunity of a lifetime,” she said
Ms. Kehoe was born and raised in Huntington. She has attended Jefferson Primary School, Woodhull Intermediate School and J. Taylor Finley Middle School.
The Irish team has been training in all corners of Ireland with full day training camps on a regular basis. Upon returning home from Ireland this summer, Ms. Kehoe and her beach volleyball partner, Jessica Layton of Plainview won the Long Island Junior Nationals qualifier in Long Beach earning a bid to Volley America’s National Beach Championship.
“Volleyball has allowed me to explore my love of travel,” Ms. Kehoe said. “I have played in annual tournaments in Orlando, Philadelphia and Washington DC and have attended several summer collegiate camps throughout the northeast. But the best so far is playing in Ireland. I look up to my cousin, Lauren. She is currently playing volleyball at Queens College and volunteered at last summer’s Huntington Booster Clubs summer camp.”
Ms. Kehoe is looking forward to beginning high school and exploring her academic interests. “At Finley, I enjoyed Ms. [Dena] Mortell’s art class and look forward to the art program at the high school,” she said.