Mixed Division 1 Volleyball League
Leapfrog are still in the running for the volleyball mixed division 1 league title after a narrow win against current front runners White Rock. 'We knew this match was make or break for us' says one of Leapfrog's outside hitters, Tyler Thorne. 'Losing this game would have resulted in White Rock winning the league before playing their last match'.
With the Inter Insulars being held in Jersey just two days prior, it was evident that both teams were mentally and physically exhausted. To add insult to injury, the match did not begin until 9:30pm due to the previous game running over into 3 sets. Despite this, the players from both sides performed well and fought until the bitter end. With crucial members of the team missing, Leapfrog has no substitutions on the bench meaning there was no room for fault or injury.
The first set allowed both sides to get into the swing of things after a tiring weekend. Excellent hitting by married pair Ross and Emily Gledhill saw White Rock take the lead. Leapfrog, determined not to hand the game to the league favourites worked hard to ensure they were defensively strong. After 17 minutes, the set was over with White Rock taking the lead after a 25-17 win.
The second set saw some excellent volleyball being played. Tactical shots played by Leapfrogs Captain, Nick Gaudion, helped his team outsmart White Rock and assisted his team to edge ahead. Even after a gruelling 5 set match that lasted over 2 hours at the inter insular, White Rock's player of the match, Franky Hagger still maintained her high standard of play, blocking over the mens height net and attacking with power. Despite this, Leapfrog came out victorious is the second set with a 25-17 over White Rock.
It was all to play for going into the third with the league title on in the balance. Leapfrog used their momentum that was gained in the second set moving forward. It was point-for-point until it was time for the teams to switch sides, then it was the home stretch for the win. The pressure was on for White Rock as Leapfrog returned to court committed to the win and began edging forward on the scoreboard. Come 10:20pm, after a wearying 50 minute match, Leapfrog came out successful with a 15-11 defeat in the last set.
Earlier in the night, RB Coquelin made it two wins in a row with a straight sets victory over Generali Panthers. RB Coquelin were not at their best the previous weekends inter insulars affecting them too, and there were tired bodies moving around the volleyball court. Both named Most Valuable Players were playing out of their usual positions. RB Coquelin's Carla Marley and Generali's James Bubb played well despite being out of their usual positions. RB Coquelin did just enough to win the first set 25-19.
The second set saw a higher standard of volleyball as excellent serving from RB Coquelin's Lisa Dowinton gave her team a healthy run of points. When the set was close, RB Coquelin opened up a lead of 8 points. Generali rallied well but RB Coquelin continued to apply the pressure and won the match with a 25-17 final set score.
It is all to play for, particularly at the top of the table, as the title is all in the balance of the last matches and could potentially see the teams go to score difference in a tie-breaker situation.
Volleyball - Mixed Division 1
Monday 20 March 2017
RB Coquelin took on league hopefuls, Unite the Union, in one of their most anticipated matches of the season. RB Coquelin started strong and opened up a lead with good frontcourt play from player of the match Stuart Black. Despite Unite’s best efforts to close the gap and take the set back, RB Coquelin excelled and won the set comfortably with 25-16.
Unite the Union went out with determination to take the match to three sets, not disheartened by RB Coquelin’s strong start. The second set began point for point with excellent backcourt cover from Unite's player of the match Jen Morris. One of RB’s youngest players, CJ Elmy, showed just how much he has improved on court with superb blocking for his side. Unite did just enough to take the game to a deciding set with a 25-23 win.
The third set followed a similar pattern as the second. Despite RB Coquelin changing their rotation, it did not unsettle the team. They headed into the third set hoping to continue the momentum and take the match from favourites, Unite the Union. Unite beat RB to the half way mark and swapped sides ahead but excellent serving from Sharon Jones aided RB Coquelin to edge ahead and it was a lead they managed to just hold on to despite a strong come back from Unite. Much like the second set, the final score was close with RB Coquelin winning 15-13.
Earlier that night the Generali Panthers took on Leapfrog. The first set was a breeze for Leapfrog as strong topspin serving displayed by player of the match Tyler Thorne helped her team gain 16 points on the bounce. The serving paired with great court cover by Hannah Riley, playing opposite setter Becky Gauvain, saw Leapfrog steal the first set 25-8.
After a comfortable first set for Leapfrog, Generali came out in full force to stay in the game. Strong service was the theme for this match as Leapfrog’s Becky Gauvain had a run of 10 serves for Leapfrog which gave her team an early lead in the seconds set. It was then Generali Panther’s James Bubb took to the service box for Generali . He found the weak spots in the Leapfrog side and took full advantage. Long rallies saw both teams fight to keep the ball in play and eventually, despite Genrali’s best efforts, Leapfrog took the set 25-23 and therefore won the game in two sets.
GVA Ladies Division 1 – 13 March 2017
Monday night saw a hard fought battle in the women’s volleyball league when Nashcopy came against Itchyfeet recruitment.
Nashcopy lost a key player during the warm up as Emily Gledhill found injured herself. With the crucial inter-insulars taking place in Jersey next week (Saturday the 25th of March), Gledhill decided to sit on the bench and allow her body to recover in preparation. The match started with Itchyfeet on top with an excellent debut of setting pair Linda Stobe and Carly Tucknott. After getting into a rhythm, Nashcopy began to close the gap in the score however, it was too late as Itchyfeet fought on and took the set 25-19.
Nashcopy continued the fight in the second set with excellent hitting from Sarah Biggins, finding the gabs on the Itchyfeet side of the court. A strong service by Tucknott saw Itchyfeet close the gab as the match entered to its critical stages. Deep backcourt cover by Nashcopy’s inside hitter, Tyler Thorne, aided the team to win the second set closely with the scoreboard reading 25-23. Juliet Martel made her debut for the women’s volleyball league after playing with the Guernsey Volleyball Juniors. She displayed great promise and huge potential as she went up against many island players.
The third set was a hard slog for both rallied admirably back and forth. Great three-touch volleyball was played which was excellent practice leading up the inter-insulars where players from both teams will be playing together against Jersey. With most of the Itchyfeet players in the island squad, it was the perfect opportunity for the ladies to gel together. Eventually, Itchyfeet took the set 25-20.
The fourth set was ‘make or break’ for Nashcopy. After a pep talk from Island Captain, Carla Marley , Nashcopy took to the court determined to even the score. Itchyfeet also had a sense of purpose, as they were keen to finish the match, rather than taking the match to five sets. With good hustle from Itchyfeet and superior serving from Hannah Riley, Itchyfeet were able to take back the lead after Nashcopy’s positive start. The match concluded with a decisive shot by Itchyfeet’s named Most Valuable Player, Jen Morris, to clinch the fourth set 25-22.
Mixed Volleyball League Division 1 – Match Report
Monday night saw a top of the table clash in the volleyball mixed division 1 league. In what was arguably the most anticipated game of the volleyball season, front-runners White Rock faced second position team, Leapfrog in their 8 o’clock competition. Having lost to White Rock in their last match, Leapfrog were determined to even the score and beat the notorious team in black.
White Rock began strong with the first serve, setting the tone for the rest of the match. It only took Leapfrog a couple of points to win their first and turn the possession over. The bar was set high from the outset with both teams adamant that the win will be theirs. Despite fierce hits from White Rock players, Ross Gledhill and Ryan Martel, Leapfrog fought hard to keep the ball in play and displayed excellent teamwork in doing so. With this, Leapfrog narrowly won the first set which gave the team a huge confidence boost going into the second.
After winning the first set, Leapfrog knew White Rock would come back on court stronger in order to even the score. Accurate serving by White Rock’s Lev Kayacan pushed his team ahead as Leapfrog found themselves stuck in their rotation. After breaking the serve, Leapfrog took full advantage of their player of the match, Edgars Zalcamanis, as he was on top form, hitting through the middle. Towards the end of the set Leapfrog found themselves down by 2 points at 20–22. Despite building momentum by winning 3 valuable points in a row, White Rock proved they can fight back and took the set 25–23.
With an even playing field heading into the third set, it was all to play for. “You could feel the pressure right from beginning as both teams exchanged points with serving mistakes” said Leapfrog’s Edgars Zalcamanis, “but we knew what we had to do and make sure that we support each other. You always get satisfaction just by having great people around you that will always support each other. That is what ‘Leapfrog’ is all about.”
The final set concluded when a mammoth spike by Edgars found the court on White Rock’s side and Leapfrog took the set 15-10. Leapfrog’s win means White Rock’s winning streak has been broken.
The first match of the night saw Unite the Union face the Generali Pumas. With only five players at 7 o’clock, the Puma’s thought they may have to forfeit the match. With a sixth player arriving to Beau Sejour late, Unite the Union’s captain Gemma Nicolle displayed great sportsmanship as she allowed the match to be played competitively. The match was played and Unite the Union took the crown as they won 2 sets to 1.
The same night saw RB Coquelin face the Generali Panthers and Unite the Union go head to head with the Generali Pumas. RB Coquelin started in commanding form opening up a 13-3 lead with excellent net skimming serving from player of the match and stand in captain Carla Marley. Generali played some well-rounded attacking volleyball but RB Coquelin were too strong and won the first set convincingly.
RB’s Jerseyman Stuart Black was subbed off in the second set allowing young CJ Elmy to take his place this seemed to unsettle their team. Generali’s player of the match Carlos Laverello was building up the attack allowing his spikers to find holes in the RB Coquelin court. The set could have gone either way but RB did just enough to win in the match in 2 straight sets with a 25-23 scoreline.
The current league table stands with White Rock in top place, closely followed by Leapfrog. Having won the same amount of matches, the top teams are only separated by league points so every match is crucial. Unite the Union remain in third position.
Men’s Volleyball Match
In the first Men’s match of 2017, Phill Loveridge's Pirate Ponies coming up against Sam Loveridge's Drop The L in a game many were labeling the 'battle of the Loveridges'.
Despite coming behind the Pirate Ponies in the pre-Christmas Steve Le Poidevin Vase league, Drop the L went into the match with enthusiasm and determination.
A strong start from Drop the L saw Edgars Zalcmanis connected well with accurate sets from man of the match, Josh Martel. This frontcourt partnership aided the team to win the first set 25-19.
Despite narrowly losing the first set, Pirate Ponies came out stronger in the second. Andy Maiden and Rene Martel supplying pinpoint sets for outside hitters Tom Clements and Ponies' player of the match David Bartram, to attack with gusto. Drop the L came back with some excellent defensive work and convincing attacking play by CJ Elmy however, Pirate Ponies snatched the second set with a 25-21 win, making the score even with one set each.
The third set was another close encounter, with point-for-point play. The match eventually tied at 17-17, meaning it was all to play for. Former Jersey player, Stu Black, now proudly wearing the green and white of the Pirate Ponies, fired powerful shots through the middle to give the Ponies a 25-19 win.
Drop The L's Gashirai Masvikeni impressed in the fourth set with some powerful jump serves. Unfortunately for his team, this could not prevent Pirate Ponies taking a 21-15 lead. Drop The L showed great resilience in getting back into the game but ultimately lost the fourth and final set 25-23, resulting in Pirate Ponies winning the match 3-1.
The night also saw a convincing win for Zedra over BWK. After the first night of men’s matches, Zedra begin at the top of the table with Pirate Ponies following in second.