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.