Saturday, April 11, 2009

OVC men team is fifth (out of twelve)

It’s been almost a week since the Men’s team closed the regular season with a fixture at Loddon Valley in Reading. This time to play the top (Basingstoke Mens A) and the bottom (Spikeopaths Mens 2) teams of the league. Basingstoke already had secured the league win, but for both Oxford and Spikeopaths the outcome could potentially result in advancing a couple of places in the league table, or in the case of Oxford dropping one place further down. So despite the apparent mismatch, the fixture was by no means a dead rubber. Only minor alterations of the team compared to the previous match were necessary, with Julien replacing Tim and Neil. Yes, he is that good.


Unfortunately, not all teams are equally good at getting results in to the BVA so I’ve postponed sending out the match report until the final position of OVC in the league table was known. As you may have guessed, this is now the case and OVC has secured an honourable fifth out of twelve. The mixed team selector may be fast to point out that this is not the least bit honourable when measured against their league win. Here the context should be remembered, with the Men’s league being so much more competitive than the Mixed league. Cornelius offers a perfect example of the commitment required to play at this higher level. Despite having inherited Sam’s cold that saw her sit out the Mixed league decider the previous Sunday, Cornelius stooped to no such letting down of his team. Even after being substituted out due to injuring himself getting entangled in some sports hall equipment, he reentered at the beginning of the deciding third set and fought heroically for the remainder of the match. Alas, to no avail as Oxford saw a 13-10 lead slip to a 15-13 defeat. As a consolation, in the tie break Basingstoke had to resort to passing all their play through their GB Olympic Volleyball team player, Marc Richardson, with the rest of their line-up pretty much closed down. As a further bit of evidence of the tougher competition in the Men’s league compared to the mixed league - if any such was needed - Jon once again failed even to be considered for player of the match, which this honour befalling Martijn.


The second match saw Spikeopaths the butt of the Oxford players’ desire to redeem themselves. With a 25-4 win - with Gerard serving 17 serves in a row - in the first set, Oxford equalled the biggest set win in the BVA this season. The second set was used more as a training session, giving Julien some experience on the setting position, with a more modest 25-16 outcome as the result. Puzzlingly a Spikeopath player was nominated player of the match, which can only have been down to the consistency with which he managed to roll the ball down to Gerard for his next serve. Still, Oxford could withdraw with 4 more points. Not sufficient to have any chance of climbing the table, as we started out 5 points behind the teams in third and fourth positions, but sufficiently few that Farnborough could still catch up. However, as they suffered a defeat to Newbold, Oxford remains in fifth place. A bit of uninteresting statistics: Oxford, together with Newbury, is the team in the Men’s league playing the most sets with more than a third of the matches going to three sets; on average less than one in four sets in the BVA Men’s league requires a tie break decider.


Rune
























2 comments:

  1. As a further bit of evidence of the tougher competition in the Men’s league compared to the mixed league - if any such was needed - Jon once again failed even to be considered for player of the match, which this honour befalling Martijn. read full story

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