Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Match Report - What a start for the Ladies!

And it is Helen who sent us the report this time, happily “volunteering”:

“Sunday 18 October 2009 – Reading Aces vs Oxford Ladies vs Maidenhead Ladies

Last Sunday saw the first fixtures for the all new Ladies Team. Neil was a much-appreciated stand in coach (although we did miss you, Jon!).

The first match was against Maidenhead, who have won the league many times over the last few years and are widely regarded as one of the hardest teams to beat. With Maïté and Tatiana setting, Valéne and Yang on the outside and Kerstin and Justyna in the middle, Oxford put forward a strong line up and started well, taking the first set 25 – 15. Oxford varied the line up for the second set, but the team’s lack of experience playing together started to show and they conceded the set 16 – 25. Things picked up in the tiebreak, however, and Oxford came through with a convincing 15 – 9 win. Strong hitting and consistent passing throughout the match earned Valéne ‘MVP’.

Kerstin battled valiantly against encroaching illness as second ref in the intervening match, but was forced to retire to the bench for Oxford’s final match. Although on paper Reading seemed to be less of a challenge than Maidenhead, they had shown a remarkable ability to keep the ball in play and were not be underestimated. Oxford started well, and the team gained confidence throughout the first set, with Carolina and Helen finding their feet in their new positions of outside and middle, respectively. Some good passing, especially from Justyna, enabled the setters to make full use of all the hitters, with Yang putting some killer cross-court balls across and Helen taking advantage of the women’s height net and teaching Reading not to set the opposition. Oxford went on to win the set 25 – 21. In what proved to be the final set of the day, the girls really started to play together as a team. Oxford maintained the lead they established early on and finished with a comfortable 25 – 11 win to take the match. The contribution of the Oxford setters was recognised with Maïté being awarded ‘MVP’.

Altogether, this was a great start for Oxford Ladies and we look forward to the next match!”

She also promised to complete it with few photos next time… you know… team photos, action shots, shower debrief… ;-)

Thanks a lot Helen and congrats to the Ladies,


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