Monday, November 28, 2011

Mixed Results - Lack of Luck...

Just a quick summary of our games yesterday.
Unfortunately we cannot add a new victory to our results.
The team playing was composed of Anna, Kerstin, Annika, Karina, Simon, Felipe, Corne & Ghislain.

The first game was against Spikeos. Not a lot to say apart from the general smell of beer on court... (Mainly due to the previous day Housewarming @ Kerstin's...). We were ahead for the whole set and we had 3 set points (24-21) but then Spikeos caught back. and won the set (27/25). The second set was not in our favor this time and Spikeos won 25/17 even if we were fighting tight each point. The MVP went to Ghislain for a few intense dives and pick ups (including a pancake...) which caused, in the end, a few bruises.

The second game has a similar scenario with different scores. The final score was 25/23 & 25/22 for Maidenhead. The level of the game was good, we again enjoyed playing together and we have nothing to be ashamed of: passing, setting and attack... Everything was clean. I think we were lacking luck to finish the points, and Maidenhead did not give us any easy points. The MVP went to Anna this time for her good saves & strong hits often putting Maidenhead in difficulty.

PS: Kerstin has a part of responsibility in all of this as she got organised a wonderful housewarming party the night before where 6 out of 8 players were present ... :) :) :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Men 1 keep on winning!

On a misty Sunday evening, Team Men 1 hosted Reading University and Farnborough Vipers in Headington. The Oxford squad existed of: Rune, Steve, Jeremy, Jon, Martijn, Gabriele, and also saw the return of Gerard and Neil. Lukasz is curing his elbow, and we hope it gets better soon!

First game against Farnborough, last season's runners up in the league. We started the game on a high, with some solid blocking in the middle and our right side - we even had some three men blocks on their main hitters to which they had no answer. We supplemented the blocking with good passing and hitting to make it an all round great volleyball game from our side. Steve served eight points in a row to give us a 17-5 lead! We won the first set comfortably 25-13. In the second set we let them back in the game, with a combination of some mistakes on our side and better play from them. Despite a good fight back from 17-23 down, we narrowly lost the set 23-25. In the deciding set, we had a good start and we continued with some strong blocking. We got into the lead, although this never got bigger than 2 points. At 14-14 we kept our nerve, and with some good defensive play we closed out the set 16-14! MVP: Martijn

Our second game was against Reading University, who had earlier taken Farnborough to a third set. We started a little slow but, by the time Rune served seven points in a row, we had a comfortable 19-9 lead. We played organised against an opposition that struggled with the pressure we put them under, and we won the first set 25-11. In the second set, we lost our focus at times, and never really got out of second gear. Perhaps this was caused by the distraction of their new (female) outside player. We still managed to finish the points when we had to and won the second set 25-19. MVP: Rune

Next matches on 4 December in Headington - OVC history will be made! Men's 1 v Men's 2. The first time OVC Men's teams clash in the BVA league!

(written by Martijn; photo by Hanna)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ladies 1 continue their winning streak

Their second fixture of the season saw Ladies 1 take on Spikeopaths Ladies (which was a friendly) and Basingstoke Lioness.

The team started strong in the first game against Spikeos and took the first set easily. Coach Jon looked happy and praised his team with bold statements like "I've never seen you play this well." The second set started equally well, with everybody serving well and giving their setter Maite consistently good passes to work with. The team had a minor blip when Spikeos got a short run of good serves but recovered quickly and finished the game off in the second set.

The second game against Basingstoke started equally well and there was never any doubt about who was going to win the first set. Again the second set was a little more challenging when Basingstoke started defending a little more efficiently. However, Oxford's strength and excellent teamwork never gave their opposition a real chance and they took the game home in two sets. Jon's final quote of the day: "I'm happy"

MVP went to Maite in the first game and Klaudia in the second.

(written by Annika)

Men 2 - A day of drama

Outside: Richard, Sultan and Dan
Middle: Vivien and David
Opposite: Ghislain
Setter: Sam

1st match against Maidenhead – an eye opener – most of our team had never experienced the speed and power of their constant hits and serves. Under their jump serves, our reception was completely shattered. 1st set was a disaster: 10:25.

2nd set started with Maidenhead’s a player missing. Penalised a point. With that interval, we were slowly picking up. With many of the opponent’s hitting into the net, the pressure on us was less daunting and we managed to close the scores: 21:25. A bit of drama with the referee, who was very harsh on our double touches until Captain Sam protested he should be fair to the other team as well.

Our one and only Richard got his first MVP nomination!

2nd match against Reading Uni was THE exciting roller-coaster experience. They had a full squad this time and was in the lead in the first set. We started slowly but not in a panic state. The drama started with the referee again who was extremely harsh on double touches first on our side, then on the other side too. We lost 20:25.

2nd set was a complete change of scene. Our reception started beautifully. Ghislain got all his confidence back and every single passing was perfect. Vivien, Sultan, David all received well. Vivien and David completely sealed the opposition’s attacks. Dan did a flying dig, which stunned everyone! Reading Uni completely lost their form; they were hitting out or into the net. Then, Sam, Ghislain and Vivien added icing on the cake with a few aces. We finished them off 25:12.

3rd set. Reading Uni’s serving was not strong and our reception again was brilliant. We carried on the momentum and was in the lead when changing sides. We got to 11:8 then suddenly due to a few mistakes of our own, Reading Uni came back 11:11. From then on, it was ‘you win one, we win one’. The atmosphere was incredibly intense. It seems to have dragged on forever. But we held our nerves. Again Ghislain’s passing and defence, Sultan and Vivien’s hitting, Vivien and David’s blocking, all worked wonderfully. We won: 21:19. Ladies and Gentlemen, imagine the blissful joy and exhaustion: the hall was filled with our noise!

Simon (can you believe it?) did not play at all, but he was nominated as MVP for this match! Happy Birthday, Simon!

(written by Sam)

Men 1 win again!

For the second round of matches for the Men 1 team, we travelled to Loddon Valley in Reading to play against Spikeopaths 1 and Basingstoke. The Oxford team consisted of Steve, Rune, Jon, Jeremy, Martijn and new recruit Gabriele.

In a warm hall and a very springy floor, we dispatched Basingstoke straight forward in 2 sets (25-9, 25-17). Good passing, serving and some nice hits through the middle could not be answered by Basingstoke. MVP: Jeremy!

We knew the next match would be more difficult against last season's league winners, Spikeopaths. After we gave them a 5-1 head start, we served, blocked and defended them off the court to win the first set in style 25-13. Rune served 8 points in a row and Gabriele 6! In the second set we let them back in the game and made a few mistakes. However, passing and blocking continued at a high level. From 15-15 we traded point for point, and at 24-23 we got our first match point. After 9 match points we could still not finish the set, and eventually gave it away 32-34. There was not sufficient space on the score sheet for all these points! We picked ourselves up and with strong mental 'bouncability', at least 3 'Stonewall' blocks and some excellent all-round volleyball we won the third set 15-5! MVP: Gabriele!

Bring on next weekend!

(written by Martijn)

Ladies 2 - looking good for the season!

Ladies 2 played two of the best teams in the league yesterday. Although we lost to Farnborough Devils (25-23, 25-19) and Maidenhead (25-14, 25-20), these scorelines do not reflect how well we played as a team, especially considering that we not only had two new players on the outside, but also had two new setters! Anna and Annette did an amazing job - without having trained together or with the team, they managed to give the hitters some fabulous sets. Giulia and Kathleen did some sterling work on the outside. MVPs were Nathalie for her work in the middle, and Hanna for some great passing and hits.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Support Ladies 2 on Sunday!

Ladies 2 take on Maidenhead Ladies and Farnborough Devils at home on Sunday 13 November - come along and watch what should be some pretty good matches! We'll be on court from about 6.15 pm onwards.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Come and support the mixed team in their first match of the season!

The mixed team are playing their first match of the season at home on Sunday 6 November. Come along and watch them take on Basingstoke Mixed and Newbold Mixed. We are reffing the first match at 5 pm and will be on court for our two matches from about 6 pm.

See you there!