Thursday, February 2, 2012

Men 1 fight to another two wins in the BVA league!

On Sunday 29 January, there was a much anticipated fixture lined up. A clash of the Titans between the top three teams of the Berkshire league. This fixture could increase the gap or even things up between us and Spikeo’s at the top. The Oxford Titans for the day: Steve, Jeremy, Gerard, Lukasz, Martijn, Jon, Rune, Gabriele. We travelled to Kendrick School in Reading to find a bitterly cold hall. Noting that times are hard for private schools as well, we had an extra few minutes to warm up including some team bonding in the changing rooms.

First match: Spikeopaths v Oxford 1
In the first match against Spikeopaths, our closest rival for the title, we got going slowly and needed a time-out at 10-15 to re-group. From there on, we started to play better volleyball and put them under some pressure. We were even at 20-20, only to give them another couple of points at the end of the first set and losing it 24-26.

With the knowledge that we had to cut out our mistakes to win the match, we went into the 2nd set with confidence and some fresh legs from the French bench. It went point for point at the start until we won a few points on our service including a ‘Stonewall-J’ block from Rune and some nice pick-ups from our libero Steve. Spikeo’s struggled to keep up with us and could not do much more than win side-out points. At 17-14 ahead, Jon and Martijn served the next 8 points between them to win the 2nd set comfortably 25-17.

Therefore, a nail-biting decider was upon us! With some good volleyball from both sides, points were hard to come by. Some impressive defence and hitting got us 8-6 up when we changed ends. Then with some exciting calls together with a great fighting spirit from our side 8-6 became 12-10, 14-10, 14-11 and 15-11!

Oxford wins - Woopwoop!! MVP: Gabriele!

Second match: Oxford 1 v Maidenhead
Straight after our first game, we went into our second match against Maidenhead. We were warm from our previous match and they were a bit cold. This showed in the match as we raced ahead to 14-7. However at that point, the ‘high’ we were on from the last match disappeared and we could not finish the point. They were picking up everything and time-outs at 14-11 and 14-18 did not help much either. Then, after 12 points in a row, we scored a point and celebrated as if we had won our first ever point! We could, however, not turn it around and lost the first set.

We had to dig deep again and fight back in the second set, where we managed to settle down and win some good rallies. We were always a few points ahead and did not give them the chance to get back ahead in the set. From 15-13 up we continued to win points on our service and closed the set out at 25-19.

So another deciding set to play! We had played several deciders this season and won them all, and our intention was to do so again. Some good volleyball was mixed with a few ‘scrappy’ points. All points count and so we changed ends one point ahead at 8-7. Rune served twice in a row to increase our lead and at 13-13 it was all square again. Lukasz then served twice for us to win the set 15-13.

Another 2-1 victory for Oxford Mens 1. MVP: Gabriele!

Four more matches to go this season!

(written by Martijn)

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