Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mixed Team - Match X18 @ Loddon Valley

Good afternoon,

Last Sunday the mixed team played @ Loddon Valley its 6th fixture against Farnborough & Spikeopaths 2 and got good results. This time everyone was in the leisure center in advance, and we even got the team list and the match fees sorted BEFORE the games started !!

1st Game - Oxford Vs. Farnborough
The team on court for the 1st set was Helen, Karina, Corne, Kerstin, Simon & myself. We decided to keep a more offensive set up that Karina would be playing setter, myself playing off-setter. The boys were then covering the center positions, and the girls were covering the outside positions. We received the first service from Farborough, won the point, and scored another 3 points in the row putting us in the lead first at 4-1 & then 9-4, forcing Farnborough to take their first timeout. It had a bad effect on us, and they then reduced our advance to 11-9 forcing me to request a timeout because I could feel the stress building up in our minds. We gathered up an went back into our game, re-increasing our advance to 18-12 (and forcing Farnborough to use their second timeout at 16-9). And this was enough to keep us in the lead until the end. We won the first set 25-19.
The second set of this game saw the first participation of Kathleen to a mixed game (replacing Helen). The second set started on a much tighter basis. Both teams were fighting really hard each points, covering tips, picking up stronger attacks ... We were first in the lead 8-7, but then Farnborough took the lead 12-11, 13-12, 14-14, 15-15. This last score became the turning point of the game because we got stuck in one rotation & Farnborough used our disorganisation to score 3 points in a row, forcing me to take our first timeout. It was effective and we caught back 18-18, then 19-19 ... You would have felt the stress building up. We were then in the lead 21-20... And then at 23-22 Farborough got the turnover. Their number 10 served 3 times ... We lost the second set 25-23.
For the 3rd set I put back on court the initial team, and the pitch was clear: "No time to mess around". I have to say, our team followed the advice. 1-1, 2-2, 5-3 (timeout taken by Farnborough), 8-4, 9-6, 12-8, 14-9, 15-11. 1st game won !
Kerstin got the MVP title doing what she usually does - Being our best asset !

2nd Game - Oxford Vs. Spikeos 2
The team on court was Corne, Karina, Helen, Simon, Kathleen & myself. We head started the first set, being in the lead 6-4 & then 11-8 and it was time for Spikeos to take their 1st timeout. It had a good effect on them and reduced the point difference to an even 12-12 & took the lead 14-13, and increasing their advance to 18-14, at which point I had to take a timeout. I could feel that our team was starting to feel the tiredness from the previous game. We managed to reduce Sipkeos advance 21-19, they took their second timeout at this point, and finished the set in the lead 25-19. They were clearly stronger than us during this set.
It was then time to raise our game to win in 3 sets. Kerstin was back on court, replacing Kathleen. Same type of even start with really long rallies. Spikeos took their first timeout when being led 2-4, turned the score over and forced us to take our first timeout being led 7-10. Each point got fought for by both teams 12-11 for Spikeos, 13-12, 14-14, 17-14 (we took our second timeout at this point), 19-17, 20-19 (Spikeos took their 2nd timeout at this point) ... Pressure was building up clearly, and some amazing rallies were played, not given up by any of the teams. We knew we had to win this set. We took the lead 22-21, then Spikeos caught back 23-23, 24-24 ! It was it: Sudden Death ! Their Nb. 20 was serving. He was scoring on average 4 points in a row when he was serving. He scored the first service & got a match ball. But we kept up and caught back: 25-25. Helen took the service and finished the set !! We won the second set 27-25.
Same team, same speech: "No time to mess around !!" 2 Aces and we were in the lead 3-1.  Spikeos caught back 5-5, but we got the side change in the lead 8-6. At this point we made our effort, and increased our lead to 13-10. And this time their was no coming back from the opponent, and we won the 3rd set 15-10.
Simon got the MVP title this time for his front line strong presence on block & attack.

+6 POINTS FOR OXFORD !! We are now 3rd in the league (12 played, 26 points), stuck between Maidenhead (10 played, 25 points) & Newbury (12 played, 27 points) - And there are only 4 more games to play. The end approaches ...

Spikeopaths Mixed 1 12  10  2  22  7  32  
Newbury Mixed 12  8  4  19  10  27  
Oxford Mixed 12  8  4  18  14  26  
Maidenhead Mixed 10  8  2  17  6  25  
Spikeopaths Mixed 2 12  5  7  15  17  20  
Basingstoke Mixed 12  6  6  13  16  19  
Farnborough Lions 12  3  9  10  19  13  
Spikeopaths Mixed 3 10  1  9  5  18  6  
Newbold Mixed 10  2  8  6  18  6  

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