Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oxford Mixed - Important Victory !!

Good evening all !
It's with some pride & pleasure (and a delay of a few days...) I can announce to you that Maidenhead's winning spree has come to an end last Sunday ! But first things first, it's time to tell you what & how it happened !

First Game - Maidenhead Vs. Oxford

After an erratic drive in the snow, we finally arrived to the Loddon Valley sport center. And we were playing the first game against Maidenhead. Standard warmup & finally we were on. The players on court were Annika, Simon, Anna, Karina, Corne & myself. The first part of the first set is quite tight but in our favour (2-0, 5-3) and then Maidenhead started making the break using the "not-good-looking-but-f*****g-efficient-tipping-just-behind-the-block-where-there-is-no-one" technique (5-7, 8-10), forcing us to proceed to a substitution between Corne & Mark, Corne complaining that 3 long rallyes in a row caused him to loose his breath. This change had a good effect on us, and we took the lead again at this point (15-13) forcing Maidenhead to take a timeout. It was clearly useful because they restarted reducing the point difference and caught back with us, scoring point after point (18-16, 18, 20) & forcing us this time to take a timeout. But they stayed stronger and managed to secure their advance at the end of the set, finishing in the lead 25-21.
So we were on for the second set ... I didn't proceed to any change on the players on court, considering that actualy everyone was playing to a really good level. We received their first served, scored the first point, and it was then the first of a strong start putting us in the lead by far (1-1, 5-2, 7-3, 8-4, 10-5) forcing Maidenhead to take their timeout. But this time, after watching carefully how they were playing, we were not tricked any more by their tipping technique and they had no other choices (considering that the Simon & Mark were setting a strong block on the net) than rolling the ball over, giving us extra opportunities to kill the ball through short middle hits or outside diagonals. Fighting every single point was the key for us, and the advance we set up at the beginning of the second set stayed until the end (15-7, 20-11 & finally 25-14).
3rd set ... No change to line upe ... Both teams with pressure ... Maidenhead served first and scored 3 points in a row. We scored 2 but Maidenhead took the serve again, and we reached the score of 4-7 for them. And our holy server Simon arrived and managed to get us to change sides ... IN THE LEAD !! 8-7 !! The end of the set became then full of pressure and tension, Maidenhead taking the lead again with 10-11 forcing us to take a timeout... My speech was about committing to get the ball without letting anyone else take it for you, speech I had to the apply to myself as Mark & I managed to save an attack from their side by fighting for the point, which we then transformed into a point for us. And we took the lead again at this stage, forcing Maidenhead to have their last timeout at 14-12. But I served for the game and the Oxford team hold on tight. So as initially announced, I am proud to annouce that the former undefeated Maidenhead have been challenged by Oxford !! And my ego is proud to annouce I got the MVP title for this game, and I would think because I helped the team breaking Maidenhead's efficient technique that caused us the first set.

Second Game - Spikeos Vs. Oxford
Again a game in 3 sets, and we were already warmed up after our victory. The players on court were Annika, Mark, Annette, Karina, Corne & myself. The first set was a relly tough one, no team really giving any point to the other one. We started slightly behind (timeout taken at 6-9 for Spikeos) but caught back and took the lead quickly after (timeout of Spikeos when loosing 10-11). Then all the points were fought from both sides one after another (13-12, 15-13, 16-16, 20-19, 21-20) & Corne managed at this point to secure for us a +3 points advance. We won the first set 25-22.
For the second set, I swapped Annika for Anna. We were confident ... Maybe too confident as this became the turning point of the game. Spikeos did a power start forcing us to take our first timeout at 1-5. They then carried on and our will to win completly disappeared ... They were scoring point after point when we couldn't kill the ball, and their advance increased even more. I took the second timeout at 10-18 as it was necessary. But it was to late to catch back, and even if Simon, who entered in the first set at 16-19 after Mark told me he was getting cramps, managed to spike a few impressive short attacks with his left hand (???) in their 3 meters during the set, it was just not enough... We lost the second set 25-14.
For the 3rd set Annika was back on court & this time Karina was on the bench with Mark. Spikeos managed to secure an advance of 4 points on their 3 server, and we had to try to catch back. But it turned up it was just not possible ... 7-3, 8-4, 9-5, 11-6, 12-7, 13-8 ... 14-9 ... 15-11. The MVP title went to Simon for his impressive short attacks during the whole game.

Third Game - Spikeos Vs. Maidenhead
I will only mention that Spikeos won that game, causing Maidenhead to have their second defeat in the same day. It was a quick game, and Spikeos won by 2 sets to 0, 25-22, 25-17.

We are 4th in the league so far, but I'm sure we can improve this position with some more victories !!

Maidenhead Mixed 10  9  1  19  4  28    
Spikeopaths Mixed 1 10  7  3  16  9  23    
Newbury Mixed 8  6  2  14  6  20    
Oxford Mixed 10  6  4  14  12  20    


  1. I think the table is wrong as it is showing Maidenhead with only one loss (the BVA website shows that Maidenhead beat Spikeos). Hopefully that will be corrected soon, and it means it is bringing the first place even closer! (Spikeos 1 26 points, Maidenhead 25Points)

  2. I've informed Dave Fox. I'll update the message when he's updated the table.

  3. Great report!!! Sounds like an exciting match!
    Well done team! :)