Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oxford Mens 2 - the show is not over

Last Sunday the Oxford mens' team 2 was playing against Maidenhead & Reading University. The results were not the ones expected but we still brought back some points with us.

First game: Oxford Men 2 v Maidenhead
The team on court was Vivien, Sam, Andrey, Simon, Adam and myself, all of us being supported by Robin our Libero (Sebastien being on the bench after his slight thumb sprain during the previous Wednesday training). We got the first service, scored the first point, then Maidenhead scored the second but Sam secured a +5 advance quickly. So far so good, Maidenhead were struggling in getting into the game, and Andrey and Simon used it to increase the advance to a really confortable +8 (11-3). We were clearly concentrating enough to play well, & Robin was doing his defensive job nicely, allowing Sam to distribute the balls to our power hitters. The set ended up quickly in 16 minutes 25-15 for us.

No change was done on the main line for the second set, but this time, Maidenhead was much more present, fighting for all the points, pushing the balls in the corners and in the holes and holding tight to the score. There was no more than 1 point difference up to 9-9, and we took the lead up to 14-10. However, it was without counting on Maidenhead's will to win and they caught back 15-14, forcing Sam to take the first timeout of the game. Our concentration was going away, and Maidenhead used it to their advantage, increasing the point difference up to 19-16. I think the team gave up the set at this point, and we finally lost the second set 25-19.

So we were on for the 3rd set. No change again to the team on court. We unfortunately had to put Vivien on the bench (replaced by Mark) after a bad reception after a jump. After winning the first set, we had no reason to believe we couldn't beat them. The beginning of 3rd set was like the previous one, really intense, and every point was fought for. We unfortunately had to put Vivien on the bench (replaced by Mark) after a bad reception after a jump at 3-3: Ankle sprain. But this time, we made the effort and secured the side changes at 5-8. Maidenhead recovered the service, scored another point but we re increased our advance to 11-7. A few more points, and it was 13-8. And again, we had a bit of a bad moment, and we started to fear that Maidenhead were coming back: 13-12... "It's all in the head ..." and we recovered the service : 14-12. Our first game point! Strong team spirit from Maidenhead and they scored again: 14-13. But I am happy to announce it was their last serve, and we finished the 3rd set 15-13, winning the game! The MVP title went to Robin for his amazing reliability as a libero, helping our setter Sam to distribute the balls.

Second game: Oxford 2 v Reading University
For the second game the team on court was the same, but I was playing libero (for the first time in my life!) and Robin was playing off-setter. Reading started quite strongly, but we were present, avoiding the point difference to increase. But the overall level of play was quite messy, preventing any of the teams to take advantage on the other: 5-6, 10-9, 11-13, 16-13. The turn of the game happened 17-16. The rallies were still messy, and the luck we had so far (helping us to keep no point difference) disappeared completly. And their number 5 finished the set scoring 6 points in a row. Reading University won the first set 25-18.

No change on the lineup for the 2nd set. But unfortunately, again we were not consistent in our game and Reading Uni used it against us. They increased the point difference quickly to reach a secured 11-6, and even more 16-9 (when Sam took our second timeout). They had a strong team spirit and our moral was down, leading us to make mistakes due to lack of confidence, lack of talking and lack of concentration. The final result was not much different from the 1st set and we lost 25-17. Simon got the MVP for this game as his presence at the block helped us not to be more beaten.

So in the league now, we are still fighting for the participation to the triangular. Not the best position but still defendable. So the show is not over...


Oxford Mens 1 16 15 1 30 7 45

Spikeopaths Mens 1 16 14 2 30 5 44

Maidenhead Mens 1 16 10 6 24 13 34

Farnborough Vipers 16 8 8 18 18 26

Basingstoke Lions 16 5 11 10 23 15

Oxford Mens 2 16 4 12 9 26 13

Reading University 18 1 17 5 34 6


  1. "Simon got the MVP for this game as his presence at the block helped us to be more beaten."
    That is not very nice! I'll hold this one against you ;-)