Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mens' 1 season ends with disappointment

Sunday 1 April saw the last fixtures of the BVA league season for the Oxford Mens' teams against Basingstoke in Headington. Crowds had shown up in support and everyone was high on excitement and anticipation. The Mens' 1 squad for the day: Steve, Anders, Lukasz, Jon, Rune, Martijn, Neil, Gabriele, Gerard.

Oxford 1 v Oxford 2

First up was the Oxford 1 vs 2 clash. Mens' 1 had a flying start and took control in that set from the start. Some good blocking and defensive work saw the opposition struggle to keep up. 15-11 became 17-13 and then Gabriele served out the set to 25-13.

In the second set it was quite different. The Mens' 1 coach helped team 2 by mixing up the line-up sheet which caused some confusion within the team. We got behind 12-6, and despite a good fight back and some good blocking we could not turn the set around. We came back to 21-23, only to lose the next 2 points.

A deciding set was needed. It was an edgy affair with an even score line and some long rallies including some amazing pick-ups from libero Steve. It was 7-8 for them at the change of ends and they even made it 7-9. A substitution bringing on Gerard gave us some extra energy and Gabriele and Rune served out the match by winning the 3rd set 15-10! MVP: Gabriele!

Oxford 1 v Basingstoke

The second match against Basingstoke would decide the league winners: us or Spikeos. They had brought some new players which strengthened their team considerably and so we needed some time to adjust. We were 2 or 3 points behind for most of the set, and played some good all-round volleyball at times. At 16-19 Lukasz stepped up to serve 6 times in a row to go 22-19 up. Then we lost our composure and struggled to finish the point, and they went on to win the set 23-25.

Some changes were made for the 2nd set and we played consistently better and took full advantage of their mistakes. We were always ahead and when Jon found his serving arm again and Lukasz served 6 points in a row, we were out of sight and won the 2nd set comfortably 25-15.

Another decider, this time to win the league. We did not start well and there were some scrappy exchanges we couldn’t use to our advantage. We had lost our shape from the 2nd set and changed sides 6-8 behind. This became 8-12, and from there we never got back to lose the set 11-15. Despite winning more points in that match we lost it 2-1, hence not winning the league. MVP: Gerard.

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