Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oxford Mixed - Another fixture, another victory!

Good evening all,

It's been, again, an emotional afternoon and I am glad to tell you we brought back 3 points with us!!

The people who played today were Federica, Karina, Marta, Anna, Luca, Felipe, Andrey & myself. We had to play against Basingstoke & Spikeos.

1st Game - Oxford Mixed Vs. Spikeos

The team on court was Karina, Felipe, Anna, Andrey, Federica & myself. Spikeos started with the service and scored 4 points straight. We then caught back with them point after point up to 7-7, but again Spikeos took the lead up to 8-12 (I had to take a timeout at 7-11...) At this point, they maintained their advance point after point, forcing me to take again a timeout at 15-21. This was the moment Oxford decided to reactivate our "awesomeness" mode and we forced Spikeos to take their first timeout at 24-21. Unfortunately, Spikeos scored another point and won the first set.
On the second set, I decided to take the set and put on court Luca & Marta replacing Felipe & Anna. This time the set started tight again and we went quite quickly up to 8-8 (First timeout of Spikeos...). At 11-11, I got the serve and managed to score 4 points, followed by Marta, 2 points, and Luca, 3 points when spikeos scored only 3 forcing them to take their second at 19-13. At this point, Spikos started to be stronger and caught back with us point after point forcing me this time to take the 2 timeouts, the first one at 17-20, and then at 22-22... They then scored another point... 23-22. But it was counting without our players and my 2 next serves !!! Yes we won the second set 25-23 !!
So there we are on the 3rd set... Same line up as I thought it was working well. Tough start though as they managed to take the lead 5-2 quite quickly but then, after some good serves from Luca, we were ahead again 8-5! But some points, some fights, some rallyes, and there we were, ahead and again we scored... To finally win that 3rd set: 15-11!!! Federica got the MVP for her amazing shots at the net and here way of playing around the block!

2nd Game - Oxford Mixed Vs. Basingstoke Mixed

Another very tight game given by our opponents. I was on the bench with Karina this time. 3-1, 4-2, 5-3... 8-4!! We were in the lead! Another 4 points and Basingstoke took their timeout 6-12! Awsome hits from Federica & Luca, excellent cover & defense from Anna & Marta... However, Basingstoke started catching back and they forced me to take one timeout at 19-14. We maintained our advance until the end 25-21!!
The second set saw me back from the bench and Karina was replacing Federica. A more ectic start forcing me to take the timeout being lead 4-9 At this point Marta told me that she could feel a bit of a leg injury and I put Federica back on court. But they maintained their advance up to 15-8, when we decided to be a bit more effective at the net (I am proud of a very strong hit I got right down the line... :) ) and there we were back in tight 18-16. 20-18... 21-20... 23-22... They kept it hard for us and finished the second set 25-23.
So final set... I started to feel very exhausted and I told Luca to stay warm as I would swap with him at some point. Basingstoke took the lead quite quickly and, unfortunately, kept it until the end. I took our first timeout at 4-9, Luca joined the team at this point. But nothing was going through, and I had to take the second timeout at 4-12... We scored another point, they scored another 3 and it was over. I got the MVP title for this one (not quite sure why...)

As a conclusion, I would like to specially thank my players as they were all AWESOME!! And also praise the fairplay of our opponents who helped the refs to take the right decisions by being honest. It was a pleasure to play against them and I can't wait to give them another fight!


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