Monday, November 5, 2012

Sacrificing everything, Ladies 1 are through to the third round

On a very early Sunday morning, in the pouring rain, Ladies 1 set off on their three-hour journey to their second-round cup match against Tendring. Thanks to Jon’s driving, most of us enjoyed a sleepy ride through the flooded landscape. Unfortunately the heavy rain took its toll with Annika’s car breaking down less than one hour away from the venue. With two players missing, half the shirts in the stranded car and Maïté without her kit, we had to improvise quickly – with a great outcome. Maïté looked great in Jon’s shorts, and Nela did not fall over in size 8 shoes. The warm-up was on!

First set
Just in time for match start, Chrissie made it to the venue although Annika was still stuck in the rain waiting for rescue. With all the intention to make our absent captain proud, the first set got off to a fantastic start with Oxford leading the opponents by up to 10 points in the first half of the set. Tendring was completely taken by surprise – perhaps underestimating a local league team. Maïté put them under pressure with some great serving and we scored some good attacks. However, having overcome the initial shock, Tendring pulled themselves together making good use of their strong hitters. Despite some unusual inaccuracy in our receiving, we finished the set 25:22.

Second set
The second set was a real fight with Tendring making great use of some very clever tipping which, to Jon’s big dismay, we struggled to pick up. However, it looked like a few of the tough training drills over the last couple of weeks paid off with some nice tips over the block, and a calm pick-up from under the net, so there was still hope. The second set finished 25:20 to us.

Third set
Continuing from the second set, Tendring improved and got more into their game: their tipping continued to be very effective, even with some great pick-ups from our defence. Together with some great hits, they moved ahead of us and won the set 25:22.

Fourth set
We went into the fourth set with all the determination to bring this game home and make all the sacrifices worthwhile. Passing improved with some clever coaching from the sideline, the sets found their target and the hits finished the deal. The set finished 27:25, and the team is through to the third round of the cup!

Final result
Final score: Oxford wins 3 sets to 1
Team: Maite, Kerstin, Nela, Anna, Federica, Chrissie, Karina (and Annika honorary MVP for the match)

Written by Karina

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