Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ladies 2 fought a hard battle in Reading

On 24 February, Ladies 2 travelled to Reading with an eight-woman squad: Helen, Andrea, Tati, Sonia, Izzy, Amra, Giuilia and Hanna, as well as their devoted coach Seb.

Spikeos v Oxford
Our first game against Spikeos was slow and we struggled to find our rhythm. Nevertheless, we took the lead and were on our way to win the first set. But our game grounded to a halt when a strong Spikeos server managed to score 15 points in a row. Coach Seb tried everything: two substitutions and rearranging the defence but, even though things picked up towards the end of the set, we lost it, 18:25.

A determined Oxford team came on court in the second set and, with better passing and some strong hitting and tipping (particularly on the outside), we won the second set 25:15. The deciding tie-break offered much of the same and, with some superb blocking from Helen and great passing from Izzy, we never really felt threatened. We won the last set 15:10 and the game 2:1. 
MVP: Amra for her consistent setting and clever tipping.

Reading Aces v Oxford
Despite their position in the league, Reading Aces proved a tougher team to beat. They’re an experienced team with a couple of young, eager players, and they know where to place the ball to make the opposition work. Just like the first game, we had a convincing lead but dropped eights points at the end of the set, losing it 22:25.

In the second set, we found our feet and started moving much better on the court. Sonia proved what a great player she is with some superb serving and great pick-ups (or floor-sweeping, as Seb calls it), and Andrea found new life at the net, flooring every hit. We won the second set 25:20 and, once again, had to play a deciding tie-break.

The tie-break was a nervous affair with both teams wanting to win it badly. Some great serving and clever placing of the ball got us in the lead, and we never let it go. When a Reading player hit the last ball in the net, it was a relieved and very happy Ladies 2 team that came together to celebrate another two hard-won feats. And Seb could eventually breathe out! MVP: Giulia for her passing and clever hitting.

(Written by Hanna)

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