Saturday, December 28, 2013

Juniors and Ladies tournament

During their last training of 2013, our junior players teamed up with our ladies teams for a Christmas tournament.
The teams were:
  • Bulls: Jason, Sam, Sonia and Hanna
  • Globetrotters: James, sophie, Chrissie and Neil
  • Sharks: Michael, Jess, Andrea and Izzy
  • Foxes: Carrado, Grace, Freddie and Stef
  • Eagles: Gabriella, Jon, Amra and Ben 
With timed matches of 9 min, the pressure was on and all our juniors demonstrated perfectly what Jon and Neil have been teaching them for the last 3 months.

It was a hard battle for the top of the table but the final ranking was the following:
  • The Globetrotters (James and Sophie's team)
  • The Sharks (Michael's team)
  • The Eagles (Gabriella's team)
  • The Foxes ( Carrado and Grace's team)
  • The Bulls (Jason and Sam's team) 
Well done everyone!! We will definitely do this again before the end of the season!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Another win for Eagles

On Saturday 1 December, Oxford Eagles headed off to Reading for a day of volleyball against two very closely matched teams. The team was Helen, Asia, Amra, Stefanie, Izzy, Hanna and Giulia.
First game against Basingstoke
The Eagles had a shaky start with Basingstoke taking a 5-point lead, but we finally woke up and starting playing well, keeping head to head with them almost point for point. At 17-17 and some consistent serving from Helen and Stef we finally pulled ahead to 21-17, after that we continued to put the pressure on with strong blocking and attacks to finish the set with an ace from Izzy, 25-17.
The second set started at a similar pace with the game progressing point to point – at 11-11, it was a level game. Some mistakes on the Oxford side of the net and some good serving from Basingstoke cost us some valuable points and at 14-18 we couldn't pull the game back. Basingstoke pulled ahead to win the set 25-17.
Third set saw the Eagles play good volleyball and another game of long rallies – at 12-12 the game was tense but a few panicked mistakes from Oxford and blocking from Basingstoke saw them take the set 15-12.
Second game against Spikeopaths 1
Knowing this team were going to be a tough match (as they had just beaten Basingstoke), the Eagles came out in full force and determination. The first set comprised of excellent passing, setting and attacking from the Eagles and the pressure meant that Spikeos just couldn't pull ahead of Oxford's 6-point lead at 15-9. The Eagles won the set 25-20 with great volleyball on both sides.
On a high from the first set the Eagles continued to play good three-touch volleyball until the team struggled with a few tips and scraps at the net. Once the Spikeos got a lead of 17-10 due to a tough serve and poor receiving, the Eagles couldn't pull back, losing the set 25-11.
In the third set, the Eagles went back to playing brilliant volleyball and lead the set at the half way point. Great receiving in the back court against strong hits from Spikeos lead to Oxford keeping the pressure on. With Amra using all options front and back court, we continued to keep attacking, then an awesome block by Helen saw us take the set 15-13 and coach Neil could breath a sigh of relief!

Written by Izzy

Eagles fought hard at home

On Sunday 17 November, Oxford Eagles had their first home games this season – a fantastic performance on home grounds with a great team spirit. The whole team was present and gave their best, making it difficult for Neil to choose his starting six.

– Hanna (outside) was literally standing in the air when she did the most amazing jump ever.
– Our captain, Helen (middle) showed off with fantastic backcourt defence – no ball touched the ground.
– Asia (middle) was incredibly speedy when chasing the ball.
– Tati (opposite/setter) scored with super reverse hits.
– Steffi (our new opposite/setter) showed great setting and excellent team work with Amra.
– Amra (setter) impressed with some roof-like blocks on Maidenhead’s main spiker.
– Giulia (outside) won a well-deserved MVP in the second game for her killer smashes.
– Izzy (outside) kept the team focused and showed some good defence.
– Kerstin (outside in first game, middle in the second) won MVP in the first match for some great cover and attacks, and made her mark with some fabulous blocking in the second game.
– Neil was very pleased with how well everyone played.

We played a great game against a very strong Maidenhead (both their NVL players were present) and only just missed out in two sets (22-25, 24-26). It appeared that our will to win wasn’t as strong as our panic that we may win ;-) In addition, some referee decisions against us were frustrating, but all in all we had an amazing game. We’ll beat them next time!

As a revenge for the refereeing, we nailed Newbury in two clear sets (25-19, 25-17). We dominated from the beginning with excellent receiving, good sets and brilliant attacks. It was a good, consistent performance. 

It was a great day! Well played girls!

Written by Kerstin (Helen added the bit about Kerstin’s performance)