Monday, February 3, 2014

Two amazing wins for the Sharks!

On Sunday 2nd February, the Oxford Sharks travelled to Reading to face Maidenhead Mixed 1 and  Spikeopaths mixed 1 (both teams higher ranked). After a nice drive down the A34, the team needed some coffee before warming up. And soon the caffeine kicked in.

The Sharks started with their usual line-up: 
Kerstin, opposite 
Masia, outside 
Helen, middle 
Andrey, outside
Tomas, middle 
Felipe, setter 

First match
Maidenhead Mixed 1 vs Oxford Sharks 
This game was surprisingly easy, but we nonetheless maintained our focus.  With a good start to the first half of the set, the Sharks displayed a confident performance taking the first set 25-14 after 17 minutes. The second set started with Maidenhead serving, but the Sharks gained serve almost immediately and kept their momentum going to take the second set. With a final score of 25-12, it was a good win for the Sharks, although an unfortunate event near the end of the match resulted in a Maidenhead middle going out with an ankle injury (and Helen

taking her place to play with Maidenhead vs Spikeos 1 in the final match of the day). After a fantastic display of good volleyball, Mighty Masia earned Most Valuable Player! Well done Masia!!

Second Match 
Spikeopaths Mixed 1 vs Oxford Sharks 
After a short break, the Sharks jumped back on court to face the home team. A shaky start put the Sharks 5 points down. A tactical time-out called by Andrey the Captain broke the rhythm of the match and gave the Sharks a little time to reset and start again. The Sharks then jumped back on court with a great positive attitude and produced an amazing comeback with some quality three-touch volleyball and great defense! Tom had a fantastic service series, and Felipe dived all over the court picking up some extremely difficult balls, lifting the Sharks' spirits even further and storming back to take the lead! 26 minutes into the first set, the score was 23-23 when Helen did some amazing blocks against Spikoes' main middle spiker, which allowed the team to defend the ball and transfer it into successful attacks.  Andrey scored cleverly with cheeky tips and poweful attacks.  At 25-24, Masia picked up a great ball covering the block and Tom smashed it away on the second touch. Oxford Sharks 26, Spikeopaths 24 after 27 minutes! 

The second set started very well for the Sharks. However, Spikeopaths were determine to fight for the match! And once again the Sharks fell behind untill a time-out and a service series by Tom (yet again) brought us back into a winning spirit. The Sharks kept cool and started playing smartly, tipping behind the block. Great attacks from all gave the Sharks the edge to storm to victory. Kerstin had a fantastic game, and her strong hitting and smart setting earned her MVP! Second set 25-22 for the Sharks! A very close game...  some may say a little too close! But the Sharks rose to the occasion to take two wins, displaying an exceptionally good team spirit! Felipe definitely deserved the title of best defender of the game.

Well done Sharks! 

This team effort match report was brought to you by Felipe, Masia and Kerstin!

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