Saturday, October 25, 2014

A good start for Oxford Sharks!

Sunday morning started with a lovely wake-up call from our captain Andrey saying that unfortunately Izzy got injured the day before and could not play our first match any more. This increased the already long list of injured Sharks and left us with only two ladies available for the game. After a few calls and hours of suspense, Andrey managed to convince Caroline, who kindly agreed to help us and replace Izzy as outside. Thanks Caroline, Sharks are really grateful!!!  

The team for our first match in the mixed BVL was made up of Felipe as setter, Andrey and Caroline as outsides, Stefano and Helen as middles, Karina as opposite and Tomas as main supporter/coach.

Oxford Globetrotters vs Oxford Sharks
The first match could not be anything else than the Oxford derby against the Globetrotters. Our friends were well motivated to win after losing the first match against Newbury. 

The first set was very tight from the beginning until the end. Neither of the teams managed to get a strong lead and the set finished 25-23 for the Globetrotters. Despite losing, our captain was quite happy with the performance of the team. Nice and solid defense, harmony on the court, good sets from Felipe and some great spikes from the whole team. Altogether, it was a nice start for being the first match together.

In the second set, the story was different. After a head-to-head start, the Sharks managed to gain a 9-point lead over the Globetrotters, exploiting some nice blocks from the middles and a good service from Felipe. The final score was 25-15 for the Sharks. A big help from the Globetrotters came as well. After playing two matches in a row, they looked a bit tired during this set. Coach Neil should definitely consider to add more jumps and runs in their next training!!! :-P 

As in the first set, during the tie break the Globetrotters and the Sharks battled head to head until the last point. In the end, there was a deserved final victory for the Globetrotters (15-13) who came back strongly and well-motivated after the pause. 

MVP of the match: Helen, you can’t really pass her blocks!

Newbury Hurricanes vs Oxford Sharks
After taking some rest and getting new energies from Karina’s chocolate, we were up for our second match against Newbury Hurricanes. The Sharks were ready to avenge the Globetrotters, who had previously lost against them!

The first set went really well. Some errors of Newbury’s defense, Andrey’s spikes from back court and very good services from the team lead us to a straight win of 25-18. Unfortunately, during the second set we could not keep our level as high as before. Our attacks were not as sharp and our defense was not as precise. The whole set was a head-to-head battle with Newbury until at 24-24 drama happened… unluckily, Felipe got injured. Richard, who just came to support us, had to suddenly enter the field to replace him. Struggling with the unusual line-up with Karina as a single setter and Rich as opposite, the team fought point to point until losing the set 30-28 to Newbury.
Concerned about Felipe’s leg, we managed to make our last effort during the tie-break. With Karina as single setter, Andrey as new opposite and Richard as outside, we immediately took a strong 7-1 lead and after Newbury’s attempt to come back, we managed to win the tie-break 15-8. Good job Sharks!

MVP of the match: Caroline, much better than a salsa night!

To sum up, still a lot room to improve especially for the attack but definitely a good start for the Sharks. A special thanks to Caroline and Richard who readily agreed to play and provided an essential contribution to the team. However, despite the victory, it was not a really lucky weekend for the team overall with two new injured Sharks. Izzy, Felipe and Tomas, let’s hope to have you back soon in our line-up as strong as Sharks can be!

Written by Stefano

1 comment:

  1. Love the match report, Stefano! Great work team. Hope the injuries aren't too bad?