Friday, November 13, 2015

Vollox: Venimus, vidimus, vicimus, quiritavit

aka we came we saw, we conquered, we screamed; Vollox now the only undefeated team in Men's Div 1!

**Based on a true story. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. No animals and only one Italian were harmed in the making of this match report. Accuracy of Latin is not guaranteed**

Maiden Erlegh School in Reading seems to be replacing Headington School as the home venue for the Vollox team. At least we have more games there this season, than at the designated home venue. The place does hold fond memories, playing host to the BVA pre-season tournaments, tournaments in which Vollox remains undefeated. And though the lack of showers does prevent the post-match soap-up, this is easily made up for by the consequent musty atmosphere in the car on the drive home.

So it was with great expectations that we set out for what is known as M106 in the BVA almanac on Sunday the 8th of November, in our usual `spontaneous order' fashion. After a brief warm up, officially denominated as our match against Basingstoke, we had a 25-15, 25-5 victory bagged and the stiffness from the drive to Reading banished from our aging bodies. Evidently there is little to say of this blink-and-you-missed-it game, except that all Vollox players were fully focused to get the best possible preparation for the ensuing match against our perpetual rivals for top slot in the BVA league. And that it's purely down to the random nature of the game that the real punishment came in the second set where Martijn and yours truly were on the bench.

Before our crucial game against Spikeos 1, they would also get their chance to pummel Basingstoke. Somewhat surprisingly Spikeos struggled, in particular in the first set that was only clinched at the very end. So an easy game coming up? Not quite. From the start, Spikeos kept pace with an exchange of serve. And a few minutes into it, Gabri, unwisely taking inspiration from Adam, Gerard, and Gareth's synchronised injury display at this years SEVA cup, tore about anything there is to tear in a knee. Having shoved him off the court, we could continue play, but with the incessant moaning from the sick bay, concentration suffered and the decisive lead kept eluding us. Not so for Spikeos, that with a few short runs of serve was suddenly up 19-15. But blocking out both Spikeos' attacks and Gabri's wails, Vollox turned the tables and a run of float serves from yours truly brought Vollox to within touching distance of the set with a 23-19 lead, a set that was taken 25-21 a few points later.

Compared to the eventful and see-sawing excitement of the first set, the second set was a bit of an anticlimax. With Gabri moved to a far corner and by now only half conscious and hence a fair bit more quiet, volleyball could again take center stage. Good runs of serves from Greg and Jon, to which Spikeos had no reply, put the match firmly in Vollox' control, and only the hearse picking up Gabri towards the end of the set brought any variation to the doldrums of securing the set for a 25-14 victory.

MVPs: Rune Lyngsoe for the Spikeos 1 game, and someone else for the other
Written by Rune (with no artistic license at all)

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