Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Oxford Vollox saga in the National Shield continues!

Saturday the 9th of January was the third round of the National Shield, with Vollox (men's 1) playing against Division 1 side St Albans. The team was composed of Martijn, Gareth, Jon, Rune, Greg, Adam, Neil, Gerard and special guest Arthur and the match took place at Oxford Brookes sports hall.

With high expectations and a bit of stress, Oxford started strongly against a confused St Albans team. Within the first two rounds of serves, Oxford took the lead 7:4 and by the second technical time out the score was 16:13. Oxford stepped up and finished the first set 25:17.

The second set took similar turns, at 13:13 Greg served 6 in a row and supported by great hitting and blocking Oxford took the lead. A strategic substitution to bring Arthur on for the serve saw Oxford leading by 24:16. The final serve gave a 2-set lead to a supercharged local league Oxford team.

With the third set on the way, St Albans really decided to wake up, with their coach mixing up the team and the rotation to a very slightly changed Oxford team with a new middle player. Both changes did not work well for us and the division 1 side claimed a 21:12 lead which was interrupted by an injury and therefore a small break for everybody. It was with anger and determination that Oxford lost the set 25:21, setting the tone for the 4th set.

The nervous outsiders started strongly, but Oxford wanted to taste victory at national division 1 level, and did not give up. With a score of 9:7 followed by 18:18, the tension could be felt amongst the few supporters. With both teams making use of all their time outs, at 23:22 for Oxford the game restarted and the pressure was not on the hosting side, who claimed the final set 25:22.

This is the best ever result in the National shield tournament, quarter final here we come on the 30th of January!!!

Written by Gerard

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