Monday, October 17, 2016

Oxford Bulls - A decent start !

We just had our first fixture this Sunday  and we brought back some points for the club !

We were playing Spikeos 2 & Reading university. Without going too much in details our goal was to beat the 2 teams & have some "playing" time as our team had been recently recomposed. So maybe I will start by introducing all our players in no particular order:

Seb - Old timer setter
Dan - Old timer too but attack (4 or 2, depending on what is needed...)
Anders - Our well known "Octopus" Danish middle
Corne - Our also well known South African/English middle with dodgy knees
Simon - New recruit attack coming back from a long (10 years...) volleyball break...
Felipe - Another setter... (Yes I know that technically makes potentially 4 setters on court...)
Vaidas - New recruit "Big Bertha" Attack in 4
myself (Ghislain) - The French carpet with the different colored shirt...

We started by playing against Spikeos. The instructions from our lovely coaches (YES WE HAVE 2 COACHES !! LUCKY US !! - xx Sam & Maite xx) was to play simple & recycle the ball so we get into the game. And even with a couple of service mistakes we installed a strong lead early on forcing them to take the first timeout at 7-14. Then Vaidas killed the end of the set with his service to bring us to a comfortable 21-11, and we finished quickly in 24 minutes 25-15.
No team change for the second set & a slightly slower start as Spikeos were getting into the rhythm too. We did not let them install their rhythm and they were forced to take a first timeout while being lead 7-9.  Felipe & then Seb (including amazing ACEs) increased that lead to 19-12. There was no coming back from them & we finished even quicker (in 18 minutes) 25-15. I got the MVP title (enhance why I am writing today) probably for being a useful carpet & picking up some digs.

Second game, straight after, was against Reading University. Very quickly it was obvious that their nb. 8 & 9 were 2 new very strong additions to their team. So our target was to stop them from attacking, maximizing points while they were on the back row.  I could describe the different phases of each of the sets, but I will only summarize & say that it was a very disputed game in 3 sets. Both teams showed ups & downs, and there was rarely more than 2 or 3 points difference between the teams. We managed to prevent their strong hitters from hammering us too much but they still went on & we did not manage to conclude even after winning the first set 25-21. The second set was more to their advantage & they won 25-19. The last set was again qui close but we lost it 12-15. Vaidas got the MVP title (& earned his new unilaterally decided by myself nickname "Big Bertha") for powering through the enemy lines.

So overall positive results as we have managed to bring 4 points back & initiated some team building. Hopefully, this is representative of what the season will be... Anyway, we have some work to do on blocking & automatisms.

But because you have read so far, here is a funny picture of a kitten in a block.

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