East Midlands Volleyball League
Monday 17th December 2018
Nottingham Casualties 3 Leicester Athena 0
At the end of the day, Athena were undone by some excellent serving from Casualties and our difficulty in receiving hard, flat serves.
Athena started the first set slowly as the team settled into the rhythm of the match, but a strong serving round from Julia saw the team draw level at 12-12, but Casualties strong serving allied to a number of small individual errors meant that Casualties were able to see the set out, 25-19.
Athena started the second set with the same six (Eli, Julia, Sam, Emma, Edyta and Adela) and were much more competitive for a long time. Once more, Casualties' best player (Steph, 17) stepped up and reeled off a series of flat hard serves which Athena could not deal with. The 25-16 scoreline is a lot more brutal than the performance. There was a lot to praise about Athena’s play: Eli’s setting is coming on leaps and bounds, Julia showed great intelligence in her hitting and tips and Adela’s pass was back to its best.
For the third set, Ioana came onto set with Eli replacing Sam through the middle. Erin came on for Edyta but an ankle injury early in the third set saw her carried off. Thankfully, the damage did not seem to be too serious. With the change in personnel, the team took some time to settle back down but they faced the same problems in service receive. They got a lot closer, only losing 25-21.
Most of the Athena regional league team has stepped up from local league last year and it will take time to adjust, but with a few small improvements in service receive, it is clear that Athena will start winning soon.