Two wins against Loughborough University on Monday night went some way to lifting spirits after Amanda suffered an injury which resulted in her going to hospital for an -ray on a very painful wrist.
The local team had their re-match against Loughborough Uni. They started very poorly, struggling to come to terms with being in strange surroundings - all their previous matches having been at home. With injured captain, Annabel on the sidelines, the team were second best in all departments in the first set.
The second set started better and they were in contention when an accidental clash left Amanda crumpled on the floor clutching her wrist. After some first aid, she was led off to the Loughborough walk-in medical centre.
Valentina, from the regional league squad quickly stepped into the match despite having no warm up. After the shock of the injury, the team took a bit of time to regain their focus, but slowly, they began to claw back Loughborough;s advantage until they were a 22 each. Each team swapped points as the tension rose and rose but Athena seemed to generate a real togetherness to tough out a 29-27 win.
You could sense the relief and sense that the team had turned a corner and so it proved with Athena gutsing it out to a 25-23 win in the final set.
A 2-1 win against a good Loughborough Uni side ... the local league's team first win.
The local league team were quickly replaced by the regional league team and, right from the off, Athena looked way too strong for Loughborough's regional league team. Sarah began serving and took us to a 9-0 lead and the team played with real power and precision to win 25-14. The second set was much closer as Loughborough rallied really well but Athena showed they had the toughness required to win close sets and they won 25-23.
The final set was much like the first with MVP, Sarah, leading from the front with superb serving taking another 9-0 win. They continued to dominate through Valentina's and Kristy's destructive hitting, winning the third set 25-9.
A real powerhouse of a performance and a big step up in quality from their first win against Nottingham Rockets. Huge congratulations to Kristy, Kinga, Sam, Rhets, Valentina, Alysia and Sarah.