Leicestershire Volleyball League
Monday 12th November 2018
Loughborough Students 2 Leicester Athena 1
Athena's local league team got their season off to a solid start against Loughborough Students at the Sir David Wallace Hall in Loughborough.
For Amanda, it was a strange experience as it was here, 2 years ago, that she fell and broke both arms. Happy to say the memories did not affect her at all.
First set nerves
Athena played a mix of experienced and emerging players. This was Charlie's first match as setter, for Eli, Laura, Aleksandra and Eve, it was their first matches for us and for Amanda, it was her first match since that injury. With so many new players, it was unsurprisingly that it took some time to settle. In the first set, the starting six of Charlie, Ioana, Alex, Amanda, Adela (getting some much needed practice after missing a lot of training through work) and Kasia were soon down by 5 or 6 points before Coach Paul called a time out and asked the players to take a breath and remember to enjoy themselves. Loughborough, however, were relentless and their serving stretched the lead out even further through some very good serving until Athena began to settle into the match. Even so, Loughborough won the set 25-18.
Laura and Eve's first time on court
For the second set, Paul brought on Laura, Eve and Eli for Kasia, Aleksandra and Charlie. Laura was clearly nervous but she pulled off some fabulous first passes on service receive. The movement and positioning around the court showed how much work they have done in training. The changes of personnel were designed to give people court time but it did mean that the momentum that Athena were beginning to build at the end of the first set and Loughborough won the second 25-18 again.
A fabulous finish
For the final set, Charlie and Eli were setters, Alex and Eve played middle and Adela and Kasia were back as outside hitters. Some fabulous serving from Kasia helped Athena into a strong lead and Eve served five in a row to seal the set 25-9.
It was a performance that they all should be very proud of and it shows that this group has the potential to grow and improve. A big thank you to Sarah, the NVL captain, for coming to support and chip in with wise words.