In their first regional league match at their home, Athena came from a very slow start to beat Nottingham Rockets 3-0.
Whether it was the weight of expectation after their searing hot start to the season or the nerves of playing in front of a crowd, Athena played with the handbrake on for the majority of the first set.. Their play was littered with errors and their movement was too slow in all phases, but, facing a 22-17 deficit, the real Athena showed up and they started to play with pace and power and on the front foot.
After winning the first set, 25-23, Athena then started the second set as they finished the first and quickly built a commanding lead. Joy slowly grew into the match in the role of libero, her first league start for Athena's regional league team, to provide a great defensive platform. Apart from a tiny lapse of concentration at set point, it was a very good team showing.
Coach Kaerger changed things for the final set with Erica coming on to set and Sarah moving to outside hitter and Erica showed her qualities with a series of beautiful sets. Athena cruised to the third and clinching set, winning 25-17.
A huge well done to Sarah (MVP, yet again), Alysia, Erica, Kinga, Kristy, Joy, Sam and Valentina. Next week, Hermitage come to the Arena. Looking forward to it.