Athena's inexperienced local league team took another big step in their development against an equally inexperienced Loughborough Uni team on Monday night.
In the first set, Athena had Beth, Charlie, Julia, Kasia, Kamila and Emma on court. With Hannah injured and Ioana unavailable, we only had one setter in Emma, so we pressed Julia into service as our second setter. We made a solid start in the first set, playing well together with some solid passing and made good headway with the first few points. But Loughborough then took the lead with some solid serving and Athena struggled to find their momentum, with Loughborough taking the first set 13-25.
The second set saw some player swaps, with Rebecca coming onto court for the first time for Athena and Charlie was put in as setter for the first time during a match. Athena made some excellent plays with a fantastic run of serves from Kamila. There were also some nice points scored from Kasia and Emma that edged us forwards - with Athena taking the second set 20-25.
The third set started off with Loughborough gaining a long lead right off the bat. Both sides made mistakes, but Loughborough got ahead with a run of serves that took them into a 9 point lead that Athena just couldn't catch up to. Loughborough took the last set 25-10.
Coach Paul said "we made some mistakes, but the mistakes were because of our lack of experience, and not because of a lack of heart." He went onto say how proud he was of the team, and how proud the players should all be of themselves since they have all shown improvement in the development of their volleyball.
With thanks to Charlie for the match report.