National League Division 3C
Sunday 4th November 2018
Nottingham Rockets 3 Leicester Athena 1
Athena lost their first NVL match as they came up against a very organised and dangerous Rockets team. After the first match against Vipers, Coach Gordon made one change to the side that finished against Vipers with Petra coming on for Diana, Monika as opposite, Karolina and Tereza middle, Paulina setting and Kristy as outside.
Once more Paulina's serving was clinical as was Kristy's hitting and Petra's passing. It meant that Rockets could not cope with Athena's firepower, Athena winning the first set 25-9.
The same team started the second set and it was a tight affair with Rockets stepping up their block and backcourt defence. The set was nip and tuck, with the lead changing several times but, in the end, Rockets created a lead which Athena could not catch up and Rockets won 25-20. Once again Petra and Algi produced a great display in back court and Monika's hitting as opposite won a lot of points.
Kamila replaced Tereza and Adela replaced Kristy for the third set .. but the serving began to falter with every player serving out at least once. The first pass began to flatten out reducing the hitting opportunities. Kamila got a few great hits in through the middle, Petra's hitting was consistent and won point after point and Adela's pass grew as the set went on. Despite all this, destructive hitting from Rockets caused problems to our block and Rockets won 25-21.
Kristy and Sarah returned to the line-up for the final set but it was clear that Athena players were tiring. They were quieter on court, not moving as quickly and the pass began to lose its accuracy. Despite more great hitting from Kristy and Monika, Rockets tied up the match with a 25-21 win.
It was a good wake-up call to the NVL newbies ... proving that there are big, strong teams out there and that fitness counts. Well done to Monika for her MVP nomination.