East Midlands Regional League
Wednesday 28th February
Leicester Athena 3 Loughborough Uni 0
The regional league team eased to a 3-0 victory over Loughborough on a bitterly cold night.
With a number of players missing, Athena showed a real strength in depth bringing Alex, Faye, Julia and Liza in to play alongside captain Sarah, Adela, Sam and Kamila.
Athena started well with Sarah setting, Alex playing as opposite, Sam and Kamila playing as middle hitters and Adela and Julia playing as outside hitters. They opened up a strong lead early in the first set through the serving of Adela and Alex and despite a late rally by Loughborough through some fierce serving, Athena closed out the first set.
For the second set, Faye came on as setter, Sarah replacing Julia as an outside hitter. Athena went to sleep in the second set with the first pass very wayward, making Faye's life difficult. It was nip and tuck all the way through to 18-18 but Adela and Alex's serving once again pulled out a lead.
After some stern words from the coach, Julia replaced Sarah on the outside and Athena leapt into life powering away to a huge lead, winning the final set 25-9.
It was not a pretty performance, but Liza played well when she came on as a substitute, Sam's back court work was as good as she has shown all season, Julia showed the amount she has improved this season and Alex and Faye got time on court to develop their understanding with the team. The regional squad looks in good shape as we get to the sharp point of the set.
Huge thanks to Phil Cobb and the Loughborough team for making it out as temperatures dropped to minus 6 outside. It was very much appreciated.