East Midlands Volleyball League
Wednesday 5th December 2018
Leicester Athena 0 Nottingham Rockets
Athena's regional league squad were out-powered by a strong Nottingham Rockets squad that was littered with NVL players, however, it was one of their non-NVL players, Montana, who did the damage with some excellent middle-hitting.
Before the match, Coach Paul had mixed news, Marta had recovered from her sprained thumb but Amanda's sprained finger was not strong enough to play.
Athena began with Eli setting, Julia as opposite, Marta and Tereza through the middle and Algi and Edyta as outside hitters. Strong serving from Rockets allowed them to build a lead in the first set, until a strong serving round by Julia brought the set back to a 2-point margin. However, Rockets started to control the ball on their side of the net and that allowed their powerful hitters to pull away and win the set 25-17.
Sam replaced Marta through the middle and after the first round of serving, it was a very tight set, but once again Rockets showed their experience to ease into a 25-19 set win. For the final set, Coach Paul brought on Ioana to set, Emma and Marta for Tereza and Sam through the middle. Despite so many changes, the fight and commitment from Athena meant that it was even after the first round of serving, but a fearsome set of swerving and dipping serves from Rocket's Gosiincar, created a gap that Athena could close and Rockets won the third set and match 25-15.
Paul declared himself happy with the work that everyone had put in, their movement and cover was excellent. Rockets were simply stronger on the day but there were a lot of positives and this inexperienced side should take heart from this performance.
Well done to Captain Julia for her MVP nomination. Very much deserved.
Thank you to Laura and Petra for scoring, to Charlie for refereeing and to Anna and friends and family members who came to support.