Cambridge Volleyball Club

Match Report – County Women

Winning Start for Wildcats in Cambridge Women’s League


3 – 0 (25-9, 25-10, 26-24)
Team: Birgit (C), Irene, Julianne, Lucy, Mary, Ursula, Valentina DS, Valentina I
Saturday 4th February, Netherhall Sports Centre

After much hard work and planning by Rhinos VC the new Cambridge Women’s League kicked off.  The County Women are entered as CVC Wildcats – a blend of ‘Panthers ‘and ‘Tigers’ to give it a different feel to the EVF series, an excellent suggestion by captain Birgit.

CVC Wildcats first match of the new league was against St Philips.  Coach Micha was on hand to do the rotations and substitutions.  He made sure everyone got some time on court, with most players spending at least some time on the bench.  CVC aimed to play attacking volleyball, convincingly winning the first 2 sets.  The Wildcats held on for the win in the 3rd set, despite some confusion about whether play had stopped.

A big thanks to supporters who made it all the way to the Netherhall Sports Centre for the CVC Wildcats first match.

This promising start provides lots to build on in future training sessions. The next match will be a tough one against ARU, who have a number of players in the national league.

Panthers Perfect Day!


Tigers: 3 wins, 2 losses. Panthers: 3 wins, 2 losses
Teams: Ania, Birgit, Elaine, Frances, Irene, Lorna, Lucy, Susana, Valentina I, Valentina DS, Ursula  and coach Tomas.
Saturday 24th Jan 2017, UEA Sportspark, Norwich

With a last minute offer of a place for a second CVC team accepted, four cars left Cambridge for round 5 of the Eastern Region Volleyball Series.  Coach Tomas showed outstanding dedication, leaving his fiancé at home on her birthday to coach the county ladies.

The last minute addition of Panthers meant CVC where short on players.  Luckily, Elaine arrived straight from a night shift, while Ania unfortunately had to retire early as sickness took over.  To make up the team numbers CVC borrowed players from Is  it in?  Cheer leading and court side support came from one of Lucy’s children.

Difficult decisions about organising and sharing players had to be taken throughout the day. Panthers defended well and the rallies were often long.  In the morning session they beat Tigers and league leaders Is It In? in thrilling match, only narrowly loosing out to Norwich Spikers by 3 points!  Tigers had a slow start, eventually moving better on court.  They lost to Panthers and Is It In? before managing to just edge out Norwich Spikers by 1 point.

The afternoon matches were for ranking positions.  Panthers lost to UEA, before beating Stowmarket Aces in a very close match to finish 3rd, their highest ever finish.  Tigers where now in full flow and beat both Medusa and Norwich Spikers convincingly, finishing in 5th place.

A tight match schedule with refereeing in-between, left players exhausted, however, Panthers outstanding performance left everyone happy after a long day of volleyball.

Tigers Welcome 2017 with Fighting Start


3 Wins, 3 Losses
Team:  Frances (C), Ania, Birgit, Juliane, Lucy, Mara, Ursula
Sunday 8th January 2017, UEA Sportspark, Norwich

The County Women Tigers and coach Micha headed off to Norwich for Round 4 of the Eastern Region Volleyball Series.  No space for Panthers at this round unfortunately.  With seven players, Ursula and Mara would be sharing the setting duties.

First up was Stowmarket.  Mara took charge of setting for this match and the team started well, ahead 20-17 at the change of ends.  With everyone still warming up and getting used to positions the lead sliped away and the match finished closely. Stowmarket won 30-28, Lucy picked up the first MVP of the day.

Second up was Ipswich.  Ursula took over setting duties.  Tigers where behind 13-15 at the change over, but with everyone warm and Ipswich out of rotation twice, CVC where able to capitalise on the lack of focus and seal the win 29-21.  Another MVP for Lucy.

Third up was Norwich Spikers.  Mara was back in to set.  While the points where ticking over, Tigers where unable to score runs of consecutive points, with serve recieve issues throughout the game.  Spikers took the win 36-22, Birgit picked up MVP.

Fourth up was local rivals Rhinos.  Ursula was once again setting.  Rhinos where missing a couple of keys players and where noticeably under strength.  Tigers took full advantage of this, with strong attacking play.  It was a straight forward win for Tigers 35-24, with Ania picking up MVP.

Fifth up was Medusa.  Mara and Ursula shared the setting for this match.  As always, Medusa provided a strong challenge and Tigers where behind 13-17 at the break.  The CVC rotation was challenged, luckily however, this did not affect Frances’s strong serving run which brought the team back into contention.  Tigers kept fighting and took the win 30-27, with Frances picking up MVP.

The sixth and final match of the day was against series leaders Is It In?  Mara and Ursula shared the setting duties again.  Even with an under strength side at this round, Is It In? still blew Tigers off the court with their strong serving runs.  After a long day of touch matches, against a very experienced team CVC had limited successful digging response.  Is It In? took the win 31-21, putting them in first place overall.  Lucy picked up her third MVP of the day.

After 4 rounds, CVC Tigers start 2017 in joint 3rd place overall, tied with UEA on 26 points.  There are only 8 points separating 2nd – 6th places, and another 4 rounds still to go.  The full results and standings are on the ERVS website.

ERVS Round 4, 08-01-17

ERVS Round 4, 08-01-17

Final EVF Outing

Norwich EVF Final Round – 29th March 2015

Team Tigers:  Ursula (C), Tanya, Ania, Sarah H, Frances, Martina, Mary-Louise
2 Wins, 2 Losses

Team Panthers:  Elaine (C), Sarah MJ, Valentina, Gosia, Lorna, Sarra, Marina
2 Wins, 2 Losses

Panthers vs Is It In?
To play the clearly accomplished team first with vim and vigour was always going to be a tough ask!  Panthers delivered!  Throughout the match Panthers maintained composure and when it came to scrapping and supporting one another Panthers excelled themselves.  Before the turnaround there were some great spikes from Elaine and Valentina.  Gosia, as always, was able to find the flaws in the opposition’s defence with tips, spikes and the occasional well aimed volley.  The score at the turnaround saw Panthers trailing 38-15.  The second half was brighter as Sarah and Lorna contributed to finishing rallies with fine spikes and blocks and a range of different lines of attack and tempo.  Serving, blocking and receiving definitely increased after the turnaround.  Servers who made some telling and withering serves included: Gosia, Elaine and Sarah.  The final score was a loss of 33-64.  An important statistic was that compared to 26 points scored in the second half by “Is it in ?” Panthers scored 18. Well played everyone!

Tigers vs Medusa
A very close match to start the day for Tigers.  The two teams trading points on almost every serve.  At the turnaround the score was 28:28, highlighting just how closely matched the teams were.  The second half continued in the same vein as the first with each team trading points but unfortunately it was Medusa who managed to just edge out a lead.  Final score was a loss of 51-56.

Ipswich vs Tigers
The match against Medusa seemed to have a positive effect on Tigers.  Some powerful serves from Ursula, Tanya and Gosia set the foundations for a withering assault on Ipswich. Due to good first ball Ursula gave her hitters fine service to enable Martina, Ania, Gosia and Tanya to put the ball down on the opposition side.  A back court spike from Gosia caught Ipswich off guard defensively.  At the turnaround Tigers were clearly in control winning 33-18.  In the second half Tigers’ serving seemed to move up a gear with Martina contributing to six points of the total, with Ania adding another four and leaving Ipswich unable to recover.  The final score was an emphatic 68-40 win.

Rhinos vs Panthers
In spite of some fine serving from Panthers against local rivals Rhinos, this was not matched by their service reception, resulting in a disappointing score of 17-33 at the turnaround.  The second half proved to be brighter for Panthers with some fine blocking from Lorna, Gosia and Sarah.  Spike rate increased allowing Elaine, Sarah and Lorna to ground the ball.  Alas, it was not enough to overcome such a wide margin and the final result was a loss of 41-61

Pathers vs Ipswich
Serving was much improved this time round from Panthers with powerful serving from Gosia and Valentina challenging the opposition.  A much improved service reception, with Marina playing as Libero for Sarah, enabled winning salvos from Lorna, Sarah, Elaine and Valentina.  A special mention to Sarra, making her match début for the season after a long absence, with some telling spikes showing she had not lost her touch!  Good teamwork and a mobile defence meant that the Panthers were entering the turnaround at 26-16 in the ascendancy.  After the break Panthers managed to maintain the margin with hits from all positions yielding a win of 57-43.

Panthers vs Stowmarket
An evenly matched game from start to finish with hard serves being converted to credible attacks from both teams.  With Marina once again playing Libero and improved first passes, Panthers spiked from all positions with Lorna and Gosia converting well. A fine block from Sarah M seemed to show spectators where this result would lead, however at the turnaround the Panthers were trailing 25-27.  After a motivational talk from Captain Elaine, blocking from Lorna and Sarah seemed to inspire the team to greater endeavour.  Spiking became more prevalent and a higher work rate enabled Panthers bring the score back to level, just as the final whistle blew.  With the match unable to finish on a draw, one more point was allowed to be played.  Panthers kept their cool and managed to take the final point meaning a 50-49 win. And a sigh of relief from the bench!

Tigers vs Bedford
The appearance of Mary-Louise made for a powerful presence against a team made up of Bedford ladies with back up from Spikers.  The main hitters making an impact on the Bedford defence were Tanya and Mary-Louise.  At the turnaround the score was a very tight 23-22 in tigers favour.  The second half went the same way as the first with strong attacking options from Ania out wide and the continuing dominance of Mary-Louise playing through the middle.  A fine serve from Sarah H made a psychological impact on the Bedford defence allowing Tigersto end the game with a win at 48-46.

The final overall positions from the season were:  Tigers, joint 4th place, Panthers, 7th place.

Cambridge VC Panthers Cambridge VC Tigers

Old vs New

County Women Go Head to Head with Coach Paul’s old Club

2 – 2 (25-23, 11-25, 25-15, 23-25)
Team:  Sarah H (C), Sarah MJ, Marina, Martina, Lydia, Cristina and Valentina
Gosling Stadium, Welwyn Garden City, 21/01/2015

As a warm up for the County Women’s team a friendly was organised to play a ladies team based at Gosling stadium, Welwyn Garden City, the team which Paul had previously coached. Available players were from both Panthers and Tigers so it was going to be an interesting exercise in how players related to each other and worked for each other.

In the first set service switched from side to side, both teams managing to increase scores on the board but being stopped by good defence from the other. Sarah MJ was particularly dominant through the middle at the net in both attack and defence. Valentina made some great hits through outside, while Martina at opposite, with great awareness, found gaps in the Welwyn defence. Sarah H made some fine blocks through middle. At 20-20 a fine performance from all players Cambridge won the the first set 25-23.

With Welwyn bringing on fresh players the second set was lost 25-11 in spite of good scrapping and placement of the final touch. Cambridge showed great composure and the score does not reflect the effort expended. Coach Paul tried to stem the run of strong serving from Welwyn but to no avail. In spite of losing this set the Cambridge ladies moved around the court  well and continually varied their attack. Coach Paul felt that there were a few more levels of tempo which could be realized. Cambridge were just settling in.

In the third set Cambridge were back in form. Sarah MJ had a fine game hitting through the outside position. Welwyn called a time out when the score was 12-8 in Cambridge’s favour but this could not upset the performance of a focused and motivated Cambridge team. Cristina particularly scored some great points hitting outside.The number of long rallies entertained the gathered company. With some great blocking and hitting and the relentless pursuit from Marina and Martina of wayward second balls Cambridge won the third set 25-15.

Regrettably the fourth set was the final set played during an evening of gutsy volleyball alongside crisp attacking and defending. Great runs of serve from Martina, Marina and Valentina contributed to a close finish. Lydia blocked well through the middle and found the gaps in the Welwyn defence. But after a valiant struggle and coming so close Cambridge lost the final set 25-23.

The result was clearly a draw but a return fixture will definitely be arranged between Norwich commitments and other friendlies. During the match the Cambridge ladies showed resilience and the ability to maintain focus and concentrate on doing the basics right.  A “no blame“ culture was clearly evident and an increased level of good communication was present. We look forward to the coming fixture in Norwich with relish!

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