Oxford Ladies vs Cambridge VC & Anglia Ruskin University
1 – 3 (15-25, 25-21, 22-25, 16-25)
Team: Els (C), Jovana, Gosia, Bori, Sam, Kelsey, Luci, Siebe, Marta
St Gregory’s the Great School, Oxford
The team made the 2 hour trip west to face the current league leaders and undefeated Oxford Ladies. The teams had met earlier in the season when Oxford Ladies won easily in straight sets.
The starting six of Siebe, Marta, Sam, Jovana, Els and, making her first start as a middle, Gosia took to the court for the first set. And it was Cambridge that set the pace, with Jovana’s serve causing the Oxford passing unit problems, they quickly moved into a 5-0 lead and Oxfords first time out. The teams reached the first technical time out with Cambridge 8-1 to the good after some good defensive play. Cambridge were looking strong and extended their lead to 11-3. But Oxford started to get their game together
and with their No. 6 Brusca serving well, Cambridge’s passing deserting them, they started to come back at Cambridge. At 11-7 Cambridge called a time out to regroup. Back on court and with the team now passing well they once again opened up a lead and at 18-12 it was Oxford who called their 2nd time out. But to no avail as Oxford could not live with the Cambridge attack as Jovana dictated the plays and they eventually ran out set winners at 25-15.
Into the second set and no changes from either coach. But this time it was Oxford who came out firing. Their passing was now working and this meant that they were attacking well and finding the gaps in the Cambridge defence. Oxford were 8-3 up at the 1st technical and looking comfortable. But that changed when Siebe came into serve. Her varied services caused Oxford problems meaning that they were sending over a lot of free balls which were returned by Sam and Marta and the lead changed in Cambridge’s favour. Oxford called a time out with Cambridge leading 10-8. Back on court and with Oxford No. 6 Brusca serving again they started to come back at Cambridge. Oxford now had the measure of Cambridge’s attack and were successfully blocking all their efforts. The lead changed again and it was Cambridge’s turn to call a time out trailing 11-13. Cambridge could not get passed the Oxford block despite trying to vary their attack. A dominate Oxford stretched their lead to 8 points and Cambridge looked like they were heading for a big set loss. But good serving, from both Els and Siebe, and with Gosia, Marta and Sam finding a way past Oxford’s big blocks the deficit came down to just 2 points. But Oxford stayed strong and closed the set out at 25-21.
Both coaches made a change to there line ups. Bori joined the starting 6 with Els making way. Oxford took up from where they left the second set aided by some bad attacks from Cambridge. The team were four points behind at the first technical time out. The teams were now evenly match with some long rallies ensuing with both teams defences working hard. Cambridge slowly started to close the gap as once again Cambridge’s varied attack found the gaps to get the ball to the floor. But it wasn’t until Siebe rotated onto serve that Cambridge finally took the lead. Oxford just not able to read Siebe’s serves. But the lead was short lived and with Cambridge once again behind the first time out of the set was called with the score 18-19. Some good blocking from Gosia and Cambridge regain the lead, it was Oxfords turn to take a time out as they trailed 19-21. Cambridge’s solid attacking meant that they ran out set winners 25-22 and took a 2 set to 1 lead.
Another change in the Oxford line up but none change for Cambridge as the teams re-entered the court for the fourth set. As with the 1st set Cambridge came out hard and fast. With good passing meaning Jovana was able to set up good attacks and backed up with big serving from both Bori and Els saw the team take a 6 point lead. Cambridge became over confident and with 3 poor attacks allowed Oxford to close to 10-8. The Cambridge coach had seen enough and called a time out to refocus the team. Back on court and Cambridge kicked on. With Oxford once again forced into send back free balls which Cambridge took full advantage of turning them into points. One particular ball was returned high at the net and was duly dispatched by Marta as she slammed the ball onto the floor inside the attack line. With Sam and Siebe also finding the floor the team were 20-13 up when Oxford eventually called a time out. Cambridge were now almost scoring with every attack and closed out the set and the match 25-16. This was the teams best result of the season so far and at times Oxford were just not able to cope with the Cambridge attacks all set up with the good initial passing.
A well deserved 1st MVP of the season went to Siebe.
Stats: Sam 9 Kills, 4 Block Kills, 2 Aces, Marta 15-1-0, Siebe 6-2-3, Gosia 6-1-0, Bori 4-0-1, Els 3-0-1, Jovana 0-0-4