Straightforward wins in division one
LADYBOY Express and Sandwick II both enjoyed straight-set wins in volleyball’s division one last weekend, while in the second division Burra were victorious and Shetland Ladies and JBT Juniors could not be separated.
Intersport Mixed League
LadyBoy Express 3, JBT I 0
(25-16, 25-16, 25-20)
The first set began very evenly with both teams regularly swapping serve to bring the score to 7-7. Good serving from Sarah Grogan combined with good hitting from Kenneth Shearer saw LadyBoys pull ahead at 12-7.
Fine play from the experienced duo of Mark Loynd and Kevin Jones helped JBT stay within reach but they couldn’t manufacture a lead, and at 19-16 a string of serves from Shearer gave LadyBoys set one.
The second set followed much the same pattern with a fairly even opening before LadyBoys showed their experience to move into a commanding lead from which JBT couldn’t recover. A good spike from Colin Grant saw LadyBoy Express close out the set at 25-16.
With the LadyBoys taking a 9-3 lead early in set three it looked likely they would run away with the tie, but JBT were not about to admit defeat. Some excellent pick-ups from Jones and spiking from Loynd saw them level at 10-10.
A LadyBoy time-out at this stage paid dividends as they quickly regained a commanding lead. Back again came JBT though and with what will surely be one of the rallies of the season, a Jones spike found space on the LadyBoy court and JBT took the lead for the first time at 15-14.
It turned out to be short-lived, however, as LadyBoys regained control and another string of serves from Shearer saw them take the set 25-20, and with it a 3-0 victory in the highly entertaining encounter.
MVPs for LadyBoy Express were Brydon Leask and Sarah Grogan, while Havi Vazquez and Maya Whittal taking the honours for JBT I.
Sandwick II 3, Sandwick I 0
(25-17, 25-21, 25-22)
Sandwick II opened with good serving from Joan Smith but Sandwick I’s Euan Ellis soon ended her spree with a deft tip. From there on the game stayed quite level but Sandwick II, with their more accurate passing, edged ahead and won the first set.
The second set started evenly but good serving from Smith again and some unforced errors from Sandwick I allowed Sandwick II to take a 10-3 lead.
A good spell from Sandwick I allowed them to come back to within one point but good work in the backcourt from Murray Sinclair saw Sandwick II regain a few points to move further ahead. Good work at the net from Becky Peterson brought Sandwick I level at 21-21 but some subsequent errors from the Is allowed the IIs to close out the set at 25-21.
Accurate serving at the start of the third set saw Sandwick I gain an early lead. Both teams continued to play well with some long rallies and the run of play passed back and forth between the teams. However, some unforced errors from Sandwick I allowed Sandwick II to come back into the game.
Play continued point for point with both teams playing well until 22-22 with Sandwick II finally emerging victorious at 25-22.
MVPs for Sandwick II were Murray Sinclair and Joan Smith while Euan Ellis and Jacqueline Jamieson were best for Sandwick I.
Shetland Ladies 2, JBT Juniors 2
(25-21, 26-24, 19-25, 10-25)
The match began with long rallies and the lead changing frequently. SLVC edged ahead with some good serving by Naomi Johnson who also made a number of strong hits. These were well fielded by the Juniors’ backcourt, particularly Paul Hibbert. However, some excellent serving from Valeska Voelschow and good combining at the net between Hazel Aitken and Lauren White allowed SLVC to consolidate their lead and take set one.
The second set started with another long rally which ended with an impressive hit by James Aitken. Again this was a fiercely-contested set with the lead changing with almost every shot. A Juniors time-out at 8-8 paid off with more controlled hitting, particularly from Haydn Thomason who also blocked successfully. A well-placed hit by Lewis Anderson won Juniors service at 20-all. However, the experience of the SLVC showed through as they kept their nerve to take the set.
The Juniors returned to the court no way downcast by the two-set deficit. Again the lead changed frequently but strong serving from Mandy Phillips helped the women edge ahead. Then good hitting from Aitken and some confusion in SLVC saw the boys gain the upperhand. Considering that the members of SLVC do not play together regularly it was remarkable how well they had combined up to this point.
The Juniors continued to build their lead with good team play facilitated by excellent setting from Ryan Leask. SLVC were not prepared to give up and clawed back to 22-18, but this was not enough as Juniors went on to take the set.
Victory in set three seemed to have fired the Juniors up and the fourth set began with strong hits from Aitken and Thomason. However, they struggled to cope with Erica Leask’s tricky serving and the scores stayed level.
Aitken took over serve for Juniors and they began to creep ahead. The Juniors went on to level the match at two sets all but there was no time left for set five, so it ended in a draw, which seems fair for an entertaining game which neither team deserved to lose.
MVP for SLVC was Naomi Johnson and MVPs for Juniors were James Aitken and Haydn Thomason.
Harry’s Hotspurs 0, Burra 3
(8-25, 15-25, 24-26)
The first set was definitely a game of two servers – Allan Skea and John Magnus Gray of Burra. They each won 10 consecutive serves to effectively take the set between them. The Hotspurs service reception did improve as the set progressed with some good rallies resulting. However, it was not enough to stop Burra’s dominance and the set finished 25-8.
In the second set Burra continued where they left off with more strong serves but the Hotspurs service reception improved further which allowed them to make some good attacks with Kevin Moar spiking especially well.
Burra began to lose their way midway through the set and Hotspurs were back in the game. Hotspurs’ Ava Sim provided some strong serves. With Hotspurs improving all the time there were some long and exciting rallies. However, Burra started to once more play as a team and Stacey Laurenson’s trademark powerful serve won them the set.
Hotspurs coach Jennifer Manson must have delivered a good team talk as it was a determined side that appeared on court for set three. The set was much closer with many more long and hard-fought rallies and Andrew Crossan and Diane Thomson both hitting well for Hotspurs.
Both teams appeared nervous at 22-22 with some serving errors taking place. Burra eventually won the third set 26-24 and the match 3-0.
MVPs for Harry’s Hotspurs were Kevin Moar and Ava Sim while Allan Skea and Stacey Laurenson were the best for Burra.
League tables, more photos and in-depth reports can be viewed at www.shetlandvolleyball.com
Tonight – Clickimin: JBT I v Sandwick I at 7pm (first referee Burra, second referee SLVC); Burra v SLVC at 9pm (first referee JBT I, second referee Sandwick I).
There are no matches at Sandwick.