Mixed fortunes in volleyball as men win but women’s teams lose out
Shetland’s men defeated Orkney 3-0 at volleyball last weekend but it was not so good for the two women’s teams, which lost the both the A and B inter-counties by a 3-1 scoreline.
BP Sullom Voe Inter-county
Women’s B Match
Shetland 1, Orkney 3
(21-25, 19-25, 25-11, 25-23)
This was a closely-contested match with long rallies from the offset. Orkney had the edge in the early stages but Shetland stayed in touch, helped by strong attacking then serving from Ava Sim.
Nicola Sinclair was next to serve for the home side and this took them a few points in front, forcing an Orkney time-out at 10-7. This seemed to motivate the visitors and they were soon level again at 10-10.
Orkney kept Shetland on the back foot and crept ahead to 15-18. Shetland called a time-out at 17-21 and this proved effective as stronger attacking from Jillian Copland helped her side claw back a few points. This was not enough, however, and Orkney went on to win set one 25-21.
The second set started much the same as the first with it all level up to 6-6. Good net play from Becky Peterson helped keep pressure on the Orkney defence. Catrin Sutherland worked hard in the back court for Orkney but Copeland still managed to find gaps in their defence.
Consistent serving from Amy Graham, teamed with accurate setting from Gail Bremnar, helped Orkney get their noses in front and strong attacking from Gemma Lustier put a few more points on the board for her side.
At 11-8 a good hit from Sim brought serve back to the home side but under constant pressure from Orkney the cracks started to show as unforced errors gave points away too easily. Shetland regained composure and fought back to stop Orkney running away with it.
Good passing from Orkney’s Julie Ferguson helped her side stay in control and finish off the set 25-19.
Shetland refused to be disheartened and made an impressive start to set three. With strong serving for Valeska Voelschow they moved into an early lead and some good pick-ups from Graham were required to keep Orkney in it.
The set continued with long, exciting rallies but despite hard work in the Orkney defence and good all round play from Sutherland, Shetland continued to extend the lead. The rallies remained long and tough for both sides but Shetland kept their momentum and finished strongly to take the set comfortably 25-11.
Set four continued with more long rallies but strong serving from Voelschow and Peterson ensured Shetland had the upper hand. Orkney fought hard to stay in touch and consistent hitting from Ferguson kept the score level.
Orkney turned the set around as strong serving from Susie Manson took them ahead for the first time. Shetland stayed in it as fantastic hits from Ava Sim found weaknesses in the Orkney defence. Good passing from the Shetland team allowed Erica Leask to set accurately. Orkney, however, kept their composure and with strong, all-round play they took the set by the narrowest of margins at 25-23.
The T Rowley most valuable player (MVP) awards went to Gail Bremnar for Orkney and Ava Sim for Shetland.
Men’s A Match
Shetland 3, Orkney 0
(25-16, 25-13, 25-13)
It was first blood to the home side as they stormed ahead to 6-0 with Ben Laurenson serving. This forced Orkney to call a time- out which proved effective as they immediately won serve and got their first point on the board.
Shetland remained focused and thanks to some good pick-ups from libero Colin Grant they moved ahead to 9-1. Some tricky serves from Mike Bradley and strong hits from Laurenson made sure the Orkney defence were working hard.
Some good pick-ups from Neil MacLeod and cover from Barrie Bruce meant Mark Berry was able to set up the attack through Fraser Allan and this briefly stemmed the flow of Shetland points.
Good play at the net from Michael Boxwell brought serve back to the home side. Orkney worked hard to defend the Shetland attack. The deficit was just too big, however, and Shetland finally finished the set off 25-16.
Shetland were ahead in the early stages of set two but the score remained fairly even as both teams’ serving let them down. Shetland began to move ahead as strong serving from Karl Sinclair kept the pressure on Orkney and accurate passing from the home side allowed Bradley to set up the attack, taking them to 11-6.
More powerful hits from Laurenson and Sinclair were picked up well by MacLeod, but the Shetland attack was relentless. Effective blocking from Kris Bevan was defended well by Brydon Leask and Shetland continued to forge ahead.
The outside attack of Allan got a few points on the board for the visiting side but each time Shetland got side out right away. Mark Loynd came on to serve at 22-13 and kept his cool to serve it out, with the final point of the set being won by a second ball attack from Joshua Morrison.
Again it was closely contested at the beginning of set three. Both sides had to work hard to keep the ball off the floor as they used their three touches effectively. Well-placed sets from Morrison meant the Shetland attack continued to dominate.
Orkney refused to give up and defended well, good passing from MacLeod ensuring they were able to set up some attacks of their own, which Shetland were equally able to defend. The pressure started to show in the Orkney side and a rotational fault at 23-13 handed Shetland match point, which they duly took to finish the set 25-13 and regain the trophy.
The Allied Taxis MVP awards went to Kris Bevan for Orkney and Colin Grant for Shetland.
Women’s A Match
Shetland 1, Orkney 3
(21-25, 13-25, 25-19, 18-25)
Both teams started strongly with few signs of nerves as each side fought hard to keep the ball off the floor. Strong serving from Claire Irvine led to the first of many “Orkney seal dance” performances as the visitors pulled ahead to 16-22.
Effective blocking from Denise Morrison and strong hitting from Monika Los helped Shetland fight back to 21-24 but this was too little too late as Orkney finished off the set 25-21.
With Lindsay Grant serving well and Amy Cromarty hitting strongly Orkney took an early lead in set two but Shetland fought hard and levelled the match at 5-5. Orkney showed great variation in their speed of play, which caught Shetland off guard. Accurate placement of the ball from Belinda Warnock had Shetland scrambling. Monika Los made some good pick-ups for the home side, but with consistent serving from Cromarty Orkney took the set 25-13.
Shetland started set three more confidently with good setting from Louise Birnie providing more opportunities for powerful hits. An increased volume of spectators and the colourful cheerleaders seemed to lift the Shetland lasses.
Excellent blocking from Ruth Christie and Anne Mouat helped keep the attack of Irvine at bay as Shetland moved ahead to 8-5. Valeska Voelschow was substituted on to serve and immediately put Orkney under pressure taking Shetland’s lead to 12-7.
Shetland took charge with strong hitting from Los and Sim. Orkney worked hard in defence but consistent serving from Los helped Shetland remain confident. With strong play at the net from Denise Morrison, Shetland finished off set three 25-19 to keep them in the match.
Shetland started set four where they had left off, moving quickly to a 5-1 lead. Excellent defending at the net from Birnie and Morrison showed Shetland were in fighting spirit. Consistent and controlled serving from Sim brought the score to 8-4.
Orkney worked hard to catch up, with more strong hitting from Irvine and good serving from Warnock they were soon back to within two points of the home side. Ava Sim worked hard to pick up the ball back court so Shetland could set up the attack, but Orkney still managed to draw level at 12-12.
Orkney’s Grant provided her front line with well-placed sets, ensuring they could maintain a strong attack to keep pressure on Shetland as the visitors moved in front for the first time in the set. Orkney continued to build on this with consistent hitting helping them to a commanding lead of 22-15.
Shetland showed determination but Orkney were feeling confident and a sneaky tip from Amy Cromarty brought them to within a point of the match. Shetland didn’t give up, fighting hard to the last but Orkney finally finished the set at 25-18 to seal the match and win the Kirstine Sclater Memorial Cup.
The T Rowley MVP awards went to Claire Irvine for Orkney and Denise Morrison for Shetland.
Trophies presented The trophy presentation for the domestic season took place following the inter-county matches.
BP Men’s League Cup: LHD Drifters.
BP Ladies’ League Cup: JBT Ladies.
BP Ladies’ League Plate: T R Junior Ladies.
BP Men’s League MVP: Kenneth Shearer (LHD Drifters).
BP Ladies’ League MVP: Valeska Voelschow (Burra).
Intersport Mixed League One: JBT I.
Intersport Mixed League Two: JBT Juniors.
Intersport Mixed League One MVPs: Kevin Smith and Joan Smith (both Sandwick II).
Intersport Mixed League Two MVPs: James Aitken (JBT Juniors) and Anne Mouat (DITT).
SIVA Newcomer Award: Monika Los (JBT Ladies).