THE FIRST games in the volleyball leagues were played last Friday.
JBT II 3, Sandwick II 0
(25-19, 25-18, 25-15)
Set one started with a great spike from Ben Laurenson to score the game’s first point. JBT had a run of points to 6-1 before Sandwick started to get back in to the set, matching JBT point for point to 16-13. Sandwick’s trio of blockers thwarted some fierce hits from Ryan Jamieson, but some well-organised play brought the set to a finish at 25-19 to JBT.
A well-positioned shot from Jamieson saw JBT take first point again in set two, but an equally good serve from Sandwick’s Jane Bray drew them even. Sandwick pulled ahead with some confident serving from Murray Sinclair. A lengthy rally favoured Sandwick who were leading 10-5 when JBT called a time-out, which paid dividends on the return to court. JBT soon equalled the score and pulled ahead to 14-13. Kaye Riise did her best to rally the Sandwick team but JBT served out the set 25-18.
Strong serving from Lauris Kurtz gave Sandwick an early lead in the third set and solid hitting kept the momentum going to 9-6. Erica Leask’s consistent setting could be relied on by JBT’s hitters to pull the score back to 12-11. A string of serves by Laurenson gave JBT the lead at 20-14. This continued through Amy Sclater. Euan Ellis gave Sandwick hope with some good backcourt play but all too late as JBT clinched the win 25-15.
Most valuable players in this match were Ben Laurenson and Amy Sclater for JBT II, while Murray Sinclair and Joan Smith took the honours for Sandwick I.
Sandwick I 0, LadyBoy Express 3
(4-25, 16-25, 16-25)
LadyBoy Express started strongly with Colin Grant serving. Sandwick brought it back, but a strong hit by LadyBoys’ Denise Morrison ensured the points stayed on the LadyBoys’ side. A brilliant range of serving by Mike Bradley took LadyBoys ‘advantage to 16-3. Sandwick determinedly tried to keep every ball in play but LadyBoys finished the set with ease, 25-4.
Set two started closely, with both sides fighting for every ball. Neville Martin hit well for Sandwick, however it was LadyBoys who continued to put points on the board. Sandwick were unfazed by this and fought hard to the end, working well as a team. Strong play from Iain White and good hitting from Kevin Smith helped keep Sandwick in the set but LadyBoys finally won through, 25-16.
Set three again started closely with each team working hard. It was LadyBoys again who went into an early lead. Excellent long rallies took the score closer, with Sandwick’s Nicola Sinclair and LadyBoys’ Emily Garriock playing particularly well. LadyBoys brought it together to end the set 25-16.
Sandwick MVPs were Iain White and Nicola Sinclair, while the efforts of LadyBoy Express rookie Roger Goudie and the experienced Denise Morrison earned them the titles for their team.
DITT Globetrotters 3, Shetland Ladies V C 0
(25-16, 25-21, 25-14)
DITT started well and got up to a four point lead, but Shetland Ladies came back and levelled at 9-9 with some good play. DITT looked shaky after a rotational fault was called, but quickly regained composure and stretched out a comfortable lead with some good attacks from Karl Sinclair and Valeska Voelschow. The Ladies tried hard, but despite some good rallies, were never back in the set and it was closed out at 25-16.
The second set saw the Ladies come out with more determination and attacked well through Hazel Aitken with some fine setting from Louise Birnie. Their lead was stretched to 13-7 before DITT pulled it back to 14-14. The set continued point for point to 19-all before DITT with their better recovery play went on to win 25-21.
The start of the third set saw the Shetland Ladies looking a little disorganised after coach Mike Bradley had to visit the little boys’ room! This allowed DITT to gain a 7-4 lead. The Ladies struggled to settle and some poor serving allowed DITT to stretch their lead. They pulled further ahead to 19-8 through the serving of Voelschow before the Ladies coach called a time-out, which broke her run. This wasn’t enough though and DITT went on to win 25-14.
MVPs for DITT Globetrotters were Juergen Kurtz and Anne Mouat; Denise Morrison took the title for SLVC.
JBT Juniors 3, Harry’s Hotspurs 1
(25-27, 25-13, 25-23, 25-05)
As expected on the first night of the league, both teams made a tentative start and some indecisive play on both sides ensured an even first set. The rally of the match came in set one. Louise Moar, who has improved immensely in the last year, blocked out Joshua Morrison, only for James Aitken to pick up a ball that was surely destined to hit the floor. However Spurs went on to win the rally and pegged JBT back to 20-20. Nerves were apparent as they approached the end of the set, and three service errors in a row gave Spurs a chance to clinch it. A great Louise Moar attack won it for Spurs, and although the festival finished last week, the coach of the JBT Juniors was singing the blues.
This match was proving to be a battle of Spurs’ never say die attitude against the aesthetically pleasing three-shot volleyball Juniors. Hadyn Thomason caught the eye with some awesome hitting and an effective bout of serving from Paul Hibbert ensured a 10-3 lead. Spurs rallied after a time-out, but even some amazing acrobatics from Joe O’Connor could not prevent the Juniors levelling at one set all.
JBT Juniors started set three in much the same fashion as they finished set two. This, combined with unforced errors from Spurs, allowed Juniors to open up an early lead, aided by consistent serving from Joshua Morrison. After a great defensive pick up from Callum Williamson, Spurs were forced to call another time-out, which proved inspirational as they fought their way back to 20-20. The next few points would be pivotal in the final outcome and the Juniors showed they could handle the pressure to sneak set three 25-23.
Spurs made a sluggish start to set four, leaving themselves an uphill task. However, they made a valiant effort, and were well marshalled by Andrew Crossan throughout. Some accurate Hibbert serving opened up an unassailable lead, however some neat net play from Dawn Manson gave Spurs some much needed encouragement. The Juniors played some intelligent volleyball, taking some pace off their attack and instead finding the corners with some incisive plays. Both teams can take heart from their performance, and will hopefully kick-start a successful season for the Juniors and Spurs.
MVPs for JBT Juniors were Ryan Leask and James Aitken; Kevin Moar and Ava Sim were best for Hotspurs.
Fixtures, league tables and more photos can be viewed at www.shetlandvolleyball.com
Fixtures: Tonight at Sandwick Games Hall – Sandwick I v JBT II at 6.30pm (first referee JBT Juniors, second referee DITT Globetrotters); JBT Juniors v DITT Globetrotters at 8.30pm (first referee Sandwick I, second referee JBT II).
There are no matches at Clickimin.