DITT and LHD both had straight-set wins when the men’s volleyball league commenced at the weekend, while in the women’s league Sandwick Ladies and JBT each picked up full points.
BP Sullom Voe Men’s League
DITT 3, Sandwick 0
(28-26, 26-24, 25-21)
A fairly uneventful start with inconsistent serving from both sides kept the score level. Sandwick started to pull ahead with good setting from Kevin Smith and Iain White.
Sandwick seemed to settle through the next few serves, linking some good play and putting DITT under pressure. As they edged nearer the end of the set Sandwick looked comfortable, but it was only a matter of time before DITT fought back.
When Colin Kirkness gained service at 16-21, the final push kicked in, bringing the score spectacularly back to 22-24. A Sandwick time-out proved fruitless as a trademark hit from Karl Sinclair took DITT’s 23rd point. It was a nail-biting end to the set, as each team wanted it, but a determined DITT finally clinched it 28-26. After a long first rally in the second set, an excellent dive from Smith kept the ball in play and won service for Sandwick. With both teams communicating well and playing some neat volleyball, it was even to 11-11. Good serving from Simon Skinner put DITT into the lead 15-11, with some big hitting from his front line. Fast frantic play followed and Sandwick clawed back some much needed points but DITT kept the pressure on and finished it 26-24.
Set three started evenly as unforced errors on both sides meant the lead changed sides frequently. The set saw more long rallies with Sandwick’s Tomas Smith really showing his ability as a player. DITT started to pull away with a 12-8 lead.
A great spike from Mark Fountain saw service change sides and Sandwick fought back to level at 17-17. The grit and determination from DITT reappeared again, pushing for the last few points and at 24-19 it looked like the end of the match until a flukey shot bounced off Kevin Smith’s chest and in almost slow motion floated over the net, giving Sandwick one last chance. Unfortunately it was not to be, and DITT secured the win 25-21.
Most Valuable Players on the night were Karl Sinclair for DITT and Tomas Smith for Sandwick.
LHD Drifters 3, JBT 0
(25-18, 25-17, 25-17)
The game started evenly with point-for-point scoring before JBT went ahead with some excellent hitting from Ryan Jamieson. LHD came back with good teamwork and great pick-ups by libero Colin Grant. LHD carried on scoring points with good communication within the team which kept them well organised and earned them the set 25-18.
LHD took an early lead in the second set but JBT were soon closing the gap. Steady serving from Michael Boxwell helped LHD creep ahead at 16-9. JBT had excellent movement on the court and were giving it everything but weren’t getting the results they deserved. This wasn’t enough as the well-organised LHD went ahead to win the set 25-17.
The third set started with great rallies which made it even more exciting than the first two. Ben Laurenson and Kevin Jones worked well in the JBT side, giving their first lead in this set. LHD picked up their game and raced ahead to make it 21-13. JBT kept their heads up and kept on fighting for every ball but LHD used their experience and went on to win the set 25-17.
MVPs were Kenneth Shearer for LHD and Mark Loynd for JBT.
BP Sullom Voe Women’s League
Bench Warmers 0, Sandwick Ladies 3
Both teams started nervously with Bench Warmers making their debut and Sandwick showing the effects of the long break since the 2008 women’s league. The first half of the set was point for point with good hitting from BW’s Michelle Stove unsettling the Sandwick team.
Neither team showed a clear advantage until a great seven-point run of serves from Susan Brunton gave Sandwick a clear lead. Good setting from BW’s Kerry Burgess helped establish some more controlled play but too late as Sandwick took the set 25-17.
The second set was much closer than the score indicates. Bench Warmers’ game play was a lot more controlled, using their three shots as good back-court reception from Caroline Smith made for some good rallies. Sandwick also came on court better organised and their more consistent play along with good hitting from Linda Tait helped win the points. A long run of serves from Becky Peterson won the set for Sandwick 25-5.
In the third set Bench Warmers lost some of their control which allowed Sandwick to dominate. Again good setting from BW’s Burgess and hitting from Stove kept them in the game but powerful serving from Sandwick’s Joan Smith established a good lead and Sandwick won the set 25-10.
MVPs were Michelle Stove for Bench Warmers and Joan Smith for Sandwick.
JBT 3, Burra 1
(25-16, 17-25, 25-5, 25-17)
JBT took control of the early exchanges against a Burra side that look every bit as determined as last season. Naomi Johnson served up an early 6-0 lead for JBT as the islanders took their time to get going.
It is obvious that Burra have a “never say die” attitude and this is great to see. JBT did not let them get away with it though and kept alert enough to keep passing the ball. As JBT found their rhythm the middle attackers started to find the floor with Anne Mouat and Monika Los doing the damage. JBT calmly finished off the set 25-16.
Burra started the second set much better as Valeska Voelschow helped herself to a handful of aces and a lead of 7-0. JBT managed to break her serve only to be faced thereafter with Stacey Laurenson’s heavy top-spinners. Very soon Burra had a 10-2 lead.
JBT managed to kick into gear and shortly they drew level through the sound attacking of Johnson. Burra called a time-out to put the handbrake on JBT’s progress.
This worked well as they forged ahead with some good play from Emma Gray to take the second set 25-17.
The third set was a tale of two servers. Anne first of all took seven in a row to give JBT an 8-1 lead. JBT’s Jill Hibbert then took to the service line for a streak of 10 in a row. With the townies so far ahead there was no way back for Burra and they lost the third 25-5.
JBT lost momentum in set four and started to look a bit ragged. Burra capitalised on this to open up the early lead. JBT were never far behind and as the scores reached nine-all they had recaptured their rhythm. But just as JBT pulled ahead Valeska thumped one on the floor to remind them not to count their chickens. This did not deter the town ladies though, as they finished off the fourth and final set 25-17.
MVP for JBT was Monika Los and for Burra it was Emma Gray.
Tonight – Sandwick Games Hall: LadySpurs Express v T Rowley Junior Ladies at 6.30pm (first referee Harry’s Hotspurs men, second referee LHD Drifters); Harry’s Hotspurs v LHD Drifters at 8.30pm (first referee LadySpurs Express, second referee T Rowley Juniors).
Clickimin: Burra Ladies v Shetland Freezer Foods at 7pm (first referee JBT men, second referee JBT Sovers); JBT Men v JBT Sovers at 9pm (first referee Burra Ladies, second referee Shetland Freezer Foods).
For more volleyball fixtures, league tables, reports and photographs visit the SIVA website at www.shetlandvolleyball.com