LHD Drifters cemented their place at the top of the men’s volleyball league on Friday without hitting a ball, picking up full points when opponents DITT Globetrotters failed to field a team. Sandwick defeated Harry’s Hotspurs in the other men’s match. In the women’s league pacesetters JBT Ladies and Shetland Freezer Foods were both victorious.
BP Sullom Voe Men’s League
DITT Globetrotters 0, LHD Drifters 3
The points were awarded to LHD Drifters as DITT Globetrotters could not field a team.
Sandwick 3, Harry’s Hotspurs 0
(25-10, 25-15, 25-21)
The teenage Harry’s Hotspurs lined up against the more mature Sandwick team. This was a very entertaining match to watch, mainly due to the enthusiasm of the Hotspurs team.
Sandwick took an early 9-2 lead from the consistent serving of Sverre Riise and some good hitting from Kevin Smith. However, the Hotspurs rallied with a strong cross court hit from Shane Jamieson and good pick-ups in the back court by Kevin Moar.
Sandwick continued to build up the lead with more strong serving from Iain White but the quick reactions and good blocking at the net by Harry’s Hotspurs led to several exciting rallies. Sandwick now had a 20-6 lead but the Hotspurs fought back to 20-10 before Sandwick got the serve back and new player Mark Fountain held his nerve and serve to win the first set 25-10.
Set two was a much closer contest, where lack of communication between the Sandwick team and Hotspurs settling into their game saw the lead change with almost every point. Good defending by Joe O’Connor and Kevin Moar of Hotspurs took the score to eight-all. But Sandwick began to pull away with more consistent serving from Fountain and Jimmy Morris, and excellent defending by Tomas Smith and Kevin Smith. The set finished with Cal Nicolson of Hotspurs going up for a hit and landing on the Sandwick side of the court. Sandwick had taken the set 25-15.
Hotspurs were undaunted by being two sets down and started the third with great determination. The lead changed frequently with each team trying to get the upper hand. Good defending by Ewan Ellis in the backcourt and excellent hitting by Riise for Sandwick were noteworthy in the early stages. This was countered by equally strong hitting by Shane Jamieson and Kyle Duncan chasing down every ball for Hotspurs and the score moved to 10-10.
A clever tip by Tomas Smith and good serving by Ewan Ellis saw Sandwick developing a small lead to 14-11. A number of unforced errors from Hotspurs allowed Sandwick to increase their lead to 21-15. An over-hard hit from Kevin Smith lost Sandwick the serve but he redeemed himself with his next shot which he placed just within Hotspurs back line to take the serve back at 24-18. However, Hotspurs were not finished yet and took another three points before Sandwick managed to clinch the match with a set score of 25-21.
MVP for Sandwick was Kevin Smith while MVP for Hotspurs was Cal Nicolson.
BP Sullom Voe Ladies’ League
JBT Ladies 3, Sandwick Ladies 1
No report was received.
LadySpurs Express 0, Shet. Freezer Foods 3
(12-25, 21-25, 23-25)
Going into the match both teams were fairly confident, having recorded wins in their last outings. The warm-up phase looked to be fairly intense and all the indications were for another entertaining game and they didn’t disappoint those watching.
SFF have a good solid core to their team in Shona Nisbet, Margaret Johnston and Liz Haining, all experienced ex-county players and members of the 2005 island games squad. LadySpurs, on the other hand, are undergoing a rebuilding phase, being an amalgamation of two teams with some steep learning curves to climb. This can lead to some confusion and a loss of focus at times which was evident in set one where LadySpurs struggled to read the game and were a little slow at reacting to the ever-changing game situations as they evolved during each rally.
SFF were able to build on some steady defensive work with good transition into an effective offence which, more often than not, resulted in points won. LadySpurs were unable to counter effectively and conceded the first set 12-25. In the second set LadySpurs were a little more animated and gradually began to play the volleyball they are capable of. This brought out the pre-match promise of some very entertaining play with some long, energy-sapping, rallies. Hitters on both teams began to swing at the ball freely and the LadySpurs duo of Valerie Morrison and Sarah Grogan began to dominate at the net when given well placed sets for them to attack.
A few silly unforced errors unsettled both teams but SFF were able to rely upon some excellent pressure serving from the ever-smiling Melissa Calderwood who serves with real venom and some very intelligent high underarm serving from Nisbet to rack up point after point for them. The set was close and could have gone either way but went the way of SFF 25-21.
The prospect of having to go another three sets to steal a win should have weighed heavily upon the LadySpurs players but they increased their focus and raised their level of play. If set two was close then the third was even closer, the only difference between the teams being that SFF kept their cool better during the pressure situations. The final point was won due to a mix up in communication between two of the LadySpurs receivers which saw the ball drop on to court between them. The third set was won by SFF 25-23. MVPs were Shona Nisbet for SFF who was outstanding in defence and Jillian Copland for LadySpurs who had to work very hard to provide opportunities for her hitters.
Fixtures Tonight – Sandwick Games Hall: Burra v LadySpurs Express at 6.30pm (first referee Sandwick men, second referee JBT Sovers); Sandwick v JBT Sovers at 8.30pm (first referee Burra, second referee LadySpurs Express) .
Clickimin: T Rowley Juniors v Shetland Freezer Foods at 7pm (first referee JBT, second referee Harry’s Hotspurs); JBT v Harry’s Hotspurs at 9pm (first referee T Rowley Juniors, second referee Shetland Freezer Foods).