LadySpurs inflict defeat on title hopefuls

Burra’s hopes of winning the women’s volleyball league were dealt a severe blow when they were beaten by LadySpurs at the weekend, although Burra did bounce back with victory over Benchwarmers. The other match saw Sandwick Ladies triumph over Shetland Freezer Foods.

BP Sullom Voe Women’s League

Sandwick Ladies 3, Shet Freezer Foods 1
(25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 15-19)

The match started evenly, point for point up to 7-7 and then Sandwick started to pull away thanks to some good serving and solid net play. Before long the score was 21-12 to Sandwick. Freezer Foods’ Liz Haining finally managed to drag them back into the game but it was too little too late as Sandwick took the set 25-21.

The second set started scrappily but Sandwick again began to dominate as SFF made several unforced errors. Nicola Sinclair’s serving was proving difficult to deal with, forcing SFF to take a time-out at 10-2. This seemed to do the trick as they regained focus and forced Sandwick to start making mistakes.

With the score now 15-15, both teams started playing well, resulting in several entertaining rallies. Margaret Johnson and Ruth Christie both proved their worth, fighting hard for their respective teams but it was SFF’s determination that shone through to take the second set 25-23.

Despite the arrival of Sandwick’s cheering support, it took them a while to get going in the third set as SFF continued their run of form. Becky Peterson recovered several important shots to keep Sandwick going however and they managed to claw their way back to 13-13.

Both teams were again playing well, with Sandwick’s composed defending equal to some accurate setting and hitting by SFF with Shona Nisbet keeping her team focused. Sandwick eventually fought back and Becky Peterson’s hard hit from a low angle sealed set three 25-20.

Sandwick started the fourth set the brighter but it wasn’t long before some good serving by Melissa Calderwood and Margaret Johnson brought SFF back in the game. Both sides again were playing strongly, matching each other for long periods of time. But Sandwick won a particularly long and exciting rally and that proved the catalyst to take the set 25-19 and seal the match.

Most valuable players were Becky Peterson for Sandwick and Shona Nisbet for Shetland Freezer Foods.

LadySpurs 3, Burra 2
(25-22, 25-17, 18-25, 21-25, 15-8)

Through some powerful serving from Valeska Voelschow and good net play from Sarah Couper, Burra took a 5-2 lead. Some hot serving from Renata Bielenica and Louise Moar of Spurs put them in front at 9-8. Again serving was the telling factor as Rebecca Riley helped herself to a hatful of points to take Burra to 11-16 in front.

Spurs then kicked into gear and with some impressive hitting from Sarah Grogan they hauled back the deficit. From there they continued their run and finished off the set with a block from Denise Morrison 25-22.

Valeska started set two with four explosive serves but thereafter a combination of Morrison serving and well-placed Grogan hitting gave LadySpurs the lead. Burra tried valiantly to keep in touch with some good play from Stacey Laurenson and Kristan Robertson but went down 25-17.

Set three was again a tale of good serving and poor service reception. Valeska had a run of 10 serves that gave Burra a nine-point lead. Any kind of comeback looked unlikely, but Louise Moar and Dawn Manson managed to serve the LadySpurs to within two points. Burra had the set within their sights though and finished it off 18-25.

LadySpurs got off to a good start in set three with some top class hitting from Grogan. Just when Burra thought they would get some respite, Morrison came to the frontline to heap on more misery.

Burra gained some much-needed encouragement and momentum when Stacey finally got her serving arm working. Kristan took over and propelled Burra into the lead at 19-16.

The substitution of Marie Clark seemed to be an inspirational move from coach Manson as LadySpurs recaptured the lead. The blood rushed from their faces, however, as Valeska took to the service line again. She delivered several forearm shattering serves to polish off a well-deserved comeback to take the game into a fifth set.

With the time fast approaching 9pm both teams took to the floor knowing an early lead could earn victory. LadySpurs took the final set by the scruff of the neck and reached the magic 15 point mark with one minute to spare.

Deservedly Sarah Grogan earned MVP for LadySpurs. The heroics of Laurenson, diving over the back­court, could not stand in the way of Valeska Voelschow being awarded MVP for Burra. This was a thrilling game of volleyball that could have gone either way and is certainly a contender for game of the season.

Burra 3, Bench Warmers 0
(25-6, 25-14, 25-20)

The match started tentatively with Bench Warmers still a bit unsure of themselves and Burra coming off the back of a tough five-setter against LadySpurs. The BWs passed quite well but couldn’t translate this into points. Burra were finding more time to control the ball and work their three touches to good effect. Ultimately this along with their better organisation was the telling factor and they eased the set 25-6.

Bench Warmers started the second set much more brightly and sneaked ahead at 10-8 through sensible play and a block or two. They kept the momentum going to eke out more of a lead at 13-10. Then Valeska Voelschow crushed any hope of the BWs’ first set win by pounding 12 serves in a row. Sarah Couper then rounded off the set 25-14.

After performing well in set two Bench Warmers took to the floor with a spring in their step and deservedly went ahead 6-3. Burra overhauled the lead though and not even a cracking hit from Gayle Johnson could halt their progress. Burra then lost concentration, composure and BWs crept back to 11-all.

Then at 15-12 to Burra jaws could be heard hitting the floor as Stacey Laurenson subtly tipped the ball into space to win a point. Excellent scrambling from Bench Warmers, particularly Susan Morrison, level­led it again at 16-16.

Valeska then stepped up to the service line to try to finish it off. The resilient BWs only allowed her five points this time and then raked back four of their own. Unfortunately this was all they had left as Burra took the set 25-20 and the game 3-0.

Valeska earned her second MVP of the night for Burra and Susan Morrison got the nod for Bench Warmers.

BP Sullom Voe Men’s League

LHD Drifters 3, JBT Sovers 0

LHD Drifters were award the points as JBT Sovers could not field a team.

DITT Globetrotters 3, Harry’s Hotspurs 0

DITT Globetrotters were awarded the points as Harry’s Hotspurs failed to field a team.

Fixtures Tonight – Sandwick Games Hall: Burra v T Rowley Juniors at 6.30pm (first referee Sandwick men, second referee LHD Drifters); Sandwick men v LHD Drifters at 8.30pm (first referee Burra, second referee T Rowley Juniors).

Clickimin: Bench Warmers v JBT Ladies at 7pm (first referee JBT Sovers, second referee Harry’s Hotspurs); JBT Sovers v Harry’s Hotspurs at 9pm (first referee Bench Warmers, second referee JBT Ladies).


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