Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (19/11/2016)

Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (19/11/2016)

Saturday 19th November 2016 at 12:06pm we embarked on our journey to Orchard School along with our team mascot of the day, Dom’s suitcase.

Our first opponents were Mr Pennifold’s Cheddar Cheese VC. With some pep talk from Chris, we went into the game with gusto, aiming to show to Rob what we were capable of. The first set did not get off to the best of starts, with an atrocious attempt of a serve from Mr Shean Bovornsukul. The game was long and arduous but the team whole-heartedly fought back, with some good hits and the unforgettable block by Raphael to deny Rob, his moment to impress a particular someone! Nevertheless, our efforts could not prevent us from being defeated in both sets, 25-15 and 25-5 respectively.

The second game was against Bath 2nd, a team who we had the utmost confidence to beat and secure a rare BDVA win. With the combination of impressive hits and poor defending from the other team, we started to build a good lead. Then up stepped Wilf. His serving form on fire, he singlehandedly won 8 points however for some reason he seemed to be mentally in pain. Regardless of this, the first set ended on a high with us winning 25-14.

With that impressive performance, the “half time” talk was a quiet one. With an awkward “Shall we..?” we placed our hands together before setting off to rightfully claim our win. The second set was much more heavily contested. With some silly errors, Bath were able to cling onto us but with our burning hearts of desire, we saw through to the end of the set to win 25-23.

The team showed many improvements throughout the afternoon with Raphael being awarded as our MOTM. After some words of encouragements from the experienced veterans of Cheddar VC, thus started the long journey back home.

Written by: Dom Minton

Ladies 2nds BDVA tournament (22/10/16)

Ladies 2nds BDVA tournament (22/10/16)

It was Saturday morning, only a couple of weeks into the season and despite a series of cancellations we had managed to get a squad of 7 girls going. The day started out confusingly with captain Maria waking up only 20 min before meeting time due to a default alarm and our brilliant new setter Megan stuck in Stoke Bishop. Somehow we all made it to Wellsway in time to go through rotations with both Bryony and Julie playing a new position. Ready to take on TipTop in the first game we started our warm up.

Despite some okay volleyball played from all sides; Bryony getting the opposite rotation, Megan and Alicia delivering some great sets, Beccy shouting encouragements from the side line (the set included a small rotation break down from Antilia) it wasn’t enough to beat the winner of the league last year and we had to let the game go 25-11, 25-8.

Reflecting on our first game we took a well deserved break while reffing the TipTop vs. Bath game that similarly came to a 2-0 close for TipTop. Coach Beccy provided cookies (the highlight of our day).

Time for our 2nd game. We threw ourselves head first into the battle for honour against Bath 1sts. We were off to a good start with every player showing off some great technique individually and it was a close battle all the way to the end of first set. Antilia fired some great hits at the floor, Samantha delivered some great tips and Julie some smashing serves. 1st set went to Bath in the last minutes with a close 25-20. 2nd set we started out strongly and forced Bath to call a time-out at 7-2. Despite the fact that we definitely could have won the game with Maria and Bryony’s strong front court determination and Megan’s great sets, we gave it away due to some untimely blocking, confused rotations and Bath’s killer serves.

Defeated, but surprisingly happy, we left Wellsway and journeyed back to Bristol through the most beautiful sunset munching on cookies. A great way to end the day.

MVP: Megan de Jode

Written by: Julie Andersen

Ladies 1sts BDVA Tournament (22/10/2016)

Ladies 1sts BDVA Tournament (22/10/2016)

The cloudy early morning of 22nd of October found 9 of the Ladies 1sts “enjoying” the cold and “enthusiastically” waiting around the fountains for the bus to their first BDVA fixture of the season. The atmosphere was lightened up by the vice captain’s impeccable navigation skills on the mean streets of Bedminster, along with the captain’s fascination with Natalie Jennings accent, sparking an entire Downton Abbey-themed day(“Natalie, whenever I want to describe you to my friends, I say: I have never seen Downton Abbey, but that is how I imagine the characters speak.” – Bălan, 2k16). Having arrived at the venue, aka ‘Polar Wonderland’, excitement levels, but also nervousness, rose.

First match, against City of Bristol, started off a bit wobbly, with Bristol taking the traditional first 10 minutes of a game to find their feet. Really, we like keeping our audience on edge. The confusion about time-outs probably didn’t help either. However, we get to see some great blocks from Saskia ‘ROOF’ Webster in the middle and passes from opposite Saskia ‘I Don’t Know Why I Have a Dutch Name’ Wallis. Yes, we have 2 Saskias in the team: what were the chances?! Unfortunately, it was not enough to get back into the set, losing it by over a 15-point difference. Second set saw an improvement in terms of team coordination, yet it could not match the opposing team’s experience of playing together for a long time. Despite perfect passes and sets from opposite Annabelle ‘Blue Eyes’ McCombe and outside Natalie ‘Cheeky Line Hits’ Jennings putting up a good fight on court, the time-out catches Bristol behind their rivals. With the captain encouraging the ladies to ‘make noise like they’re winning the f****ing set’ despite a 10-point gap, the team sees a spike in sassiness on court and the loud Bristolians are back in business. Sadly, this time it did not scare people off quite as fast as needed, so they lose the second set, with final score 25-9, 25-7.

Second game, against BVC 4th team, was more leveled. With Sas ‘Just Sas’ Wallis moving to outside and McCombe staying opposite, the team was unstoppable. Moreover, Angela ‘Power House’ Liu hitting some incredibly strong attacks from 4, as well as Annita ‘Italian Sasssss’ Papa getting some very clever variation between tips and hits (and her almost-scary enthusiasm during play), had the other side of the court trembling with fear. As a result, first set goes down 25-17 for the ladies in maroon. Couple of reasonable serves in a row from Lorena ‘Failed Attempt at Being a Motivational Speaker’ Bălan and Io ‘Ela!’ Vournas-Kaffes coming on court with solid passes in second set gave the ladies a comfortable lead, which they kept til the very end of the match, at 25-18. Celebratory froyo was in order, with two happy captains getting very excited about what the future holds for this team.

Great team dynamics overall, with everyone covering the entire court and calling for every ball.  With such great potential and such a great turnaround from first game to the second, we are looking at some big things coming from this squad in the upcoming fixtures!

Player of the Match: Sas Wallis, for great play not only as opposite, but also as outside, quickly and easily adapting to the different rotations and smashing some great balls along the line. Don’t be fooled by her height, this pint-sized Australian, like everything else in her home-country, is a real danger!

Written by: Lorena Bălan

Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (15/10/2016)

Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (15/10/2016)

On a rare non rainy Bristol day, the brand new men’s 2nd team start off their new volleyball season with two BDVA matches at Bedminster.

With the hangover from Embargos last night still lingering, the squad leaves from the coach station. Oddly, many team members (old and new alike) chose to have a wonderful defecation as the pre match routine, resulting in a queue at the toilet in the (fragrant) changing room.

First game was against City of Bristol. The time for warm ups was very brief, therefore the starting six of the team were immediately thrown onto court, confused as if they were still in the club since last night, begins the game with only the vaguest idea about rotations. The beginning was a bit rough, with our team mostly being the passive side. However, after a bit of adjustments, the team picked up the pace and started to score some points, with a few rather impressive hits by Shean and Luuk, and even a rare block by the Brazilian sensation, Felipe. Nevertheless, these were not enough to prevent a 8–25 loss of the first set.

After switching sides, the game continues with our team showing some great overall progress. However, casualties were sustained when Chan ‘The Conquerer of Brazil’ elbowed Felipe in the face due to height problems during a hustle play. The aftermath was rather bloody therefore the substitute setter Ben stepped in as replacement. Confusion about the rotations occurred, thus a timeout was called to sort it out. But that was not enough to prevent us being defeated 9–25 in the second set.

The second was against Cardiff Wildcats, a team of equal competence as the first. Learning from the first game’s loss, we quickly seized the initiative and racked up some quick points, forcing our opponent to call a timeout. The momentum switched after the time out, we were then no longer holding the scores tight. And Cardiff sprinted to a 25–14 victory.

The second set ended with the same score. But we managed to put up some good lengthy rallies, although we didn’t manage to win those, shame. Bold experiments of some new tactics were also attempted, notably, Ralph and Shiraz successfully developed a combo shot. Some good team chemistry is certainly developing!

Despite two clean losses, the new team however showed some great improvements throughout the morning. A very promising beginning for the new season.

Written by: Dom Minton

Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (04/12/2015)

Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (04/12/2015)

 

For our first B&DVA fixture of December, Bristol Mens 2nds were travelling to Bedminster Down School for an early match against Cheddar and BEMI. After meeting for the 75 bus at half 8 the whole team rendezvoused at the school, ready to take on today’s challenge in the infamously cold sports hall. Targeting a win today Bristol went into their first game against Cheddar with high hopes.

Bristol played what was believed to be a revolutionary new line up for the club featuring team captain Felipe as an outside instead of his usual role as libero. Bristol had a slow start trying as we settled into the game with a few simple error on serves, passing and calls. But before too long we finally settled into our 4-2 formation and with good setting from Chan and Florian, and hitting from everyone Bristol put up a good fight for the first set that was narrowly contested until Cheddar finally broke away and stole the set.

After a switching of sides and a team talk from coach Tim, Bristol got back into a rhythm for the second set. We put up a good fight for the set as we fell into formation and picked up on some of the sloppy errors of the previous set. But our work rate was not reflect in the harsh score line but Cheddar’s changes were too much for us and with some good volleyball and great hitting on their behalf the set was lost, adding to the 2nds losses in B&DVA as we still search for that elusive win.

Bristol had time to reflect on this defeat as we took a break to ref Cheddar vs BEMI ending in a 2 X 0 win for Cheddar in a strongly contested match. After another thorough warm-up it was game on as Bristol faced off against our coach Tim’s team, BEMI.

The first set showed similar signs of nervousness and unfamiliarity that haunted us in our first set against Cheddar. Although after some merciful on court guidance by Tim, Bristol slowly picked up some of the pieces but still went on to lose the set at a disrespectful score of 9 – 25. Although this may not have reflected our late turn around we concluded to forget about this and start fresh.

Set two was not going to be lost without a fight. This was instantly recognised as an eager Bristol team brought some of “our best volleyball yet” to the court. This score was contested a lot closer than the previous with some superb hits from all and high energy as not a single ball was left without chase from Bristol. In the middle of the set both team duelled it out in an incredible rally to which both team should be proud for and which we admirably lost. In the end the experience of the BEMI players was enough to trump the 2nds and resulted 18 – 25 loss of the set that the team should be proud of.

Player of the Match: Chan Sheng for some excellent hitting, setting and energy in his game; well earned.

Written by: Lewis Caiger

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (28/11/2015)

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (28/11/2015)

It was a bleak English Saturday when the Bristol Ladies 2nd team made the journey to Wellsway school. Fortunately the meet-up time was 10:20am at the Bristol Bus Station, so everyone had a longer hangover recovery period than normal. However, it seemed that Angela ‘Better Late Than Never’ Liu, needed it the most; she woke up at 10am after a botched alarm clock setting, yet still made it to the station by 10:23am. That was one of the many magical moments of this glorious day.
The team was led by Maria ‘the Intimidator’ Klønhammer who had been to Wellsway the previous week. Unfortunately while walking there she became distracted with talk about Secret Santa and led her comrades down the wrong path for around 27 seconds. Nevertheless she quickly recovered and led the team to victory (up a hill steeper than Park street) and we arrived at Wellsway on time.
Excitement was brewing as warm-ups began. In fact, there was so much excitement that the team did not know which direction to jog and where to go. Feet were stepped on, friendships broken, and loyalties questioned. However, through Maria ‘Follow Me’ Klønhammer’s quick thinking the team settled into a solid back-and-forth jog cycle on one side of a court.
Let the games begin!
The first set began and Taunton, the opposing team, served first. The serves came hard and fast but Maria ‘Kickin’ it’ Guerro-Farías did her best to send them flying high and proud.  Caitlin ‘the Flash’ Ross would then swiftly set and Angela ‘the Hulk’ Liu would strike with a vengeance and startle the other team with her unassuming strength. Even though the Ladies 2nd was still a bit uncertain about positions and where exactly to move, they mostly ended up at the right spots and played as seamlessly as they could. Despite this phenomenal play it would seem the odds were not in the Ladies 2nd‘s favor and they lost the first set to Taunton.
In the second set we were not at all disheartened. Cheers were loud and camaraderie celebrated for every point won and for every point lost. It baffled the other team but fired up the Ladies 2nd. Morgane ‘the Extravagant’ Singh proudly cried ‘MOOORGAN’ before pushing balls deep into enemy territory with her powerful sets. María ‘Knock ‘em Dead’ Guerro-Farías didn’t hold back as she spiked the ball and overpowered whoever was unfortunate enough to receive the hit. Charlie ‘and The Chocolate Factory’ Edge flawlessly set even the most difficult to receive passes, which were successfully picked up by Maria ‘Spike First, Ask Questions Later’ Klønhammer. However, despite the strong play, the 2nd team was unable to secure the win.
This did not discourage the team but instead emboldened them to bring their A-game for the next game against TipTop.
After some beautiful serves from Charlie ‘Say what?’ Edge the team was off to a good start. Charlie’s passion was clear and indomitable as she yelled ‘Help!’ even when the ball was far out of reach or against the back wall of the gym. Overall there was even greater improvement in movement; and if someone forgot where to move they immediately recognized their error, which highlights the improved understanding of the game and appropriate gameplay. Tolu ‘Smack ‘em’ Alegbeleye was able to receive some impressive serves and pass them to Caitlin ‘the Incredible’ Ross who flawlessly set them for Angela ‘the Thing’ Liu to hit. However, due to Tolu’s eagerness and the viciousness of the serves from the opposing team, Tolu unintentionally sacrificed herself on two occasions and took balls directly to the face that actually bounced upwards, but unfortunately were too far away to pass. She has now vowed to improve her volleyface digging for future games.
When Xing Xing ‘Criminal Minds’ Chen played the front positions, despite her unassumingly cute and small stature, she successfully cleared the net and blocked some hard hits from the opposing team. The game was crazy fun with all members cheering and laughing as the match went on. On Tiptopp’s team? Radio silence. This just goes to show how amazing the Ladies 2nd team is at having fun. At the end of the day it seemed that little things won points for the opposing team and the Ladies 2nd once again lost. Despite the losses the Ladies 2nd team grew closer and chattered amongst themselves with excitement, mentioning the various ways they saw improvements in themselves and their teammates and how through greater, more focused practices they could see even greater refinement in their playing. So onwards they charge!
Player of the Match: Angela ‘Are We Even Surprised Anymore?’ Liu.
Written by: Tolulope Alegbeleye

Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

Mens 2nds BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

It was early on a cold Saturday morning (yes, 10am is early for some of us) when the men’s 2nd team met up at the coach station to head over to the peaceful town of Keynsham for our BVDA fixture. Our bus quickly filled up with other volley-ballers as we soon found out that all four of Bristol’s men’s and women’s teams would be playing at Keynsham today.
At long last we had arrived at our venue and our first game would be against the mighty men’s 1sts. Spurred on by our on-court captain Florian “Or is it Jeremie?” Potier with his delightful setting; the first set started off in our favour with us taking an early 4-2 lead. Moments later, a slight misplay almost saw a repeat of a horror injury which took place last month when Ralph “Also known as the house from Up” Bernardo almost jumped straight into the side poles again. This time, Ralph was aware of the daunting presence of the pole and swiftly managed to avoid any injury. Good one, Ralph. Despite the early positives, we eventually lost the set 25-15.
The second set started in similar fashion with us trailing slightly behind the 1sts. Some great passing by Chan “The boy with the dragon tattoo” Sheng helped us to keep the ball alive to witness some thundering spikes and acrobatic efforts with his feet (yet again) from Simos “We should get cheerleaders” Koutsoftides. We were able to keep up with the 1sts much closer this time with some smart and persistent play, however we ultimately lost the set 25-20.
We featured a very experimental lineup in our second game against the Bath men’s 1st team with, yours truly, Kenji “I really shouldn’t be setting” Capannelli stepping in as a setter. The game started off in a nervous fashion, with us hastily giving away points due to silly errors. A talking from our Captain/Coach Felipe “I can reach over the net” Freitas during a timeout helped us to find our feet and to get more of a rhythm going in our play.  Despite this, we still succumbed to a 25-11 defeat in the first set.
Our lack of energy and tiredness was beginning to show in the second set as Bath started to take the lead. Refusing to give up quite so easily, Lewis “Likes to go running in pink tutus” Caiger and Matthew “Yup-Yup” Wincott contributed with some alert passing and hitting, demonstrating that their growth in volleyball skills was much like a good cheddar: mature. We lost the second set 25-10, but it was delightful to see our team starting to come together and make the right decisions on court. The result may not have been positive, but we will take our defeat as a lesson and come back stronger next time on court.
Player of the Match: Goes to Simos for his excellent hitting and generally great all-round play that kept the team together against the men’s 1sts.
Written by: Kenji Capannelli

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

This was the weekend we had all been looking forward to, although perhaps being slightly terrified at the same time. This was the weekend we would take it up not only against Bath, but also against our ladies first team. We arrived at the bus station where we joined forces with the men’s second team who would also be playing against the first team. Luckily for Maria, who was supposed to guide us to the sports hall, Felipe, who has better leadership skills than Obama, Ghandi and Nelson Mandela combined, took over and safely got us to Wellsway (although he refused to pay). The fact that there were only six of us playing (priorities, priorities, priorities) didn’t matter as Wellsway was one big UoB volleyball fiesta.

When we arrived we started out by reffing a beautiful game between Bath and Bristol 1st. After that it was time to put ourselves to the test by taking it up against Bristol 1st.  Having spent most of our Friday training session on rotations, we were more or less a well-oiled machine. Zoe, being our only setter, delivered some great sets and although our blocking might need some improvement, we played well. There were even moments in both games there where we were taking the lead. For a moment we thought there might be a case of the tortoise winning the race from the hare, but we had to face the fact that the first team is called that for a reason. Our sisters (Yes we forgive you Johanna) might have eaten the cookies meant for Santa, but it was a good game. Nothing better than finding out what needs improving and what your strong point are, than by taking it up against the girls that you know so well (from, you know, dressing up as birds and houses and showing of dance moves together).

The hall being as cold as the Antarctic, caused us to be still slightly cold even after an intense game. Luckily we could keep moving, and move we did, as it was now time to play against Bath. With the support of some of our fellow volleyball players we bravely started the game. Great work from Dasha as an opposite and from Antillia ‘Runs More Than Usain Bolt’ Virginie, accompanied by nice passes from Morgane ‘I Sometimes Forget That I Have Two Arms’ Singh.

We all worked hard, but it is Angela who deserves the applause, the ribbon of honour and the hymn. Not only did she play excellently overall, but her serving caused a tsunami of points. Even though Zoe still tried to make it a democratic vote, none of us had to think long about who the MVP of the day was.

Two losses, but not a single sad face. We improved, we played well together and we know what we did wrong. Another beautiful Saturday and time to join the boys to return to beautiful Bristol.

Ladies 2nds BDVA

Player of the Match: Obviously Angela ‘Serves Like A Canon’ Lui.

 

Written by: Dasha Kravtsova and Maria Klønhammer

Mens 1sts BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

Mens 1sts BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

On Saturday 21st November, the Men’s 1st team travelled to Keynsham for the big one. The one that everyone had been waiting for. The clash of titans. The UOBVC Men’s 1st team took on the UOBVC Men’s 2nd team. Oh, and Bath.

With this season’s later starting time of 11.30, the Men arrived at Wellsway School fresh as a daisy, having had a nice lie in and plenty of time to get ready. Extraordinarily, however, one player was missing. With Mike worried that he might lose his ‘shirtless rave’ reputation, Fergus ‘3 alarms’ Shaw had somehow managed to oversleep and miss his lift.

Even without their full squad, the Men had to go on. Every player was keen to step up. With team captain Chris ‘Cream of Mushroom’ Sherfield taking on a coaching role and thus sacrificing himself from the starting line-up, Rob ‘Not very sweaty at all’ Pennifold was named on-court captain. Not satisfied with this meagre promotion however, Pennifold took it upon himself to become the full captain, marching up to the pre-game coin toss (well actually, it was a ‘guess which hand the whistle is in’. in case you were wondering), much to the despair of Sherfield. The ‘coin toss’ was won, however, with Rob ‘Dry as a freshly tumble-dried towel’ Pennifold choosing to serve. The team talk was short and to the point: ‘Let’s show the 2nd team why we’re the 1st team’.

Unfortunately, it didn’t appear to work. There’s not much to say about the first set, other than it was an extremely lacklustre performance from the Men. Some mildly-acceptable passing from Aidan ‘But you said there was no line to cross’ Mckay and Jonny ‘Sir, Yes Sir’ Childs, mediocre setting from Rob ‘Dry as the Atacama desert’ Pennifold and decent-enough hitting from Plinio ‘Set me!’ Zanini, Craig ‘Charlotte Church’ Tavares-McKoy* and Mike ‘Chips and gravy’ Wilsher, and, more importantly, a superb run of serves from Matt ‘Casual’ Birch, the Men won the first set 25-20.

*The University of Bristol Volleyball Club would like to clarify that this reference is purely to Craig’s singing ability, and nothing to do with his attendance of anti-austerity protest marches, nor his preference for dating famous Welsh Rugby players, for which we can make no comment. We also desperately hope that he never decides to rebel from his classical background to release an awful pop song called ‘Crazy Chick’. Don’t do it Craig, you’re so much better than that.

Needless to say, Chris ‘Tom Yum’ Sherfield was not impressed, labelling it as the worst set of volleyball the team had ever played. He fired the team up, returning them to the court with renewed hunger. Brilliant passing from Felipe ‘This isn’t a nickname, but apparently Mexicans put dried meat in their cocktails. Weird.’ Galindo Sanchez and Justin ‘Alakazam’ Hui. Fantastic line hitting from Childs and Plinio ‘Come on Rob, set me!’ Zanini. The Men slammed home point after point, until they’d gained enough of an advantage that they were confident in seeing out the match. However, that point came when they were just 3-0 up. With the rest of the set panning out rather limply like the first, the Men nonetheless closed out the match, taking a 2-0 win.

While the Men took a break, the supporters continued, with Mrs. Pennifold (my Mother, I’m not quite old enough to be married just yet) striving to learn the rules from McKay’s other half Josie, who ‘did a wonderful job, such a delightful young lady’. Meanwhile, Fergus ‘Henry’ Shaw finally arrived ready to play the second game against Bath.

Now any of you who are acquainted with members of the first team will know that they all have egos more sizeable than Mike’s… err… leg, and certainly don’t need boosting. So I assure you that Sherfield’s decision to put himself on court had no correlation whatsoever with every other player seeming to raise their game and put on an actually quite decent performance for the first set. With Wilsher and Birch running some excellent middle attacks, with Birch already learning of Wilsher’s ability to whisper ‘Reverse’ right before the setter plays the ball, the Men took a good lead. They also decided to actually serve in the court, which helped, in spite of Plinio ‘Pleeeeeease set me, Rob!!!’ Zanini ambitiously attempting a jump serve. Not quite the standard of Craig’s yet, but I’m sure you’ll get there, ‘my sweaty friend’. Anyway, the Men took the first set 25-17.

Of course it didn’t last. Having excelled in the second set to take a strong lead of 15-7, with Shaw and Childs both hitting superbly, Chris ‘Beef Broth’ Sherfield substituted himself off. Again, as if by magic, and no correlation with Chris’ ability on court, the rest of the team slumped. Bath capitalised on this, bringing back a number of points, and eventually winning the second set 25-23.

The third set was to be to 15. Sherfield, clearly not at all satisfied with the performance so far that day, told the team to have no mercy on the Bath team, who had just celebrated winning a set like they’d won the World Cup. The Men had clearly had enough of playing badly, so they went out in the final set with a new sense of supremity. With Sherfield actually meriting his ego boost this time, scoring 4 of the first 8 points before the side-change with some excellent hitting, the Men opened up a big advantage. They finally managed to continue it throughout the set, with each player showing a resemblance of their real ability. Finishing on a high, the Men took the final set 15-7 and thus the game 2-1.

Not the most pleasing of days, but two wins in preparation of the long journey to Warwick (4 hours?! Google says it’s only 1h 51 minutes!) for Wednesday’s BUCS Trophy match.

Onwards.

Player of the Match: Matt Birch

Written by Rob Pennifold

Ladies 1sts BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

Ladies 1sts BDVA Tournament (21/11/2015)

Ah the weekend…Time to sleep in after an excessive party, to binge watch your favourite TV show and to regain strength for the next week. Oh or… you could get up way too early, leave your house, travel in the ice-cold wind to a gym heated up to the toasty temperature of you average refrigerator where you will freeze your butt of while playing all the people who you regularly see in your own gym just around the corner. That does sound like a lovely Saturday morning doesn’t it?

But at least it was not just the Ladies 1st Team who needed to neglect their much beloved beauty sleep! The whole Bristol Volleyball Family fought the mighty hangover and the arctic temperatures to compete in the BDVA-tournament. One of the ladies almost didn’t make it though due to a hot and greasy morning date with a mysterious man. Don’t worry though your dirty little secrets are safe with me.

The Ladies were starting with a clean slate after two triumphs and two shameful defeats but the spirits were never higher. This was partially due to a great team spirit but it was mostly the promise of soft, buttery German-chocolate-cookies brought out the fighter in every single player.

But then the first task that seemed almost impossible: warming up the icy-cold hand and feet and stealing some “not totally shitty” balls from the second team’s bag! After totally killing this task the next one proved even more difficult: Bath Uni! Like usual our team needed some time in the first set to remember how to actually  play Volleyball  but then –  let me tell you – textbook volleyball. Our very own Patricia ‘Sharapova’ Mejia pushed out one perfect set after the other, only stopping to hit the hardest serves of the day. But she is also the only one making inappropriate noises while serving… this is not tennis you know! But the star of this set was without a doubt Jasmine ‘I’ll hit You Where It Hurts’ Zhang who was smacking it hard but was cold-blooded enough to tip it to the right place at the right time securing the final point (26-24) with a long push to position five.
The great volleyball continued in the second set with beautiful passing by Libero ‘Anna Watch Out Karoline’ Meletiou and well-placed tips by Adelaide ‘Tipping Is Not optional Where I’m From’ Hargreaves. All in all, a great effort from everyone and another win for the Bristol Ladies!

The day was not over though and a moral dilemma was coming up…how do you play against your own family? Ladies 1st vs. Ladies 2nd! The clash of the Titans! Only the Klitschko Brothers could understand this feeling. (Do British people even know those guys? Have they ever boxed against each other? Why do people even watch boxing? That is just a weird sport.) Especially for Gaby ‘I Am An Asset To Any Team’ Cropper this was difficult situation.  After a strong start the Ladies started to look as guilty as a little kid after eating the cookies which were intended for Santa Claus. (Do people in the U.K. even do that? Is he called Santa Claus here?) However the hunger for a double win and baked goods was stronger than the guilt of beating your own family and the Ladies 1st were leaving the court with two wins. Hopefully time is gonna heal those deep wounds and our sisters will forgive us.

However, the best part was still to come: even though we won two games, our lovely coach Abi ‘Drill Sergeant’ Wooden made the whole team do 5 crunches for every serve someone missed, providing us with irritated looks by the Bath Team. Special thanks to Jalayna ‘Oh Swing On That’ Szepesi for coming with us and giving tips and feedback.

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Player of the Match and Coaches’ pick: goes to Jasmine ‘Smack That’ Zhang for beautifully placed tips and smart attacks! Also thanks for taking the time to play Wednesday and Saturday #commitment!!!
Special mention to Gaby ‘I Serve It Everytime’ Copper for her serving streak in the second game!

We are growing together as a team and everyone has improved…Proud to play with you guys!

Written by: Johanna Mast

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (07/11/2015)

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (07/11/2015)

It was early, very early, and exactly twelve hours after we had finished our training from the day before, when Ladies second gathered at the bodacious Bristol bus station. It was Caitlin and Maria K who led us to the beautiful, and more importantly, spacious Sports Hall of Bedminster (some of us had been traumatised by the claustrophobic hall in Cardiff for our BUCS games). With more discipline and efficiency than the Bristol University Royal Naval Unit at the Remembrance Day parade, eight of us made our way to the place where we would take it up against the Cardiff Jets and Bristol VC.

On our way there we found out that we were a group of many nationalities: Dasha from Kazakhstan, Angela from China, Tolu from the US (although she got herself out of writing this match report by saying that she was also Nigerian and claimed that English is not their national language…Wikipedia claims otherwise), Antilia from France, Maria G from Colombia, Maria K from The Netherlands, Caitlin from the UK and Morgane from France and the UK. This meant that all of us had learned volleyball in another language (Even Caitlin, who learned to play in Paraguay) resulting in a very broad knowledge of volleyball terms in different languages.

It was in the sports hall where we met up with Tim, who had many wise words for us. As we have been only playing together for two months and six of us are new on the team, there are still many things to learn, but as we all had the excitement of ten days old puppies, these were challenges we could not wait to take.

We started our first match with a beautiful serve from Antillia. And even though we were at times rather confused, with some desperate ‘oh no’ yelling from Morgane, we fought our way through the first set. There were great sets that only got better throughout the two games by Dasha, who was new as a setter, and Caitlin, our more seasoned setter. It was in the second set that we scored a point by a kick more impressive than Rene Higuita’s scorpion kick. Both Maria G and Higuita are Colombians, so there might be something in the water.

We got more used to the rotations, started playing more as a well-established team, got louder: we improved. But, alas, we lost both sets and thus the match. It was time for some reffing.

After witnessing a beautiful match between the Jets and Bristol VC and having become as cold as Australians who got deported to the Alaska, it was time for our second match. A match where our improvement as a team already was already showing. Morgane, together with Maria K, who got to be Zoe for a day, made sure we cheered louder and louder every set. Tolu had an amazing last-minute fall backward to ensure that the ball would not hit here, but the floor outside the court. There was a lot of angry yelling (but the good kind of angry, like the yelling of passionate lovers) and very good, consistent passing by Angela.

Again: We got more used to the rotations, started playing more as a well-established team and started to feel more confident, got louder: we improved. But, alas, we lost both sets and thus the match. But it did not matter. We came out a different team than we had come in as. A team that played better together, who felt more confident and did not run around the court like headless chickens (or special space cadets). Special mention to Tim, who besides doing a great job on coaching us, finally managed to pronounce Tolu’s name exactly as you’re supposed to.

It was time to end a great that full of great volleyball. Morgane expressed her love for IKEA and the others had, the inevitable when being with a group of internationals, yet another fight about language (“your stupid French counting doesn’t make any sense” *gestures that I will not describe here* “well at least it taught us how to do maths, unlike you Brits” etc. etc.), what more do you want from a Saturday.

MVP: the nominations for mvp promis for a team that will play very well together.  There were as many as five different people nominated, with Caitlin, Maria G and Antilia getting the most votes.
Written by: Maria Klønhammer

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (17/10/2015)

Ladies 2nds BDVA Tournament (17/10/2015)

“You can’t just give up! Is that what a dinosaur would do?!”

Joey Tribbiani

It was on the early (much to early) hours of Saturday the 17th of October that the Ladies 2nd Team woke up and directed themselves towards the hidden Bristol Coach Station. They were advised to meet at Bay 17, but some dared to stand halfway – right between 16 and 17 – making us believe they were in two places at once (one of the many amazing deeds of the day).

After kicking it off nice and softly with a grumpy bus driver who hated to be confused as a taxi, the brave Caitlin lead the whole team to the right bus – and very lady-like payed all of our tickets. For that, I must say we wouldn’t had made it without her (THANKS CAITLIN, YOU RULE!). Within a few minutes (sort of, when having fun the notion of time seems to suffer a significant reduction), we arrived at our stop in the quite mysterious land of Keynsham. Within 15 minutes of a massive cardio/warm up walk we arrived at the lovely Wellsway School – of which we saw only the gymnasium, outside courts and endless fields of green.

While chatting about future dreams and goals for after the game, the whole team was surprised by a Sainsbury’s Mighty Bag filled with MARVELLOUS deep red uniforms! Everybody was very polite about choosing their numbered t-shirts and I saw that as a sign of great bonding and everlasting love among this family that is the Ladies 2nd team.

Well, now comes the most exciting part: THE GAME. While still getting ready for the match we were surprised by the appearance of fellow teammates wearing a dark blue XXL shirt…….THE BEMI TEAM SHIRT! That was quite a shocker and we needed some sweets to get over it, but finally we managed to understand the situation and rise above it. We had two games that day, we needed to GET IT TOGETHER AND SERVE THEM ALL!

Our first game, against BEMI, was intense. IT HAD IT ALL: EMOTIONAL TENSION, EXCITEMENT, SWEAT, YELLING, CHEERS, HAND SLAPPING, DIGGING AND SOME PENETRATING performed by our sparkling captain CHARLIE. Along with all that we had another aspect to process: we had never EVER played together! YES, GOOSEBUMPS INDEED! So first set: really intense, filled up with excited cheers (yes, I include myself and my uncontrolled excitement), tips from Tim (ESPECIALLY ABOUT OUR POSITIONS IN COURT) and some awkward nervous laughs. Our reception was beautiful – dig after dig the volleyball made a parabolic movement towards the setter. Some spike action was perceived through the hands of Maria L. and Dasha Jr. Special glitter dust to our libero, Angela who never faded! In spite of all that, we lost the first set. BUT THAT DID NOT MATTER, once our TEAM MAGIC was discovered we managed to RULE the second set and make to the third decisive set. That one was intense. Name calling (the ball, not other people…) and some dark times trying to figure out our positioning system. Nevertheless, we played in a very honorable way, but this wasn’t our match to win.

Ignoring our previous result and using the experience to build a stronger team, we all wore grins and gave away celebration hugs (after all it is not every day you get to find TEAM MAGIC) we proceeded to referee the next match of our beloved BEMI/Ladies 2nd -in-disguise  team against The City of Bristol. This was quite a game and I believe we all got inspired by it in many ways: firstly, the volleyball itself – great passes, serves and fantastic blocking moves! Other aspects that should be highlighted were the referee’s fair trial and calm attitude towards some heated moments throughout the game.

Finally, the time had arrived for our last game! This was against the City of Bristol, a very difficult opponent with some nice hitters hidden throughout the court. This left us a bit nervous and, unfortunately, our little mistakes and service misses messed with our confidence and focus, hindering us from getting it together and taking the gold home. Concerning our team spirit and joy, I am glad to say those weren’t affected and we had an excellent journey back home – READY TO SHINE ON FUTURE GAMES!

Written by: Beatriz Valenca

Mens 2nds vs Bristol VC & City of Bristol (24/10/2015)

Mens 2nds vs Bristol VC & City of Bristol (24/10/2015)

This is a (unusual) two part report from Men’s 2nd B&DVA matches against Bristol VC and City of Bristol on Oct 24th, 2015.

“So this is the city of Bristol” (we were playing against City of Bristol VC) remarked Matt as we arrived at the most-random place ever – imagine countryside and roads which only a Smart car would fit. The day started with a comprehensive briefing in the changing room with Felipe – he covered all aspects of the game and repeated several times that he wouldn’t tolerate serving faults. As the skies turn grey and cold, the atmosphere in the changing room similarly became less jovial as we were told that both teams that we will be playing today were top in the league and the matches could possibly be the toughest we’ll ever face this season. Nevertheless, we valiantly stepped on to the court and began our warmup.

True to the wise words of Felipe and Tim, our opponents’ warm-up exercises were as intense as the US presidential debates on CNN and some would argue that we were target practice for their spiking warm-up. Even though the 6 of us haven’t played together as a team, we were still encouraged on by our ever positive captain Felipe.
In the first set, we were let down by basic errors such as serving faults, ball holding and net touches. But true to the Bristol University spirit (my heart goes out to the Bristol Basketball team), we remained defiant and withstood the onslaught by playing some pretty neat 3-touches. I must say our defences held up pretty well. We lost the game 8 to 25.

In the second set Bristol VC and our boys were neck and neck. Up to the 20 points mark, we bravely managed to thwart any attacks by Bristol VC with some good blocking from setter/alternate hitter Chan and middle hitter Angus. We also managed to exploit some gaps in Bristol VC’s defence by cleverly soft-spiking the ball over the block and into space to which it caused much confusion to the Bristol VC’s backline. However, Bristol VC did then surge ahead thanks to some well-placed serves. Not to be defeated, we came back and gained 3-points consecutively through 2 service ace and a clever spike from Claudio. Our 2nd set was definitely much better and composed (improved passing by our backline to the front hitters). However, just like Scotland, in the match against Australia, it was not meant to be as Bristol VC eventually won the set with the score of 25-20.

Part 1 written by Warren Yick

The following game, against City of Bristol, proved to be hardest one we faced so far. Tough start for Matt and Luke, as it was their first game. But, despite of the opponent high level, the new players incorporate the team spirit and played their best! In the first set we hold the score the best we could, but it finished at 25 x 16 to City. The second set was harder, as everyone seemed a bit exhausted and City brought it to a high standard of Volleyball, with quick hits from middle and second balls, to which our blocks and covers were not ready to defend. City ended the match at 25 x 9.

It was a difficult day for the Men’s 2nd, both Volleyball and weather related. Nevertheless, the team played their best and I think we are improving every match. Better days will come for us!

Part 2 written by Felipe Sales de Freitas

To be continued….

Mens2ndB&DVA24Oct2015

Men 2nds BDVA Tournament 10/10/2015

Men 2nds BDVA Tournament 10/10/2015

Bristol, 10th of October, 2015.

It is 8:15 AM; the men arrive one by one at the coach station. Their faces are tired, their eyes half closed and by seeing them – eyes blank, hardly walking, not talking but whispering as ghosts – I cannot help thinking about AMC’s The Walking Dead’s zombies. Fortunately, this sleepy atmosphere, between dream and reality, dark and light, bed and breakfast was broken by the huge amount of energy deployed by our captain: Felipe aka “the Duracell rabbit”.
After a short bus ride, the team finally arrived at Orchard School Hall, highly motivated and very excited to play its first two matches at B&DVA local league against Bemi VC and Cheddar VC, despite the fact the men only had the opportunity to train together once.
During the first match against Bemi VC, the men proved their passion and their will to win, giving up their body diving desperately but successfully on the floor to save the ball. Even if they lost by 2-0 (25 x 15; 25 x 21) against the experienced Bemi, their proved they deserved their place in the team and with training and team building, they will, for sure, do great performances in the future.
The second match, against Cheddar VC, follow the same pattern and finished with the same score of 2-0 (25 x 15; 25 x 13), caused by some mistakes, justified by the low common experience of the team. However with the same level of passion and will from the guys on court.

The attitude of the men, their passion and their individual qualities as players, but also as men are the reasons why we think this team can become amazing. Moreover, both the coach (Tim) and the captain were very impressed by such a good level for a first match considering the context. With trainings, experience and your support, this team can really improve and reach a great level of Volleyball.

PS.: After the matches and because of a bad set (my apologies), Ralph Bernardo unfortunately hit the pole, which responded by giving him a low kick, hurting by the way his ankle. We wish him a prompt recovery and hope he will be back in the game soon.

To be continued…

Mens2nd matchreport Oct10

Written by: Florian Potier

Mens 1st vs Horfield Hornets and City of Bristol VC 10/10/2015

Mens 1st vs Horfield Hornets and City of Bristol VC 10/10/2015

On the 10th of October the Mens 1st team got their season underway with two games in the local B&DVA league.

 

The men were delighted with the slightly later start afforded to them with an 11.30am start. Travelling to the game, Felipe was introduced to English 00’s culture wonderfully through the choice of music from Michael Wilsher, who bounced along in the car along to Basshunter and Cascada. Top work Wilsher.

 

With debuts flying in from new signings such as Craig ‘Songbird of a generation’ Tavares-McKoy, Aidan ‘International man of mystery’ McKay, Matt Birch and Felipe Galindo Sanchez, as well as Captain Chris ‘Soup’ Sherfield’s first outing the team was a far cry from the Canadian dominated team of former years.

 

The team however put any fears to Monday night Bunker i.e. BED (see what I did there) however with a strong performance in the first game against Horfield. Despite already being as damp as a poorly managed student house, Rob ‘Sweaty Betty’ Pennifold came out all guns blazing with some strong sets to 4 and 2 which were ably dispatched by Chris Sherfield, Jonny Childs and Craig Tavares-McKoy. Indeed the set was a rather simple affair, with Bristol opening up a large lead from the very beginning which was maintained throughout, leaving the men with a 25-11 victory.

 

Perhaps emboldened by this early success, Bristol started the second set poorly with some simple mistakes creeping into their game. Rob continued to find 4 and 2 as easily as he finds a seat on public transport thanks to his advancing years, however the middles in the form of Michael Wilsher and John ‘Drunk on power’ House struggled a little with the new setter. As the set continued and Bristol focussed up the middles began to get more into the game, with Michael getting as high as he does at his shirtless raves to hit the ball powerfully into the Horfield side. This was also the moment for Craig to unfurl a previously unseen jump serve, leaving the bench particularly impressed with the casual nature of his celebrations afterwards. As the team came together well they buried any Horfield hopes with some great all round play coming away as 25-19 winners and thus winning the game 2-0.

 

The men had no time to breathe as they were straight back on court for their second game against the City of Bristol Volleyball Club. With tensions already high during the warm up thanks to some dubious line hitting, the men were keen to start well against COB’s strong side.

 

The men however were to let themselves down slightly through their serving in the first set. Despite coach Matteo’’s efforts to get the men to serve ‘Little by little’ at the COB’s weak libero, the men simply couldn’t maintain the ‘wonderwall’ of consistent serves and were hampered by four missed serves in a row. Special mention to Matteo for not ‘looking back in anger’ despite these mistakes even though he was clearly ‘crying his heart out’ on the inside. Side note – Matteo really hates Oasis. Thats a joke thats going to really ‘Live forever’. Okay I’m done now. Moving on.
Outside of the serving mistakes the Mens team should be commended for playing well against a strong team, losing the set 25-19.

 

The second set was a similar affair with Bristol allowing COB to open up an early lead that they then couldn’t overturn. The Men however fought hard throughout with Chris ‘Sharapova’ Sherfield in particular beginning to release unearthly noises as he spiked the ball down, such was the degree of effort he was putting in. Fergus also saw fit to unfurl a rather unconventional spike as he completely mistimed everything about his approach, however as the ball gracefully found the floor of the COB side there was an outpouring of love for his audacity. Meanwhile Rob finally succumbed to the sweat which plagues his volleyball career, as a perfect pass from Jonny crashed down between his hands, simultaneously causing groans from the bench as well as giving the ball an early bath. The set ended in almost farcical fashion with a call from the referee that was beyond belief. Or at least that certainly remains to be John ‘Anger counselling required’ House’s opinion, an opinion that the entire hall was made very aware of. Rocked by such a display of raw, manly passion the men lost the final point and consequently the set 25-20 and the game 2-0.

 

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Despite the loss in the second game however the men remain confident for the season ahead with the glimpses of brilliance that were on display filling all hearts and minds with joy.

 

Onwards

 

Written by: John House
Ladies 2nds Tournament 28/02/2015

Ladies 2nds Tournament 28/02/2015

Match Report

Due to a crazy shuffling of the teams which caught everyone unawares this match report is for the Blue team #wild. The team consisted of the most brilliant fellows know to volleyball: Dear Captain Millie, Monika, Maria, Abi and Emily. Despite a couple of subtle hangovers we were all on top form, proving that although we had never played as a team together that we were telepathically all on the same wave length. Our play on the whole was as smooth as a giant panda amongst penguins.

To the people of Stoke Bishops horror there was no car going to the tournament meaning either a 45 minute walk or a taxi. We opted for the taxi given the 7.45 meeting point at the bus station. There was however a bit of a hiccup as taxi was only for 4 people, not 5… Luckily my bicycle (which has saved me from many kerfuffles) was to hand, so I frantically cycled through Brizzle in the drizzle and we all made it too the bus stop. The bus stop was as you would expect- a café/ shop selling items at extortionate prices, and the typical airport style seating, or lack of which meant most people opted for the floor. Once on the bus excitement for the day ahead erupted into a combination of chin wagging and laughter. Either I fell asleep or the journey was incredibly short but we all arrived safely and on time and – Whooptido! To make things even better due to it being Abi Woodens 19th Birthday we were greeted with homemade cake, for the Londoners amongst you I am talking full on Hummingbird style. Scrummy. This pick me up was lucky enough to break some of the secret hangovers that had been lingering behind brave faces.

The first match was against the Cardiff ‘Jets’ (how American…) Having consumed cake we were buzzing and the day started well. Having done no practise serves we all fared remarkably well especially Maria who’s particularly uncasual serves proved handy during the Blues darkest hours. At half way the score was 20:17 to the ‘Jets’, a pretty strong start. Once again the oppositions experience meant they were able to consolidate victory. The final score was 33:20. (as you can see after half way the number of points we won took a little tumble) but we returned to the benches feeling competent in our ability and ever hopeful of a win later in the day.

After a long break, with even more cake, (rhyme unintended) we returned to face the Welsh once again this time the Cardiff ‘Falcons’. Our match’s international nature drew in many supporters and even a photographer. Millie’s levitation skills whilst serving were second only to the Buddha himself, there is photo evidence of this and also of what can only be described as ‘Egyptian’ style jumping from Abi. Our points in this match dwindled ‘un petit peu’ as we only scored 18 whereas the Falcons scored 36. How selfish of them not to share. We did not fare well against the teams from the ‘Land of Llewelyn’ but it was early days.

As the saying goes ‘third time lucky’, this was certainly the case. The Bemi 2nd Team were far more smiley to begin which calmed our nerves and brought out our best. Monika with the supportive setting of Abi managed to hit many ‘kill shots’. Bemi did not know what had hit them (Quite literally) We were storming ahead like a greyhound amongst pugs. Our eyes glistened each time we glanced at the score board as the gap, like the San Andreas Fault simply kept getting bigger and bigger. The final score was 38: 17 to us!!! We were, in the words of Blackadder himself: ‘as happy as a man who thought a cat had done its business on his pie, but it turned out to be an extra big blackberry’. Someone at this point excitedly exclaimed: ‘We could win the tournament!’ Now, let’s not get too excited…. (next time)

Another break gave us the chance to observe the varying sponsorships clubs had received: from Westbury Tile Warehouse or Julian Hodge Banking to Admiral Insurance. We must count our blessings for having a pub as a sponsor: for Molloys is of far more use than a Tile Warehouse- I wonder if they too have socials there?

We returned for a precarious game against the yellows, the atmosphere was that of when one plays the ‘do or die’ card in the board game ‘Escape from Colditz’ (which beats monopoly hands down). We gained a good lead but with some tricky serving from Simran the score was fluctuating throughout. It was a close game but luckily the blues conquered and took no prisoners we got 30 and the yellows got every ones favourite song ‘twentytwooewew’. Two games in a row- no biggie.

Normally the game against the Hornets is particularly memorable, however today it really is not- thanks to Tims email of the score we know the final score was 31:19 which unfortunately marked the end of our streak of brilliance.

Luckily at this point was lunch which is normally a good opportunity for chit-chat about serious dilemmas such as the falling oil prices and rising prices of freddos. However many people decided to undertake work…this was particularly distressing for fresher’s who were provided with a glimpse into the dark future. Millie, leading in style, said a few words after lunch to rally the troops- ‘lets have a good game girls’ these poetic and inspiring words one can only compare to the ‘Band of Brothers’ speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V.

Our next game was against the UOB 1st team, and at the beginning it was remarkably close, but this original marvelousness slowly evaporated. Abby despite a thumb injury set superbly through this game but unfortunately at one point due to division in the ranks Monika sent a ‘head shot’ her way. Naturally we all laughed before checking she was alive- she was. Regretfully the final score was16:36 to the 1st’s but one day we shall take our pound of flesh.

We had another break and were able to admire other team’s kit/ outfits/ uniforms. I do not remember being told it was fancy dress but one of the teams (I cannot remember who) were dressed as poisonous frogs in turquois and purple tops complete with one player who’s colours were the opposite of everyone else’s- either because the washing machine had played a cruel joke or she was their Libro- who knows. Bath on the other hand looked like they were playing in Bar Crawl T-Shirts.

The penultimate match was against the Bemi 1st team. Given our success against the 2nds we entered the game positively and rightly so as it was a close game. Unfortunately Abi’s thumb decided to fail her at this point so Abi kindly gave her role of setter to Maria, although she proved a more than competent hitter. Thanks to the video footage we have of the game we have slow mo evidence of some sexy sets from Millie as well as sassy hits from Emily. The final score of 20:29 proves that we were bloody close throughout the game.

By the final game we had given it our all and were on our last legs, especially Millie and Maria who both also played for the Reds as well as the Blues. We threw ourselves into the game played our upmost until the final whistle. The score: 18:38. It had been a very long day indeed but we all survived in one piece.

On that bombshell we ventured home and retired to bed, or to the phenomenal medic’s ball (judging by the photos…) Although we may not have won, we did all have a wonderful day and played our very best. I leave you to ponder on the words of William Wordsworth: ‘Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive; But to be young was very heaven.’

 

Player of the Match: Abi, for soldiering on despite injury.

 

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