AD1 beat Oxford, Reading and Team Essex
Ashcombe Dorking 1 faced a tough opponent last Sunday 9th December. Oxford Ladies had only lost one of their six matches so far and the tall, disciplined team showed off their power during the warm-up. Ashcombe’s starting six appeared unfazed. The same team that secured victory against top-placed Reading last week began the game confidently with the same varied play from the weekend prior. Oxford made a strong comeback using their almost unblockable middle hitters, but Ashcombe regained control through strong serving by Mikovic and Dos Santos. The first set ended in a narrow 24-26 victory for the visiting team. During the second set, AD1 lost focus and allowed Oxford to dominate. Unable to get a proper handle on Oxford’s serves and clever spikes, Ashcombe fell back into predictable play and had to concede a 25-18 set loss. After this comfortable win, Oxford’s coach gave his bench players a chance to play. This allowed Vasquez and De Borger to make short work of their defence. Setter Rossi’s clever choices kept the opposing block guessing and by the time Oxford’s original six had been subbed back on, the gap was too large to bridge. The set went to Ashcombe 16-25. Oxford appeared determined to regain control of the match. The home team reverted to its original lineup and turned up the heat with dominant attacking play. Ashcombe struggled due to personal errors, but the arrival of super subs Cubillos and Kamanzi turned the tide. Ashcombe clawed their way back to level pegging and nearly grabbed the set, but for a two-point difference: 25-23 to Oxford. At 2-2, the game could go either way, but an impressive serve series by Dos Santos secured Ashcombe an early lead in the fifth set. Continued service pressure and strong defensive play ensured the team were never in any real trouble. The set and match victory went to AD1 and powerhouse Inke de Borger was voted MVP. Ashcombe’s next home match against mid-table New Forest Ladies will be on Sunday the 16th of December at 12 noon at Ashcombe VC.