Match Report Vs Swiss Cottage
National Volleyball League
Super 8 Division
Swiss Cottage vs Ashcombe Dorking
University of East London
Sunday 24th November
Swiss Cottage won 3 – 1 (25-16,25-19,19-25, 25-18).
An Ashcombe side bolstered by the return of Mia Lowney and Monica Gmuca from sickness and Agnes Abraham from her protracted international transfer which finally completed during the week fell short against a Swiss Cottage side featuring no British players in their entire matchday 12.
The match opened with a series of rallies which saw Ashcombe’s Michelle Conway excel at the net with majestic support from team-mates Mia Lowney and Daisy Mumby. Swiss Cottage then stepped up a gear and found their range with well hit spikes and low, flat, fast serves which created problems for the Ashcombe defence. Despite the very best efforts of Captain Carol Fogarty and Kim Kieselbach, the set slipped away from the Surrey based team. In particular, Mia Lowney, Ashcombe’s versatile and dependable Outside Hitter performed wonders in defence and whose determination and tenacity was a constant source of encouragement to all those around her.
Ashcombe came out fighting in set two with Karen Rossi, Monika Gmuca and Claire Greenwood all combining well to unsettle Swiss Cottage and to lead 8-7 at the first technical time out. The Swiss Cottage coach was significantly displeased with this state of the set and let his feelings be known as the London based team licked their wounds and decided that the best form of defence was attack. Their strike force started to find their targets and wear down some excellent defence spear-headed by the magnificent Agnes Abraham who, along with Carol Fogarty and Mia Lowney kept Ashcombe in touch before Ashcombe succumbed to the Swiss Cottage firepower to finish the set 25-19 down.
In the third set a determined Ashcombe fought sternly, refusing to be beaten as the entire team pulled together to lead throughout the set in a magnificent display of team-work. At 16-14 up, Ashcombe’s Basirat Mamman changed the game as she hit two spectacular spikes before serving with power, precision and venom. Swiss Cottage had no answers as Kim Kieselbach and Daisy Mumby repelled all attacks at the net. The set closed out at 25-19 to the Surrey team and was rich reward for their determination.
Swiss Cottage appeared shocked to have lost a set and burst forth to lead 5-0 in a matter of seconds in set 4 which soon became 8-3 and then 16-8. 18 year old Evelin Potocnic and Michelle Conway combined well in defence but, the Swiss Cottage onslaught remained continuous and fruitful as they closed out the match 25-18.
Ashcombe’s Super 8 Team Manager, Robin Martin, praised the team’s tenacity and dogged determination against a tough opposition with much international experience,congratulating Mia Lowney in particular for her work-ethic and magnificent display both in defence and attack especially as she had missed the previous fixture against Team Northumbria through illness.
The result leaves Ashcombe afoot the Super8 table and now 4 points adrift of Team South Wales in seventh. However Martin was keen to emphasise that Ashcombe are still very much in touch and face two fixtures against City of Salford and Team South Wales after Christmas which will be key to their survival hopes. Next weekend sees Ashcombe play in the third round of the Volleyball England National Knock-Out Cup away to Darkstar Derbyshire.
Ashcombe Dorking: M Conway, N Schmidt, M Lowney, C Greenwood, C Fogarty (Capt), A Abraham, M Gmuca, D Mumby, B Mamman, K Rossi, E Potocnic and K Kieselbach.