Super 8 Match Report Ashcombe Dorking 1- Team South Wales 3
National Volleyball League
Women’s Super 8 Division
Ashcombe Dorking vs Team South Wales
Saturday 25th January , Ashcombe Volleyball Centre
Team South Wales won 3 – 1 (25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15).
Another packed crowd at the Ashcombe Volleyball Centre produced a cacophony of noise for this Super 8 thriller. The home side’s supporters brought an assortment of musical instruments and waved flags to encourage their Ashcombe team in a match played in front of the Volleyball England Chief Executive, Lisa Wainwright, and her team who had, earlier in the day, given a “Volleyball Voice” presentation at the venue.
The opening point of the match went to Ashcombe courtesy of a thundering spike from Michelle Conway which shook not only the opposition but also the very floor of the sports hall, such was its ferocity. Well supported by Agnes Abraham and the excellent Libero, Mia Lowney. Ashcombe traded points with the Welsh side up until the first time out, (8-6 Team South Wales), after which the Welsh raised their level of intensity and raced to a 16-9 lead. Still Ashcombe continued to fight with great defensive work but the Team South Wales offence managed to circumvent the Ashcombe blockers to win the set 25-14.
The noise level increased in the second set as the home supporters tried to lift their team who responded magnificently, showing more energy and self belief in their work. Kim Kieselbach, in her final home game for Ashcombe, served well and was well supported by Monika Gmuca and Nicky Schmidt with excellent setting from Karen Rossi. Mia Lowney continued to impress whilst the biggest cheer of the day welcomed the 15 year old, Katy Begley, on to the court for her Super 8 debut. Katy has had another fantastic season so far learning and developing her Volleyball and winning six caps for England Under 17 in the NEVZA tournament in 2013 and has an outstanding future in the sport. The set closed at 25-22 Ashcombe.
In the third set Ashcombe’s self belief was evident as they raced to a 10-6 lead. Basirat Mamman was superb in defence whilst Michelle Conway continued to launch offensive missiles, one of which sent a photographer at the end of the court sprawling for cover. Team South Wales stayed in contact and benefited from a couple of disputed refereeing calls, using the positive energy to unsettle Ashcombe by placing the ball over the heads of the blockers but in front of the defence, a ploy which worked as Ashcombe were, at times, guilty of ball watching. Having trailed throughout the set, Team South Wales fought back to claim the spoils 25-21.
In set 4, the Welsh side raised the tempo and headed for victory as they raced to a 16-11 lead. Ashcombe visibly tired but still gave their all, with fantastic defence and deft touches at the net. However it was not to be as the Welsh side sped forward and won the set and thus the match 25-15.
As disappointing as the result was, Ashcombe Team Manager, Robin Martin praised the team for their resilience and indefatigable effort. The season has undoubtedly been a challenge for them but each and every player remains totally committed to the team cause.
After the game, Volleyball England Chief Executive Lisa Wainwright said ‘ It has been fantastic to have been at the Ashcombe Volleyball Centre today to witness this Super8 clash between Team South Wales and Ashcombe Volleyball Club. It was a tight match which Team South Wales just edged ahead in the end and it was wonderful to see this fantastic sport played at such a high level’
Ashcombe remain afoot of the Super8 table and next Sunday sees a break from League action with an away National Cup Quarter Final against Swiss Cottage which Ashcombe will be looking to gain something out of in order to lift their spirits.
Ashcombe: M Conway, N Schmidt, M Lowney, A Abraham, M Gmuca, D Mumby, B Mamman, K Begley, K Rossi (Capt) , K Kieselbach Coach L Thomas.