Young Ashcombe defeat Spelthorne as Sharks lose their bite.


Ashcombe Volleyball Club’s Ashcombe Dorking 2 defeated the Spelthorne Sharks in the Surrey Volleyball League in just 3 sets on Sunday 22nd February. It was a comprehensive performance from the Ashcombe side with an average age of just 16. Edie Adams took the captaincy for the fixture and led by example in setting a platform for her hitters to attack from and serving well throughout.

Ailsa McDonald got Ashcombe off to a great start with some quality serving which asked lots of questions of the Spelthorne defence. Sophie Bushe demonstrated crisp accurate setting to help Ashcombe wrestle control of the front court. Edie Adams helped maintain the momentum when she was setting as well as leading the other players round the court which helped to settle any nerves. A late wobble saw the Sharks come back into contention but Ashcombe glided home to win the set 25-23.

The second set saw some positional changes with Midori Koide moving to the outside hitters position where she flourished and soon went on a sustained campaign of intelligent, powerful hitting. Amy Antonio came on to fulfil the middle hitting berth and soon showed how she has developed recently with good blocking and serves which asked questions of the Sharks back line. Ashcombe began to relax and with it came some flowing play which was a joy to watch for the assembled spectators. Sophie Bushe served solidly to get Ashcombe moving whilst Freya McDonald marshalled the Ashcombe pass as Libero and even managed a backcourt attack. This took Ashcombe ahead and they won the set 25-20.

The third set saw Ashcombe make several serve errors to give Spelthorne hope as the Sharks took a 4 point lead early on. However, the passing of Midori Koide and Freya McDonald kept Ashcombe close. Emily Hill blocked well before Ailsa McDonald launched some fearsome attacks which the Sharks struggled to keep under control as Aschombe wrestled back the momentum. Both setters were elegant and intelligently placed the ball for their hitters with Koide benefitting in particular. A run of 6 consecutive serves by Pam Munsing pulled Ashcombe away before Edie Adams broke the Spelthorne resolve with an Ace serve. The Ashcombe bench rushed onto the court to celebrate a tremendous team performance as the girls jumped up and down in celebration.

Coach Tim Griffiths was delighted with the win. ‘This was a fantastic all round performance from a young Ashcombe side. Every single player performed well and for some it was the best game I’ve seen them play. Everyone deserves to be proud of this fantastic achievement against a tough Spelthorne side who fought us all the way. ‘

Ashcombe 2 will now wait for the conclusion of the remaining Surrey Volleyball League first phase fixtures before finding out who they will face in the next set of matches.

Ashcombe Dorking 2- Amy Antonio, Edie Adams (Capt.), Sophie Bushe, Emily Hill, Midori Koide, Ailsa McDonald, Freya McDonald (Libero), Pam Munsing. Coach- Tim Griffiths.