Back to back wins for Wessex Men 2
Wessex Men 2 vs New Forest
25-21 25-18 25-18
On Saturday 3rd Wessex Men 2 went into a big game against local rivals knowing nothing but a win would be acceptable, after a disappointing loss to Portsmouth a few weeks ago they needed to bounce back.
Coach Richard Collins had his largest squad of the year available to him and they welcome back Dan Harwood for his first appearance of the season.
They went into the first set with certain targets and these were met straight away with Pearce finding Reid and Yon in the middle straight away which left Clare, Harwood and Stout plenty of space in the wings to hit winners. Forest were not at the races and couldn't compete with the stronger Wessex team. With the first set win 25-21.
The second set started sloppy from both sides with numerous missed serves not making for a great spectacle. As the set progressed the quality of Wessex was obvious and the passing improved led by libero Lett and allowed Pearce to spread the play. Kills from Harwood and clever hitting from Stout closed the set out at 25-18.
Collins wanted his team to finish the job in the 3rd and give Forest nothing, and that's exactly what Wessex did, racing ahead and building a big lead allowing Allen to come on and set and Safaee coming on in the opposite. Allen finding his options straight away and Safaee making some good kills. Collins brought himself on at the end of the 3rd for a cameo and finished the match off with an ace to settle it 25-18 and 3-0.
Alex Clare was voted MVP by his opponents and Men 2 are now on the road away to Lynx 2 on Saturday (10/12), and will look to close the year with a win.
Wessex Men 2 vs London Lynx 2
25-21 24-26 25-20 22-25 15-12
Wessex M2 went on the road for their last match of 2016, after recently receiving news of a 3-0 walkover win over Tendring following their cancellation so a win would put them into 2nd above today's opponent Lynx 2.
The preparation wasn't ideal as the team turned up 15 mins into the warm up due to traffic on M25 and as, the ref would not push the warm up back the team was a bit rushed. However this seemed to work in Wessex favour as they seemed the more aggressive and tough serving saw them take the first set 25-21.
The team then pushed on again in the 2nd set creating a 6 point lead, but some questionable officiating and Wessex making mistakes led Lynx back into the match to take the set 26-24. Set 3 started with Wessex stretching their lead with strong hitting from Clare and Stout pushing them ahead. However, discipline was a problem with Stout getting a yellow and Safaee getting a red. Despite the loss of a point for the card Wessex still won this set 25-20.
Set 4 was a tough one as it was point for point with Reid winning points and Safaee using the block well. Lynx though won the longer points in this set and pushed on. Tom Allen came on to play defence and serve tough, but a Collins service error gave Lynx the set and took it to a decider.
The 5th started nervously, however stronger serving from Pearce and Yon gave Wessex the lead at the change of ends. Lynx bought themselves back into it but a great pick up from Reid was the catalyst for Wessex to push on and win 15-10. Stout picking up the MVP with a brilliant performance on the wing.
The Men 2 now go into a winter break with a 5/2 record and have New forest straight away in January.