Wessex Men January Update
Wessex vs Melton Lions (National Cup Quarter Final) 3-0
Report to follow.
Wessex vs London Docklands 3-0 22nd January
Wessex bounced back from last week's defeat to IBB Polonia in their second home fixture of 2017 against London Dockland. Playing in their older sports hall, the wessex men didn't let the cold weather dampen their spirits.
Some traditional line up changes saw captain matt hunter move to the middle, with Harry Jones donning the libero shirt for the first time in 2017. The Wessex men started slowly in the first, trailing 8-4 due to some errors. Some strong defends from Docklands saw them lead 16-11, but wessex found form towards the end of the set; Andrea Ivanov strung together a row of points on the front to give Wessex the lead. Things remained tight towards the end of the set, but Wessex hung onto to clinch the set 26-24.
Wessex took this momentum forward into the second, playing some of their best defence of the year; Dan Hunter and Jones patrolling the back court, with Miguel Espinoza finding form front court. Docklands pushed back with some strong service, but the calm Sideout of wessex allowed them to clinch the set 25-22.
Wessex didn't look back going into the third, leading 16-7 at the second technical tie out, thanks to strong passing and offensive options from setter Oli Batt; some loose serving at the end of the set was disappointing for Wessex, but they stayed strong to take the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.
A great win for Wessex before their quarter final cup clash with Melton Lions next weekend.
Wessex vs IBC Polonia 0-3 14th January
Playing at home for the first time in 3 fixtures, Wessex played there first game of 2017 vs IBC Polonia; considering their opponents recent travels around Europe, Wessex knew a big challenge lay ahead of them, and they were not wrong.
The first set proved competitive and exciting for both teams as well as the crowd, Wessex starting the match with two stuff blocks from Andrea Ivanov and Migeul Espinoza, swiftly followed by an ace from Harry Jones. Both teams exchanged points early on, with Polonia holding a slim 2 point lead thanks to physical play form middle Phil Smith and opposite Marius Ciortea. Polonia were able to extend their lead at the business end of the set with strong blocking and offence, taking the set 25-22.
The first set saw Wessex take the initiative early; strong offence from Hunter and Espinoza, coupled with good distribution from setter Olly Batt gave Wessex an early lead, yet Polonia’s physicality proved a determining factor. Both teams exchanged points neck and neck, yet a couple of aces form Polonia gave them set point. Despite saving the first, brutal side out play form Polonia gave them the second set 25-23.
The third set provided a one sided affair, with Polonia running out ta 6-0 advantage. Wessex struggled to find rhythm in their offence, with Polonia service pressure causing problems for their side out. Defensively, Polonia showed some class, with libero Saller dynamic in the backcourt. Wessex made several substitutions but they proved ineffective, as Polonia went on to win the set 25-15.
Wessex will now refocus and prepare for their next home fixture against London Docklands whilst Polonia travel to the Netherlands for their next fixture of the CEV Challenge Cup.