Top Performance at National Cup for U16s
Wessex Under 16 boys did themselves proud with their performances in the Last 8’s of the National Volleyball Cup at the weekend. After some tough matches the team lost in the semi final to Greenhouse Malory, London.
The first match was against the strong and skilful Richmond side. Wessex won the first point but a missed serve saw Richmond take advantage to heap pressure on a strangely hesitant Wessex team. Gradually Wessex settled and started to reduce the deficit but they had left themselves too much to do and lost the set 23-25. Into the second, where the blocking of Johannes March-Ludick became the dominant factor. Iraj Safaee, Jamie Harwood and Jon Donnelly kept the pass coming in to setter, Tom Nicholas who spread the attack well. James Scott was lively both in attack and defence as Wessex drew level with a 25-21 win. Into the decider and the Wessex team showed their focus by moving into an 8-3 lead. March-Ludick was still dominating on the front court but some missed serves allowed Richmond to take momentum back. At match point Wessex missed another serve but clinched the next as 13 year old Luke Honeybun put a smash on the floor.
The second match was against Black Country. Rufus Morgan came on to play middle to give the hardworking Harwood and Safaee a break and did well. Michael Bryan served a few points while Lemmy O’Brien and Callum Blaver did some good things in the front court. Harwood and Safaee took a turn back on court and both, as usual, gave excellent all round performances. The match was won 25-15 25-17.
Boswells were the finally pool opponents and although both teams had qualified into the semi’s both teams were keen to win. Boswells started the better but a calf injury to setter Tom Nicholas destroyed the Wessex rhythm of attack and Boswells won 25-11. With Callum Blaver filling in as the setter the Wessex fight back in difficult circumstances was impressive. They could never quite get close enough to Boswells though and finally lost 25-19.
This meant that Wessex played favourites Greenhouse Malory in the semi final. Again Wessex put in a great effort but a lack of height in certain positions caused too many problems. Scores 25-17 25-18
Squad – Jamie Harwood, Iraj Safaee, Joannes March-Ludick, Tom Nicholas, James Scott, Luke Honeybun, Jon Donnelly, Callum Blaver, Rufus Morgan, Lemmy O’Brien, Michael Bryan
Squad- Luke Honeybun, Tom Nicholas, Lemmy O’Brien, Rowan Turner, Tommaso Kemp, Kian Safaee. Joshu Honeybun, Dan Lakeman.