Wessex U16s reach Last 8s!


Wessex put in great team performances against New Forest and Exeter to progress to the Last 8’s of the National Under 16 Volleyball Cup.

Local rivals New Forest were the first opponents and right from the start, their defence was exposed by a string of 10 excellent serves from Iraj Safaee. This was combined with a couple of superb blocks by Tom Nicholas. Committed backcourt play from Safaee and James Scott allowed setter Tom Nicholas to spread the Wessex attack to Jamie Harwood and Owen Turner to score points. At 18-3 up Wessex missed a couple of serves which let New Forest back into the game. Controlled play by 13 year old Luke Honeybun, Jon Donnelly and Callum Blaver combined with the power of Harwood and Safaee saw Wessex to a win 25-15.

Although the 2nd set started more evenly the Wessex strength in depth showed and they again built up a commanding lead. Superb serving was a vital part but with the whole team playing well the set was won 25-15.

Next up were Exeter who included many of the SW squad players. Tom Nicholas was in top form so, aided by accurate passing from Turner and Scott, his combination with Harwood and Safaee was paying dividends in the middle. Harwood also hit two outstanding smashes on the left. Rufus Morgan has worked hard in recent weeks and showed his improvement with a series of point winning smashes on the outside. Honeybun followed this up before Lemmy O’Brien made his debut with two good serves and two defensive plays. The set was won 25-13.

Much the same followed in the second set. Blaver showed some clever touches as Wessex built up a big lead. However at 21 points concentration was lost and Exeter got back to 21-20. Honeybun steadied the slide with a run of serves before Safaee volleyed the ball into the corner of the court on the final point. 25-20.

Squad – Jamie Harwood, Iraj Safaee, Tom Nicholas, Luke Honeybun, Owen Turner, Callum Blaver, James Scott, Rufus Morgan, Jon Donnelly, Lemmy O’Brien, Michael Bryan.