Round 2 proved to be a very tough round against JPC for Girls Volleyball. It is always hard to predict what JPC will be like as an opponent, with history showing their steady improvement over time in the sport. This week, on an eight-degree morning, JPC was the school that brought the heat, winning five out of the six matches.
Year 7, despite the cold, began their game enthusiastically with good serving overall. They had a close first set, narrowly going down. In the second set they managed to get up over their opponents, Mackayla again serving the set out from 23 all. Despite having the momentum into the third, the ladies could not get on top of their opponents, needing to increase the talk on the court and work on getting their passes up. OC lost overall 1-2.
Year 8 had an incredible serving game. Grace Huggins had an unbeatable 19 in a row streak of serves early in the first and, as a result, gave the girls a very healthy lead. She then came back onto serve into the second and continued another run of accurate serving to get the girls on top. These streaks in serve would not have been possible if Grace didn’t have the support of her team, with all of the girls always staying ready for any return to come back over the net. This energy never dropped and even without the runs of serves in the third, there was no denying that the team had plenty of depth to win the match outright 3-0. Well done ladies!
The Year 8/9 supplementary team had a bye this week but continued their training in preparation for next week.
Year 9 battled their match out, but fell behind early as they were not able to get their passes up. Mr Dhu had plenty of words of advice early to try to motivate the girls to increase their accuracy with passing, but to no avail. The girls had a close second set to fight for the match, but unfortunately, their plan could not come to fruition. Overall, OC went down 0-3 with Mr Dhu promising a big training session to bounce back from this next week.
Year 10 started their match well, with some good communication early and serving generally on point. They have been working more toward getting their three passes in before returning the ball over the net, and this was working better this week; winning them the first set. Unfortunately, though, errors started to creep into their game and the girls need to work on always staying ready to get the ball back over the net, even when it only just drops over. They lost 1-2.
The Seconds too had a close game. Serving in general did not work this week and ultimately, it cost them crucial points. Their defence was working, but getting more aggressive with their attack is needed to convert points. The girls just could not play their game and in the end lost their match 1-2.
The Firsts began their game full of nerves, knowing that it had been such a tough round of matches for all teams earlier in the morning. Before they could shake these nerves, they found themselves two sets down, knowing that they had to win the third to stay in the match. After a few calming words from Coach, Matej Cerni, to try to get the girls to play their game, they managed to turn things around drastically in the third, winning the set comfortably. Passes needed to be more consistent and at 23 all in the fourth, after a magnificent one on one block by Kirsten Marr through the middle, Kara Stock nailed her attacking spike to win the point. This was followed by one of Jessica Manion’s steadfast serves, and the girls had won the fourth set. All tied, the ladies headed into the 5th set just as the 2-hour mark for this match ticked by. It came right down to the wire with the ladies fighting back valiantly, and the fifth set came so close at 13 all. Unfortunately, though, a couple of errors ended the match, and the ladies lost overall 2-3. Special mention must go to this young side. They were down and almost out after the second set loss, but picked themselves and their game up to come back with a vengeance by increasing their accuracy for every pass, set and hit. Matej, and all who watched, were proud of their efforts and the way they turned it around and can only hope that they bounce back from this to potentially have another crack at JPC in the finals.
Overall this week, it was the toughest round for Girls Volleyball in over ten years, with almost all the losses coming down to only 2 or 3 points. Keep training hard ladies, to keep yourselves on track for a great season. It has only just begun, so you never know what the rest of the season will bring. Back home next week against Canterbury.