GBW Results 29/30 January 2011: Newton’s Quimper conquer the Mighty Mulhouse

GBW Results 29th/30th January 2011

Quimper upset the mighty Mulhouse

It was Cup action this weekend! Rachel Newton’s Quimper Volley 29 had an amazing win against ASPTT Mulhouse to take them through to the semi finals of the Coupe De France. Janine Sandell’s Menorca went one step further by reaching the final of the Copa De La Reina in Spain, only to lose out agonisingly 16-14 in the 5th set.

It was a fantastic week for Jo Healy and Vicki Palmer with 2 league wins for Amigos Zoersal in Belgium, one a surprise result against 3rd placed Charleroi. Grace Carter’s TFOC maintained their lead at the top of the French DEF with a convincing 3-0 victory away from home. Taylor & Thom’s SCU Emlichheim and  Laura Beardsmore’s TFOC all got back to winning ways with wins in the league this weekend.

It was a change in fortune for Maria Bertelli’s Volley Koniz and Lucy Wicks / Ciara Michel’s Alemmania Aachen who both lost this weekend, as did Jo Morgan in Sweden and Nic Osborne/Tash Brewer in the English Super 8′s.

All GB players results, scores, opinions & links to more info see below. A summary of results is included at the end of this report.

Bundesliga, Germany
Lucy Wicks and Ciara Michel’s Aachen
were away to VFB Suhl this weekend who were sitting one place above them in the league but with equal win:loss ratio. It was a game that would be key in deciding final standings after the first half the season. Although Aachen have had some great results over the last few weeks there is still more form to come and they were aiming for things to gel a bit more this weekend.

Wicks in action

In front of 900 spectators in the Suhl “Wolf Den” the first set was balanced with the score 16-15 at the 2nd technical time-out but strong service from the home team caused Aachen too many problems to be able to push on and win the set, losing 25-23. It was a similar story in the next 2 sets, close until 18 points and then strong serving by Suhl. Aachen would not get the win they wanted, losing 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-20) and will need to reduce the number of errors to allow the team to get into the rhythm of their game.

See statistics from the match. Aachen now sit 8th in the league after 11 games.

Lynne Beatties new club VT Aurubis Hamburg faced the young team from Berlin, VCO Zurich Berlin at home. Although young, they are most definitely not a team to be underestimated. Unfortunately Lynne was not on the score sheet due to a delay in the transfer with CEV, but she watched eagerly from behind the team bench. Beattie also received a warm welcome from the home Hamburg fans and enjoyed a taste of whats to come in the Bundesliga.

From the start of the match Hamburg were in control. The aim of the game was to play ‘clean’ with minimal unforced errors, and this is what they did. Playing a patient game throughout the match, VT Hamburg showed their experience and quality taking the match 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-18).

Bundesliga Nord, Germany
Taylor and Thom’s SCU Emlichheim faced Bad Laer this weekend, a team who currently sit bottom of the league and SCU have already beaten twice this season.

SCU started slowly and nervously with too many serving errors  and unable to put the ball on the floor, which meant 8-3 down at the first technical time-out. Soon after they would level at 8-8, 10-10 and take the lead 16-15 at the second. From there, Bad Laer took control, defending well but too many errors gave the away team the set 25-22.

In the second set, SCU brought their middles into the game and this was the recipe for success. Taking control from the start the home team led 10-6, 14-7 and 20-14. With some strong blocking SCU took the 2nd set 25-17.

The 3rd and the 4th set were close affairs, with neither team able to settle into a rhythm. In the 3rd it was level until 13-13, when SCU took advantage of poor play from Bad Laer to take a decisive lead 20-16 and 22-18, taking the set 25-22. The 4th took a similar pattern and the match could easily have gone to 5 sets but good serving and more offence variation brought SCU the set 25-23 and the match 3-1.

This win leaves SCU in 4th place in the league, with 1 game in hand.

DEF, France
The only GB player in action in the DEF this weekend was Grace Carter’s TFOC were away to Institut Federal De VB who are 3rd from bottom of the league. With the league being very close, a 3-0 victory and 3 points was key for TFOC.

The opposition is made up of French National Cadet players and there was talk prior to the game that the youngsters had their sights set on a win against the top of the league, which showed in the first set as they showed resilience against the strong service game of TFOC and replied with aggressive attack. TFOC were pushed all the way, narrowly taking the first set 26-24.

Strong blocking finished the game off

Clearly deflated from the first set defeat, IFVB could not keep up with the strong blocking and attack of the league leaders, who took the second with a comfortable 25-12 win. The third set was more of the same in terms of TFOC serve and block dominating the game, winning the set 25-17 and the match 3-0. TFOC remain top of the league table.

Coupe De France
It was an escape from the pressures of league action for Rachel Newton’s Quimper Volley 29 this weekend with the team in action in the 1/4 finals of the French National Cup. Drawn against Champions League team ASPTT Mulhouse, currently sitting 2nd in the LAF (top French division), it was always going to be a tough challenge ahead but with Mulhouse leaving one of their best players out, Quimper were at home and had nothing to lose.

Quimper vs Mulhouse with strong home support

Starting strong with a service ace and determined defence Quimper had a dream start leading 4-1 but the powerful play of Polish attacker Sieradzan brought the scores level at 6-6 and then led her team to an 8-12 lead. Quimper responded with strong offence play and fought back to 14-16 at the 2nd technical time-out. It stayed level until 23-23 when a Quimper attack into the bottom of the net sent a shiver through the 960 supporters. A kill block brought the Quimper level and with 2 great plays they took the 1st set 26-24.

It was time for changes for Mulhouse, with the coach turning to his strongest players. It didn’t matter, Quimper were playing well and led 8-6 and 11-7. After a time out by Mulhouse Quimper responded with a kill block followed by strong offence play and a 16-9 lead at the 2nd technical timeout. Despite a brief revival from Mulhouse hitter Sieradzan, Quimper stayed strong to win the 2nd set on a Newton attack. Newton comments..

GB's Newton attacks to win the 2nd set

“We played high risk with our serves from the start of the match, although we made some errors we really put them under pressure and they struggled in serve receive. We backed that up with some good blocking and as confidence grew we attacked very well in the second set.”

The 3rd set saw the return of Mulhouse but Quimper led 12-11 and were even at 15-15. Some superb defence gave Quimper an 18-16 lead but Sieradzan again showed why Mulhouse is second in the LAF taking a lead into the crucial part of the set. A change in setter brought Quimper back into the set at 23-23 and several extremely intense exchanges followed with a set point for Mulhouse, then two match balls for Quimper. However Sieradzan was the saviour scoring past the Quimper block and giving Mulhouse the set 27-29 and a route back into the match.

After having 2 match balls Quimper fell down at the start of the 4th set with Mulhouse leading 2-9. Despite gradually coming back into the set (8-11, 14-16, 18-20) Quimper were not causing the same problems with their serve and Mulhouse dominated the set taking it 21-25.

Phenomenal win for Quimper

So, to a tie break and Mulhouse had the momentum. This was soon halted as Quimper took a 3-0 lead through high pressure serving, backed up by super blocking at the net. Leading 8-6 at the end change, the supporters were in high spirits at what they may witness. The scores were level at 12-12 and 13-13 when Quimper played brave using the middle offence which surprised the Mulhouse block and gave the home team 2 match points. On the second, 15-14, a power attack brought the house down. The 2nd best team in France currently, the Champions League team had been defeated. Obviously delighted with the win, Rachel Newton played the whole match and comments:

“It was a really exciting match to play in being against such a renowned team. Everyone had a great game and we were making the game look easy in the first 2 sets. The 3rd and the 5th set were very tense and we could have won it in 3 but we are very happy with the result. A big part of our performance was having no pressure or expectations and for the first time we were told you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to play for, rather than, you must win this game or we won’t go up. We all wanted to prove that we had a team good enough to compete against and be in the LAF division. Playing against a quality team we were able to utilise our strengths on the net in our attack and our block. This performance will give us great confidence moving forward to the second half of the league competition.”

The draw for the semi finals will be made on Tuesday 1st February at 6.45pm (GMT) and Quimper are the only team outside of the LAF left in the competition. They will face either Cannes, Istres or RC Cannes in the next round.

NF3C, France
It was an away match against bottom of the league St Dizier for Laura Beardsmores TFOC this weekend. As expected against a team that has just one win all season this was comfortable victory for TFOC, 0-3 (13-25, 14-25, 18-25). TFOC remain 3rd in the league.

Eredivisie, Belgium
Jo Healy and Vicky Palmer’s Geo Happel Amigos Zoersel played 2 matches this week, against Charleroi and Turnhout. Two wins would be tough but a real boost in helping the team climb up the league table.

On Tuesday night Zoersal faced Charleroi, which was always going to be a tough match against the 3rd placed team in the league and its fair to say the home team would be the underdogs. Vicki Palmer gives us her view on the match..

“In the first set we were close all the way but Charleroi ahead at both the technical time outs. We were all playing well and serving strong, particularly at the end of the set and we shocked the crowd by winning the first 25-23. Charleroi came back fighting hard in the 2nd, stepping up their game and smashing us 25-12. Without letting that affect us we then raised our game again, based on good serving which didn’t allow them to play the game the wanted and we took the third set 25-21. In the 4th Charleroi changed their tactic, going for a more experienced line-up to stop us taking the match but we didn’t change our play and with the home crowd behind us we really believed we could win. The whole team dug in deep and performed like we know we can and took the fourth set 25-22. It was an amazing feeling and one that I will remember for a long time.”

Zoersal’s 2nd game of the week was away against the bottom of the league Smash Turnout. Different, from Tuesday this was a game that must be won because the points are needed to improve their league position. From the beginning Zoersal took control playing with confidence. Despite some determined play and great defence from Turnhout Zoersal won the first set 25-17. The second and third took a similar pattern with the away team dominating the match winning 25-11 and 25-20 and taking the match 0-3. A superb weeks volleyball for Palmer & Healy and a happy coach who believes they are now playing the volleyball he knew we could. This moves Zoersal into 8th position in the league.

Elite Series, Sweden
Jo Morgan’s Gislaved were up against local rivals Hylte this weekend under a new coach, with renewed optimism. They lost out in a close 5 set match that really was a match of 2 halves. Losing the first 2 sets 21-25 and 20-25 Gislaved bounced back with 2 thunderous sets winning 25-8 and 25-16. They just couldn’t keep it going though and lost the 5th 11-15. View statistics from the match. This 2-3 loss is however a well earned point in the league.

NLA, Switzerland
After last weeks surprise victory it was an even bigger weekend for Maria Bertelli’s Volley Koniz with their last league match on Saturday and the cup semi final on Sunday.

On Saturday Koniz faced SM’Aesch Pfeffingen with a win needed to finish the league qualification round in 3rd place. What was required was very clear and the team started the way they had finished last week with strong serving, backed up by good block defence. The outcome was a comfortable 1st set victory 25-13. The second was a more even affair until the the 2nd technical timeout, where Koniz took control and had 3 set points, leading 24-21. What followed was a catastrophy with 4 errors in row, unbelievable at this level and against the same players who had been beaten easily minutes before. 25-24 down, it was still possible to take the set but Koniz couldn’t stop the attack of Pfeffingen and lost the set 28-26.

One set all and now the 10 minute break, a time to refocus and get back on plan. This Koniz did, coming out and winning the set easily 25-13 again built on strong serving and high levels of energy. One more set required to grab the win, but again the Jekyll & Hyde nature of the team appeared with too many unforced errors and lack of someone to stand up and deliver on the key points. Behind all the way through the set, Pfeffingen won the set 25-19 and it was to the tie break. Maria Bertelli comments on the 5th…

Delivering under pressure is what we have to do

“We lost the 5th 15-12 & we are all devastated and frustrated. Any 5th set is about delivering under pressure, playing with the same mentality but we didn’t, the pressure got to the team and Pfeffingen had nothing to lose. Our team played with fear of losing, fear of making mistakes and that doesn’t work. I guess you could say that about all the 3 sets we lost. Now there is a big challenge to pick ourselves up for an even tougher opponent in a huge game tomorrow.”

Koniz finish the qualification phase in 4th place in the league, which means they begin the play-offs next Saturday in the quarter final against Kantii Schaffhausen. The quarter final is the best of 3 matches and with both league matches going to 5 sets earlier in the season this should be an interesting battle!

In the Swiss Volley Cup semi final on Sunday, Koniz faced Sagres NUC, who finished 2nd in the league and have beaten Koniz twice already this season. In front of 1100 spectators a tough game was expected.

A determination was evident in the Koniz team, wanting to make amends for Saturdays disappointment. The 1st set was close until the early 20′s when NUC upped their game and led 21-24. Saving set point Koniz played some strong serve and block to come back into the set and importantly finish it off 27-25.  The second was again point for point with Koniz leading 16-15 at the 2nd technical time-out. From that point on NUC dominated the set and the match taking the next 3 sets 18-25, 17-25 and 19-25. Koniz did not roll over, showing some super fight and determined play but the quality was not there and NUC deserved their place in the final where they will face Volero Zurich. For Koniz, time to regroup and refocus. Big week ahead because this club must have success and the players must deal with that responsibility.

Copa De SM La Reina, Spain
It was a case of so close but yet so far for Janine Sandell’s Valeriano Alles Menorca in the Spanish Cup this weekend. In a different format the finals are played over 4 days, with the quarter final on day 1, semi final on day 3 and final on day 4.

Copa De La Reina - Menorca ready for action

In the quarter final on Thursday, Menorca beat Figaro Barber Tenerife 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-18). Although not an easy victory it was a comfortable win and passage through to the semi finals. See statistics.

In the semi final on Saturday, Menorca were up against Balearic Haro Rioja Volleyball who they had lost to in the league a couple of weeks before. In a tightly contested match the attack of Menorca made the difference and gave them a 3-1 victory and a place in the final (27-29, 14-25, 25-22, 22-25). See statistics.

Vital points from Janine

In the final on Sunday, they were up against favourites CV Murcia, long time rivals of Menorca. It was the Menorca team who got off to a flying start, ahead at both technical time-outs, and controlling the set. Although it drew close at 21-20, it was Menorca who leapt ahead, winning the first set 25-21, with the help of Janine scoring vital points at the crucial moments.

Into the second set, it was Murcia who took the initiative early on. It was the perfect reaction after losing the first set, but Menorca were prepared to fight but when it came to the business end of the set Murcia won it (25-22), levelling the scores at 1-1. It was a similar story in the 3rd set, Murcia winning (25-21) and into the 4th set, Menorca knew they had to fight hard to keep their dreams alive. It was point for point, with the scores even at 14-14, but after the 2nd technical time-out Menorca who showed their strength at and took the set 25-17, taking the match to an all important 5th set.

Both teams wanted this win and fought tooth and nail for every point. It went right down to the wire with chances for both teams to take the match. In the end, Menorca were just edged out 16-14 in a nail biting finish to an unbelievable match. Menorca were devastated with the result but can be proud of their performance levels over the last 3 days. See statistics from the final.

Janine named in the Copa team of the weekend

Janine was named in the Team of the Competition as the highest number of attack points in one match (23 in the semi final) and total number of points in one match (25 in the semi final) and was named in the top 3 for best reception score in one match (83% from 12 balls).

Super 8′s, England
After a recent running streak of wins and a solid team performance last weekend from Malory Eagles, Nic Osborne & Tash Brewer were at home and hoping to even the score with Polonia this weekend.

The match started fairly evenly with points trading between teams. However despite a composed set by Malory, the last two points of the set went in Polonia’s favor and it ended 23-25. Some good blocking by Polonia but runs of serves in Malory’s favour resulted in another evenly balanced set in the second until perhaps some tension or nerves crept into the Malory side which led to too many errors and the opposition took full advantage and went on to take the two remaining sets (23-25, 18-25). A much needed wake up call that the team must play with aggression and confidence if we wish to win against this team. Malory remain 2nd in the league.

Lucy Wicks & Ciara Michel - League, Germany: LOST 3-0
Jo Healy & Vicky Palmer - League, Belgium: WON 3-1, WON 0-3
Maria Bertelli - Switzerland: League LOST 3-2, Cup LOST 1-3
Janine Sandell - Cup, Spain: WON , WON , LOST
Lynne Beattie - League, Germany: WON 3-0 (DNP)
Rachel Newton - Cup, France: WON 3-2
Jo Morgan - League, Sweden: LOST 3-2
Jenn Taylor & Jen Thom - League, Germany: WON 3-1
Nic Osborne & Tash Brewer - League, England: LOST 0-3
Laura Beardsmore - League, France: WON 0-3
Rachel Bragg, France: No game

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