GBW Results 5/6 Feb 2011: Beattie has immediate impact for Hamburg in Battle of the Brits

GBW Results 5th/6th February 2011

The main event of the weekend was the Battle of the Brits in Aachen, Germany where Beattie’s Hamburg took a 3-1 win away from home against Wicks & Michel, with Lynne Beattie having an immediate impact on her new team.

There were also wins for Taylor & Thom in Germany and Sandell in Spain. In Switzerland it was the first match of the Play Off 1/4 Finals for Maria Bertelli and in the best of 3, they started with a 3-2 home win.

Unfortunately Healy & Palmer’s Amigos could not continue their winning streak and went down 3-0 to Michelbeke. Similarly, Rachel Bragg’s Toulon, the only GB player in action in France, lost 3-1. It was cup action in the English Super 8′s and Malory progressed through to the semi finals of the Cup, but not without a scare after being 2-0 up they won 3-2 at home against Ashcombe.

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
Lynne Beattie’s first game for her new team, VT Aurubis Hamburg, was against Lucy Wicks & Ciara Michel and their team Alemannia Aachen. This Battle of the Brits, would see Aachen wanting to continue their winning streak at home and Hamburg looking for some much needed wins to try and climb up the league table it was going to be a closely fought game.

Aachen take the first set

Both teams started strong with some good offensive play from both sides. Aachen were leading at the second technical 16-13 but with the introduction of Lynne Beattie to the court Hamburg came back and went ahead 21-20. Aachen made a substition bringing on Walkenhorst, a young but powerful player which turned the set back in their favour. With 3 service aces by Christina Speer Aachen won the first set 25-21.

Hamburg started to find their rhythm in the second set and were in the lead from the start. Aachen managed to close the gap briefly but the powerful offence from Hamburg’s Penhar de Souza was too much and Hamburg won 25-21. The 3rd set started off point for point until 15-14 to Hamburg. Aachen then got stuck in a serve receive rotation allowing Hamburg to get a 7 point lead. Aachen pulled it back to 23-20 but it was too late and Hamburg won the set 25-20. The 4th set was similar with aachen always a few points behind. Hamburg won the 4th set 25-19 and the match 1-3. Lynne comments….

Aachen fans are one of the best!

“Wow…what an introduction to playing in the Bundesliga. I now understand what everyone was talking about when they say that Aachen has the best fan base in the league.  We knew it would be tough for us, with Aachen unbeaten at home this year! I watched the first few points of the match from the side lines in anticipation ready to be called onto court. When i got it, I was ready to play.

Michel was a threat in the middle

With both teams very strong through the middle, it would be down to the team with the toughest serve who would win. In the first set this was Aachen. In the second set, we got to grips with our service which made a huge difference to our performance, although even when the pass wasnt perfect for Lucy, she managed to ‘fox’ our blockers on a few occasions, with the Wicks/Michels combination working well. Good news for Team GB!! It was a strange feeling, playing in a new country, against a new team, with 2 team mates on the opposite side of the net and 2 team mates in the crowd, but a really enjoyable debut for me and really look forward to the next Hamburg/Aachen encounter in April!”

Lucy’s thoughts…..

Wicks in action vs Hamburg

“It was always going to be a tough game against such a strong team. We played some really good volleyball but we were not as consistent as Hamburg and we are still making too many unforced errors which is costing us sets and ultimately games. Hamburg have a lot of experience and a lot of depth in their team and they were the better team on the day. It was great to play against Lynne, she really strengthens Hamburgs side and she had a great game. I am looking forward to the summer when I can play with her again and not against!!”

See statistics from the match. The win moves Hamburg directly above Aachen to 7th in the league after 12 games.

Bundesliga Nord, Germany

SCU were up against Oythe on Sunday (on the same points in the league), with Taylor & Thom needing a win to keep them in 3rd place. Jenn Thom gives her thoughts on the match…

“This game was always going to be difficult for us as we had no libero due to injury and then on game day our back-up libero was sick which meant last minute changes to the line-up. We changed one of our middles to right side to strengthen the serve receive and the the 2 middles remained on the court to play defence. It’s fair to say that we struggled initially and it was obvious it was a very new passing unit and there was a degree of uncertainty on the court. This showed in the score, losing the first set 15-25. With another change to the line up, the second setter playing right side, we started to function more as a team and had more options in offence which allowed us to compete better. With the passing getting stronger we won the second set 25-23. In the third set Oythe came back stronger and got stuck in a couple of rotations and that was all it took with them taking the set 21-25.

We played more like a team under the adversity!

We won the fourth set 25-18. It felt like the adversity was making us fight harder and play more as a team, with everyone doing that bit extra because of the situation. So, to the tie-break and we had the momentum but it was closely fought all the way, point for point until 13-13 when our middle kill blocked their middle and then we forced them to error winning the set 15-13. This was a great win for us as, probably our best team performance of the season with people stepping up to take responsibility and everyone contributing. We must now carry this mentality on”.

This win leaves SCU in 3rd place in the league, with 1 game in hand.

DEF, France

The only GB player in action in the DEF this weekend was Rachel Bragg and her team, Toulon Six Fours La Seyne. Away to 3rd placed team, Volley-Ball Tulle Naves, it was going to be tough for Toulon but they were looking to continue to improve their performance from two weeks ago.

An improved performance was achieved with Toulon competing throughout the match. Naves took the first set 25-19 but Toulon stayed strong and took the second set 22-25. After the customary 10 minute break, the third was a close encounter until the crucial part of the set, when Naves were too strong for Toulon winning 25-20. The fourth set was a similar story with Toulon again competitive until the early 20′s when sets are won and lost. They lost the fourth 25-21 and the match 3-1. This leaves Toulon at the bottom of the league.

Eredivisie, Belgium

After 2 great wins, Jo Healy and Vicky Palmer’s Geo Happel Amigos Zoersel were in action at home this weekend against Richa Michelbeke who sit 3 places above Amigos in 5th position. A tough match awaited them but the team were confident particularly after beating Charlerloi.

The start to the match was disastrous with Amigos going 1-8 behind but with some strong local support the home team tried to climb their way back into the set but there was no way back, losing 18-25. Amigos immediately responded with good play and good feeling in the team. Leading 23-17 and tieing the score at one set each, there were too many stupid mistakes and despite substitutions didn’t score another point and lost the set 23-25.

The third was close all the way and very exciting to watch, Amigos started to play with a better offence and had opportunities in the latter part of the set. In the end, they took their chance and the set 29-27. In the fourth set both teams showed their best play and it was a thrilling encounter, but Michelbeke were stronger and took the set 21-25 and won the match 1-3. This leaves Amigos 7th in the league.

NLA, Switzerland

After two very disappointing matches last week, Maria Bertelli’s Volley Koniz had a big job to do this weekend to pick themselves up. It is now the play off stages and they face VC Kanti Schaffhausen in a best of 3 series in the 1/4 final, with the first match at home last Saturday. After two 5 set matches already this season a close encounter was expected.

Maria in serve receive action

From the very first point it was clear this would be an interesting match, with both teams knowing their opposition well and the desire to win evident for all to see, displayed in lots of super defence and some long good quality rallies. The set was point for point but Kanti won 23-25. In the second set Koniz found their rhythm with some strong serving and speed in offence, leading from early on they won the set comfortably 25-17.

Level at 1 set each after the 10 minute break Kanti came out strong, scoring far too easily especially with tip balls, and with too many errors from the home team Kanti led all the through the set to 25-21. From the 4th set onwards Koniz were the stronger team, playing with strong service backed up by solid block defence and easy side-out. The result was a convincing win 25-15 and momentum going into the 5th set. Having won a number of 5th sets this year Koniz believed they could do this again and on the back of strong service the home team took a 6-1 lead and never looked in danger, taking the set 15-8 and the match 3-2.

We knew we would have to fight today...

“We were all very disappointed last week and it has been a tough week but we knew that all we could do now was focus on the play-offs, one game at a time. We knew would have to fight today and we showed that in abundance especially in the early sets. It was great that we stayed strong even though we were 2-1 down and the quality we brought in the last 2 sets we will look to bring again next Saturday.”

Koniz now play away next Saturday with the decider, if required on Sunday at home.

Superliga, Spain

The opposition was CV Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2016 for Janine Sandell’s Menorca and after the disappointment of the Copa De La Reina last weekend it was important to get back to winning ways, a positive result was expected against 8th in the league.

A result and a performance was welcomed by the home crowd, with Menorca taking the match convincingly 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-12). There was never any doubt about the result with Menorca being far too strong for their opposition in all areas of the game. This was even with 2 of their main hitters, Sandell and Atherstone, remaining on the bench. This win keeps Menorca 8 points clear at the top of the league.

Next up is a difficult encounter away from home in the CEV Cup, Menorca losing the first match at home last week 1-3 against Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza of Poland. They must win the game to force a Golden Set to decide who will progress to the next stage.

Super 8′s, England

It was National Konck Out Cup action in England this weekend and Malory Eagles were at home to Ashcombe VC. Osborne/Brewer’s Malory were favourites but Ashcombe have been having a decent season so it would not be easy.

The first 2 sets were pretty comfortable for Malory, playing aggressively and in control of the match winning 25-20, 25-19. Maybe they were a little too calm going into the 3rd and Ashcombe came back into the game, establishing a lead and gathering momentum. Malory couldnt get back into the set and lost 19-25. Ashcombe continued their play into the 4th, serving tough and tactically pinning the passer hitter, resulting in a 0-7 lead for the away team. Despite a strong run of serves Malory couldn’t bridge the gap and lost the set 18-25.

So it was to the tie break and Ashcombe started the same way as the 4th, taking a 0-5 lead. This time though, Malory dug deep and served tough to get back into the game and in fact were ahead at the turn-around. Now playing with confidence and aggression Malory took the set 15-10 and the match 3-2. It should have been 3-0.

Malory progress to the semi-finals where they will face Polonia in what should be an exciting match!

RESULTS SUMMARY:

Lucy Wicks & Ciara Michel - League, Germany: LOST 1-3

Jo Healy & Vicky Palmer - League, Belgium: LOST 1-3

Maria Bertelli - Play Off 1/4 Final, Switzerland:  WON 3-2

Janine Sandell - League, Spain: WON 3-0

Lynne Beattie - League, Germany: WON 1-3

Grace Carter - France: No game

Rachel Newton - France: No game

Jo Morgan - Sweden: No game

Jenn Taylor & Jen Thom - League, Germany: WON 3-2

Nic Osborne & Tash Brewer - Cup, England: WON 3-2

Laura Beardsmore - France: No game

Rachel Bragg - League, France: LOST 3-1

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