17/18 March - Middles Rule…Michel the #2 Blocker in Bundesliga and crucial win for Carter!

The ‘business-end’ of the season has begun… Lets see how the GBW got on at the weekend…

France:

Carter’s TFOC won 3-2 v Nantes

Crucial win for TFOC

In the biggest game of the season so far, Carter’s TFOC faced 8th placed Nantes away. A win was needed to ensure they were still in the running to stay in PRO A and with a very tough game, they managed just that.

The first set was tight, with both teams playing solid side-out volleyball, but TFOC eventually took the set 27-29. TFOC had the momentum in the second with some strong serving and blocking, cruising to a 14-25 win.

But Nantes didn’t give up as the game was just as important to them, coming out strong to take the third 25-18, then despite an early lead for TFOC, Nantes served them off the court to take a 25-20 victory.

TFOC has been in many 5 set games this season, and that experience was the tipping point for the team, staying aggressive they took the final set and the game 13-15.

Carter commented: “This was a vital win for us, and a good team performance under great pressure. We still have a tough match ahead of us to guarantee our spot in PRO A, but we have shown that we are more than capable.”

Newton’s Quimper Volley won 3-1 v Tulle  (25-16, 21-25, 25-16, 25-19)

Rachel Newton

Quimper had a great 3-1 win against Tulle this weekend. They now push 3 points ahead of second place Stade Francais, who still have a game in hand. Quimper came out strong in the first set, with good service and composure on court. In the second set Tulle put them under pressure in reception and their attack in the middle started to cause some trouble. In the third set, Quimper looked stronger and took a good lead from the start to the finish of the set. Tulle started to make errors, especially in reception. The fourth set was close at the start but Quimper attacked aggresively and looked in control of the game.

Rachel comments: ‘We had a better performance than the previous week and took the vital 3 points we wanted. Now we have two weeks to prepare for a big match away against St.Raphael and then Stade Francais which will both be difficult matches.’

Germany: Alemannia Aachen lost 3-0 v Wiesbaden

Ci Michel... blocking machine!

The final weekend of the German Bundesliga saw Wicks & Michel’s Aachen take on 7th placed Wiesbaden away from home. The game summed up Aachen’s season with numerous serving errors and instability in the serve receive unit making it difficult for the team to get into any rhythm. There were flashes of great play but unfortunately not enough and Aachen lost 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-10). Aachen finished the season in 10th place, safe from relegation but out of the play off zone.

On completion of the regular season’s fixtures, our very own Ci Michel finished the season as the 2nd best blocker in the Bundesliga…what a result for Ciara and great news for GB for the summer ahead.

Switzerland:

Jen Thom’s VBC Biel-Bienne lost 3-0 v Dudingen (25-20, 25-23, 25-23)

VBC Biel-Bienne

VBC Biel-Bienne played Düdingen away on Sunday.  It was yet another disappointing match for VBC Biel-Bienne.

Jen comments: “We definitely competed with Düdingen but it’s the same things that cost us the match.  We had some really good plays but were unable to close the sets and as a team we lack confidence to win. With only one match left now we are all determined to change this and come out with a win.”

Osborne and Goulet’s VC Kanti Schaffhaussen lost 3-2 v Sagres NUC

VC Kanti schaffhausen played their last game of the season last Wednesday.

VC Kanti's Osborne and Goulet

Unfortunately, having lost the weekend before, a result either way would render them in 5th place and therefore done with playoffs. However, it was still an important match for both teams with opposition NUC needing crucial points and for Schaffhausen wanting to finish the season on a big high.

It ended with a five set thriller with Kanti fighting hard to come back in the fourth, but they were unable to maintain momentum in the fifth, ultimately losing 3-2.

Osborne commented: “A good fight in the last game of the season, although a shame we couldn’t sustain that for the fifth set. It was an enjoyable match to play and a great challenge against a tricky setter… A real shame not to make 2nd round of playoffs but this is the situation we now find ourselves in. Our team goal for the season was top 5. Maybe we could have done more, but we achieved that goal. Time now to reflect, remember some great moments, learn from the tough ones and bring the valuable assets back to GB!”

Bertelli’s Volley Koniz lost 3-1 v Sagres NUC

It was a huge week for Bertelli’s Volley Koniz in the Swiss NLA, after a 3-1 loss against league leaders Volero midweek, they were up against 2nd placed team Sagres NUC on Sunday…winner takes all, with ‘all’ being a place in the Play Off Final.

Bertelli comments…

Bertelli strong in Serve Receive for Koeniz

Today was a huge game, the last game of the play-offs…we were in 3rd place going into the match against the 2nd placed team, NUC. We win the match 3-0 or 3-1 and we make the play off final.   The atmosphere in the team before the match was different, I could sense a real belief and determination in the players. We have been ‘nearly’ a few times this season and I really felt today that this was our moment. The players had taken responsibility for knowing the opposition, what they do and how best we can counter that. That gave us a bit of added confidence, on top of the desire that was obvious.”

“We lost the first two sets 25-19 and 25-21, competing but then NUC seemed to raise their game and we didnt have answers. Knowing they were through to the final, NUC celebrated. It was like a kick in the teeth seeing them when I really believed we would be the team that made it through. Luckily, we had a 10 minute break that enabled us to gather our thoughts and there was still an opportunity to win a match. We responded and won the 3rd comfortably 18:25. The 4th was a similar story to the 1st and 2nd, losing 25:20.”

“We now play a best of 3 series for 3rd place, there is a medal to be won!”

Spain:

Beattie CV Las Palmas won 3-0 v Cuestra Piedra Santa Cruz

Beattie receives for Las Palmas

On paper this match was due to be a comfortable win for the home Las Palmas Team, but having lost their 3 matches previously, Las Palmas were lacking the confidence they had in the first half of the season, so they knew this would be a crucial game to win in order to regain some momentum with an outside chance of a play off position still on the cards.

In the first set, the nerves were apparent for Las Palmas, but mid-way through the set, the nerves disappeared and they began to show the volleyball they were capable of.  Beattie took control of the set through tough serving that the young Tenerife team couldn’t handle resulting in a 25-15 win.  It was a similar story in the second and third set with Las Palmas winning 25-12 and 25-9, taking a 3-0 win and a confidence boost into the remainder of the season with everything still to play for.

Beattie - Superliga's best server of the week

Beattie commented: “It was a match that could have gone either way for us, after struggling in recent matches, but we showed a strength of character to take the game to Cuestra Piedra.  We weren’t complacent despite it being a game we should win easily and we were clinical in everything we did.   This result gives us all the confidence we need going into the remaining 5 matches of the season and we continue to remain hungry for a top 4 play-off spot!”

Sandell’s Valeriano Alles Menorca lost 3-0 v Murillo

Belgium: Palmers Gea Happel Amigo’s won 3-1 v Volley de Haan

 

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