GB played their second match in 3 days in Salu in front of approximately 500 fans and approached the game determined to record another victory.
The match starting line up was Wicks, Beattie, Carter, Laybourne, Bragg & Michel. Both teams traded points in the early stages, with the score 8-6 at the first technical timeout. In the mid section of the set Grace Carter, through the middle and Lynne Beattie through zone 4 took control with excellent scores in attack. A couple of serve and serve receive errors from the GB team kept Finland in with a chance but at the crucial time of the set the players delivered with efficiency to win 21-25. Big influences in the set were Carter (scoring 8 times) and Beattie (5 times).
After a confident end to set 1, GB started the second set slowly and Coach Cooper was forced to take an early time out at 0-5 down. Carter immediately responded again scoring 3 times and Wicks varied the distribution very well. Beattie and Carter continued to score and by the second technical timeout the deficit was reduced to just 2 points (16-14). It was tied into the twenties, when serving errors were made and Finland had 2 kill blocks to take the set 25-22.
With the match tied at 1-1, there was a 10 minute break to allow some home team spectator entertainment. It was an opportunity to change things up and Sandell, Bragg and O’Connor entered the court. Finland responded better to the break, coming back and going very aggressive from the service line which cause the GB unit problems – with the exception of Bertelli who stood firm. Not helped with tentative GB serving Finland dominated the set to win 25-14.
Coach Cooper rallied the troops again and they showed excellent composure and aggression in the offence. After a strong start, with Bragg and Beattie scoring 6 points between them, a series of unforced errors allowed Finland back into the set but GB led 15-16 at the second technical timeout. After trading points, four strong attacks from GB allowed them to take the set 25-22.
GB faced another 5 set match again on top of their hectic schedule. GB again came out with excellent determination, strong serving from O’Connor backed up by good block defence meant GB led 5-8 at the switch of ends. O’Connor again scored 2 attack points and 1 block for GB to lead 10 -12. Another block, this time from Sandell and a final kill from Grace Carter finished the set 11-15 and the match was won 2-3 by GB.
GB did not play their best tonight and made too many unforced errors but showed excellent spirit to win another 5 set match. Some good passing from Bertelli and awesome all round play from Carter were the highlights.
Serve Receive: Team: 1.85 (Leaf 2.38 from 8, Bertelli 2.25 from 20,)
Kills/Efficiency: Team: 39 / 14.66% (Carter 8 / 38.9%, Beattie 15 / 25.0%)
Blocks: Team: 16 (Carter: 8 )
MVP: Grace Carter
1. Savanah Leaf, 2. Lucy Wicks, 4. Rachel Laybourne, 7. Maria Bertelli (Libero), 8. Rachel Bragg, 9. Jo Morgan, 10. Lynne Beattie (Captain), 12. Lizzie Reid, 15. Stacey O’Connor, 17. Janine Sandell, 18. Grace Carter, 19. Ciara Michel