GB raise their game to win the series 3-0

12th June 2012
Finland 1 – 3 Great Britain (19-25, 25-23, 14-25, 16 - 25)

GB prepared for their third game of the 5 match series, with an excellent training session on the morning working on offence and speed in the attack. Taking confidence from 2 wins in a row and knowing that there was still a lot more to come, the team were determined to take the opportunity to win the series today.

The starting line up was Wicks, Reid, Beattie, Carter, Laybourne, Leaf and Bertelli as libero. It was Captain Beattie who led the way from the beginning linking well with playmaker Wicks who was taking risks on the quick attack at the aerial. This set the tone for the set and the net play was very effective throughout the set running combinations as well as up-tempo pipe attacks, which were all linked to the front court offence. Carter and Reid were unstoppable through the middle as GB won 19-25.

The second set started with both teams trading points but GB edging the first technical time-out 6-8. GB continued to play with speed and risk in their offence but Finland responded and improved their block defence. Leaf scored 2 consecutive quick attacks to give GB a 14-16 lead at the second technical. Finland responded, their captain Vilponen leading the way with 8 points allowing them to take set two 25-23.

In came Michel, Bragg and Sandell for the third set, scoring 13 points between them, Michel heading the pack with 6 points. GB cruised through this set 25-14, the offence being excellent and causing Finland lots of problems.

GB leading 2-1, it was a chance to take the series and the team showed they wanted that right now with a big start to the 4th set. Wicks continued to run the game and this time the hot hitters were Sandell and Michel early in the set, supported by some vicious O’Connor serving. This resulted in an 2-8 lead at the first technical, after which GB extended their lead through Leaf and more strong serving. By the second technical (8-16) the set and the match was wrapped up and GB took the set 16-25.

Some of the volleyball GB played tonight was awesome and has to be the benchmark moving forward. The players took calculated risks and showed good aggression throughout.

Key Stats
Serve Receive: Team: 1.95 (Leaf 2.15 from 13, Bertelli 2 from 19, Laybourne 2 from 15)
Kills/Efficiency: Team: 48 / 20.80% (Carter 6 / 85.7%, Reid 4 / 42.9.%)
Blocks: Team: 12 (Michel 4)
MVP: Lucy Wicks

1.Savanah Leaf, 2. Lucy Wicks, 4. Rachel Laybourne, 5. Rach Newton, 6. Jen taylor, 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

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