GBW Results 26/27 February: Wins for Sandell and Carter keep them top of the league, 100% record in Germany

GBW Results 26/27 February 2011


Janine scored 20 points against Burgos

Sandell was back in action for Menorca in the Spanish Superliga, they gained a vital 3-2 win away from home against Universidad de Burgos with Janine scoring 20 points. It was also a 100% record in Germany with Beattie’s Hamburg gaining a great 3-0 win against 4th in the league Smart Allianz Stuttgart. Taylor & Thom’s SCU Emlichheim also earned 2 points with a 3-2 win against VC Parchim and move to 5th in the Bundesliga Nord, with a game in hand on 3 of the teams above them.

It was another win for Carter’s TFOC in France, keeping them clear at the top of the DEF. However, it was the end of a superb cup run for Rachel Newton’s Quimper who lost out 0-3 to French Pro A team Le Cannet. In the NF3, Laura Beardsmore’s TFOC won 3-0 against Colmarienne Volley which moves them up into 2nd place in the league.

Important points for Amigos

In Belgium, there was a huge win for Palmer and Healy’s Amigos Zoersal against Datavoc Tongeren, which means they now leapfrog them in the league. However, it was a disappointing weekend for Maria Bertelli’s Volley Koniz in the first match of the ‘best of 5′ play off semi finals, losing 3-1 away from home against Volero Zurich.Wicks & Michel’s Aachen (Germany) and Jo Morgan’s Gislaved (Sweden) were not in action this weekend.

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
With a week off for Lucy Wicks and Ciara Michel (Alemannia Aachen) it was an opportunity for Lynne Beattie’s VTA Hamburg to leapfrog them in the league table, however it was a tough challenge ahead for Hamburg who faced Stuttgart, sitting 4th in the league.


Hamburg celebrate a good win against Stuttgart

From the beginning, Hamburg were focussed and determined to deliver a performance. This materialised into a 25-15 first set win in 23 minutes. The second set was a similar performance, with strong defence keeping Hamburg in control despite aggressive offence from Stuttgart. The determination was clear to see and with similar ease Hamburg took a 2-0 lead with a 25-15 set win.

The 3rd set was closer with Stuttgart finding their game, in the ctitical part of the set Hamburg took a 24-21 lead but Stuttgart came back only for Hamburg to rise again and take the set 27-25 and the match 3-0. Hamburg stay in 8th place in the league.






Bundesliga Nord, Germany
Taylor & Thom’s SCU Emlichheim had another 5 set thriller on Sunday afternoon, lasting 123 minutes. The visiting team, VC Parchim who were sitting 4 places below SCU were an easy scalp prior to Christmas, but this game proved to be very different.

SCU had a relatively slow start, struggling to side out and cancelling out some good play with too many serving errors. As a result the set proved to be a close affair, with the away side taking the set 26-28. The score setting the precedent for the remainder of the match!

Taylor attacks in the 2nd set where SCU dominated at the net

In the second set, SCU were still in shock and found themselves 0-4 behind, which after getting stuck in a couple of rotations extended to 6-14. However, SCU bounced back, through stronger serving, dominating the net and got back into the set at 10-14 and then 15-17. They now had the momentum, keeping Parchim in a couple of rotations and pushing on to take the set 25-23.

After the mandatory 10 minute break, SCU continued in the same vain as they finished the second set and were leading 12-5 and 16-10 at the second technical time-out. Parchim were not giving up though and made life difficult for the home team getting to within 2 points at 16-14 and 20-18. However, SCU were too strong in the serve from 20 onwards and took the set 25-22. In the fourth set, the teams traded points until the mid teens, when Parchim stepped up their serving game and caused the SCU serve receive unit many problems, the away team taking a 15-20 lead. Despite a number of substitutions the run of errors proved to be to big a gap to make up and Parchim won the set 19-25 and levelled the match 2-2.

So, to the tie-break, something SCU are making a habit of, and the home team had a dream start with a great serving run giving them the lead at the  change of ends, 8-2 and 10-4. However, the game changed very rapidly with Parchim finding a strong serve and gradually getting back into the game, point by point until it was 12-11 and SCU finally managed to side-out. The pressure was now on and the momentum with Parchim but somehow SCU finally managed to close out the game 16-14 and take the 2 points! Phew! see the league table.

DEF, France
After extending their lead at the top of the league last weekend, Grace Carter’s TFOC were at home to 7th place Entente St-Chamond Volley, who did TFOC a favour last week by beating second in the league Hainaut. TFOC were looking to build on their recent form and remain top of the league, determined to avoid any hiccups.

TFOC made the perfect start winning the set 25-7 and outclassing the opposition in all areas of the game. However as is becoming more and more evident in womens volleyball, the serve is critical and TFOC were caught off guard in the second set when St Chammond began serving high risk and defending well, the result they bounced back exceptionally to win the set 25-20.


2 kill blocks from Carter finished the set

Continuing their high risk serving strategy, St Chammond caused TFOC problems in reception and the third set was close all the way, with TFOC’s offence becoming predictable. Carter, rested for the game due to a cautious approach to a slight niggle, entered the court and made 2 kill blocks to take the set 23-25. The final set TFOC were in control from the start, with strong serve & reception resulting in a 25-17 victory. See the league table.

Rachel Bragg’s Toulon Six Fours La Seyne were looking to get there first win on the board, and indeed do Grace a favour, by taking a victory away to second place Hainaut Volley, not impossible but a tough ask. Bragg reports on the match…

GB's Bragg has to work hard for the Toulon team

“We knew this was going to be a tough game away from home as Hainaut are a tall, hard hitting team. In the first set we came out fighting, energised and with a new libero in tow, we took an early lead 8-3. With aggressive blocking and tactical serving working hand in hand we really shocked them. Everything that we had worked on during the week was working… running the middle in sideout and free balls and going to the wings in transition play taking advantage of their short setter and slower middle. A 20 - 17 lead was established but they started running their middle and wiping off our block. After 2 very bad referee decisions our team lost focus and went away from what we were doing best. We lost the set 25 - 23.

The 2nd set is best forgotten with far too many errors from our team and never really competing in the set. After the 10 minute break and a couple of changes to the line up, we went back to what was working for us in the 1st set, serve and block volleyball. It was level pegging until the second technical time-out when they upped their serve and the only place our setter could go was to the wings. Although we were predictable, we used the block and would recycle and go again but it wasn’t enough and we lost the set 25 -18. The first and third sets show how we can really play and I feel confident that the fight is still in everyone to find that elusive win.”

Coup de France
It was a break from league action this weekend for Rachel Newton’s Quimper. After beating top Pro A team Mulhouse in the last round, Quimper were hoping for another upset against 3rd placed Le Cannet in the Coup de France semi finals on Saturday. In a sports hall filled to capacity, Quimper, despite missing 2 key players (setter and middle) due to injury offered a great resistance to the higher league opposition.

Cannet started the match strong, serving tough and backing it up with strong block play. The Quimper reception was not quite good enough to give the substitute setter enough options in offence and the home team trailed 3-8 and 5-13. After a time-out Quimper started to play more like the team they are and started to claw themselves back into the game but they were too far adrift and at 15-22 down, there was no way back. Cannet took the set 18-25.

In the second set, Quimper again started slowly and were 3-10 behind, with far too predictable in offence and struggling in block defence. It was time for a change, with the injured middle Duspivova entering the game and having an immediate impact with 2 service aces and a block. Quimper were coming back 11-15, a Newton block and an ace helped the team to come within 4 points at 17-21. 3 more points were traded and then Cannet hit smart to take the set 20-25, and a 0-2 lead.

In the 3rd set the team functioned and showed they could compete!

The third set Quimper had nothing to lose and at 9-16 it looked like the match was over with the Cannet offence proving too strong. However, Quimper found their rhythm and with a number of kill blocks supported by powerful offence they got back into the set at 13-17, 17-19, 18-20 and levelled the scores at 20-20. With Cannet attacker, Freeze unstoppable the away team had set point at 22-24 but Quimper fought back with a hard attack followed by a service ace. At 24-24 the Pro A team showed their experience with 2 clinical points to take the set 24-26 and the match 0-3. Newton comments….

Rachel Newton pensive post match...

“We lost this match because we started slowly in each set which you can’t do against such opposition. We showed in the 3rd that we have quality, caused them trouble, making them panic. They played their best 6 the whole game which shows they respected us, we come away disappointed at not showing them what we can do and making it more competitive. They were strong but definately beatable had we played our best game like we did against Mulhouse”.

N3FC, France
With 2nd and 3rd place in the league neck and neck, Laura Beardsmore’s TFOC know they can not afford any slip ups. This week they were at home to mid table team, Colmarienne Volley.

Laura was rested for the game due to a slight knee problem, more precaution than anything else with some important games coming up. It was a straight forward win for TFOC 3-0 (25-19,25-22,25-14) which moves them into 2nd place in the league. Laura comments “it was a solid performance and good 2 points but it wasn’t much fun watching from the bench!”

Eredivisie, Belgium
This weekend, GEA Happel Amigos faced Datavoc Tongeren who sat two league places above Jo Healy and Vicki Palmer’s team. A win was vital for the home team to ensure they stay mid table and do not lose ground on the teams above them.


Vicki serving tough for Amigos

Amigos started the game very slowly, 1-4 and 5-10 behind however through some strong serving they got back into the set, leveling at 11-11. The game swayed based on serve and service reception, and with Tongeren leading 15-17 their strongest server went back to the line and dominated the Amigos team which made blocking easy. The home team struggled to side out and lost the set 16-25.  In the second set, Amigos reacted well taking a 5-1 and 8-5 lead. With Vicki leading the way from the service line, they never looked back and took the set 25-16.

In the third, the two teams were closely matched until the first technical time-out with the home team leading 8-6, strong serving, backed up by solid team play extending their lead to 13-7. With some great first tempo offence Amigos maintained their lead and took the set 25-20, to lead the match 2-1. It was an even start to the fourth set, with the score 7-8 and 9-11, however from that point on Tongeren took control of the set with real force, serving with a lot of pressure and Amigos struggling to side out. The result was 15-25, so the match was level and a 5th set was needed.

The final set and everything to play for, for both teams. Both teams started well and the score was even at 4-4 but with some very aggressive and passionate play  Amigos took the lead 8-4. Tongeren fought back to within 2 points at 11-9 but never doubting they could win Amigos finished the set 15-11. Such a up and down game but the Brits are happy they came out with the result needed. The coach made 16 substitutes during the match so it really was a team performance. See the league table here.

NLA, Switzerland
It’s crunch time of the season for Maria Bertelli’s VBC Koeniz who faced Volero Zurich in the first semi final play off on Saturday. Away from home against Champions league team Volero, Koeniz knew it was going to be a tough task but having beating them in the league only 5 weeks before knew that it was possible.

Crunch time for Bertelli's Koeniz

The first two sets followed a similar pattern with both teams competitive until the scores hit the teens, from that point on Volero took control with some tough serving making the Koeniz offence predictable and then backing that up with huge blocks. Add to that Koeniz making too many unforced errors and the set scores were comfortable for the home team 25-17, 25-15.

In the third, we started to see the real Koeniz, stronger serving, better passing and stronger sideout play….simple! It was tight all the way, with some good play from both teams, it was Koeniz however who took the initiative at 23-23 and finished the set 23-25 to give themselves a chance to get back in the match. In contrast to the last home game, where Koeniz came back into the match, unfortunately in the 4th Set Volero came back strong and despite lots of changes on the Koeniz side they could not sideout consistently and Volero ran out easy winners 25-13. Maria Bertelli comments…

“It was a disappointing performance, we went into the game waiting to see what the opposition would do instead of grabbing the game by the throat. Volero are a very good team so if you do that they will punish you. It wasn’t our day today but this is a best of 5 series and I know we have the players who can do this, so its now all our focus is on the second match next week.”

Superliga, Spain
It was a tricky away match this weekend for Janine Sandell’s Valeriano Alles Menorca against 5th placed team, Universidad de Burgos. After suffering a thigh strain over the last couple of weeks, Menorca coach was happy to have Janine available and back in action.

Menorca were ready to play...

In the first set Menorca showed their intentions early, taking a 4-7 lead, but Burgos came back and the score was levelled at 13-13. Strong offence play led to 13-16 ahead at the second technical time-out, extended to 16-20. Without any more problems Menorca took the set 20-25. In the second, 11-14 up an injury to Menorca’s middle blocker meant a change was required and this gave an opportunity for Burgos to get back in the set. It was point for point with Menorca leading 18-20 but they just couldnt get to the end and Burgos took the set 25-22 and the leveled the match at 1 set all.

Janine had a positive impact after 2 weeks out with injury

With Burgos coming strong and Menorca’s middle blocker out of the match they had to find something special in the 3rd set and their attackers responded, Janine scoring well to extend the lead to 14-19. The away team were playing well and feeling good and Burgos could not cope, Menorca wining the 3rd set 18-25. Leading 2 sets to 1, Menorca were looking to close out the match, Burgos had other ideas and led 12-9. In a close encounter, both teams played impressive offence and traded points all the way….at the end Burgos scored 2 crucial points and took the set 25-23 and ied the game 2 sets each.

So, to the tiebreaker and Menorca took an early lead (3-6). With the home team feeling the pressure they were forced into errors and at 5-10 the set should be over. After trading a couple of points, 2 blocks won the set and the match for Menorca 8-15.

This win leaves Menorca 5 points clear at the top of the Superliga, 5 points clear of CV Murcia in second place. See statistics from the match and the league table.

National K.O. Cup, England
It was off to the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering this weekend for Malory Eagles. With Osborne and Brewer in the middle, a very determined Malory team set about the challenge of taking victory over Polonia in the National Cup semi-finals.


Osborne blocks for Malory

With a positive start and both teams exchanging points in the first set, Malory were optimistic, however, after a run of points against them in the crucial part of the set, Polonia extended their lead and it was too much for Malory, losing the set 25-21. In the second set things were heading the same way as the 1st with Polonia in control. Despite good passing from Malory and some positive play they just could not find the floor of the opposition’s court. Polonia’s defence and ability to transition this into an aggressive attack proved too much for Malory and they took the set 25-15. 2-0 to Polonia.

The third set started well, with Malory taking the lead for a short period of time, playing some good volleyball, however any small mistakes Polonia took advantage and Malory could not fight back, losing the set 25-19 and the match 3-0.


Lucy Wicks & Ciara Michel - Germany: No match
Jo Healy & Vicky Palmer - League, Belgium: WON 3-2
Maria Bertelli - 1/2 Final Play Offs, Switzerland: LOST 3-1 (match 1 in best of 5)
Janine Sandell - League, Spain: WON 2-3
Lynne Beattie - League, Germany: WON 3-0
Grace Carter - League, France: WON 1-3
Rachel Newton - Cup, France: LOST 3-0
Jo Morgan - Sweden: No match
Jenn Taylor & Jen Thom - League, Germany: WON 3-2
Nic Osborne & Tash Brewer - K.O. Cup, England: LOST 3-0
Laura Beardsmore - France: WON 3-0
Rachel Bragg - League, France: LOST 3-0

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