Ipswich Ladies hosted their last NVL matches of 2017/18 season at their home venue Northgate. They would face Maidstone and Portsmouth. Maidstone currently bottom of the league and Portsmouth just above them in 8th position.
Ipswich Ladies got off to a strong start against Maidstone with some confident attacking through Kasia Plesnar playing in the opposite position. A real combination of strong spikes and tips kept the points rolling in and the ladies took the first set 25 – 17.
Iza Karwacka made sure the ball stayed off the floor with some heroic diving after some passes became off target, she also linked really well with middle hitter Emma Goosey, who kept running quick attacks with perfect timing. The ladies really started to click as a team and the outside hitters Julia Vidot and Everita Sokolova managed some great kills. The performance in the second set meant they won it with a comfortable score of 25 – 13.
After such a comfortable second set, coach Kev Abbott shuffled a few play positions around which saw Otylia Miazga and Cat Wright playing through the middle, Michelle Abbott took the opposite position and Emma Goosey was moved to the outside position with Kasia Plesnar. The ladies got off to a shaky start as Maidstone took an early lead, but with some great blocking from Otylia and smart play from Iza they kept right in the game. Emma made the most of her time as an outside hitter leaving the Maidstone block with stinging hands as she forced the ball through the block several times. Set 3 went to Ipswich Ladies 25 – 19. Iza Karwacka gaining Most Valuable Player for the match after her heroic diving and smart tips helped the ladies secure the win.
Maidstone & Ipswich Ladies
The second match of the day between Maidstone and Portsmouth got underway, however Maidstone looked to lack some confidence and the middle attacking from Portsmouth made sure the points kept rolling in, the match ending 3 – 0 to Portsmouth.
Ipswich Ladies & Portsmouth
Ipswich Ladies would have to face Portsmouth in the last match of the day and season, Portsmouth were looking confident after their 3 – 0 win over Maidstone and got off to a good start taking the first 3 points. Ipswich responded well and with some nice attacking work from Michelle Abbott through the middle position found their way level again. The first set stayed a close fought contest, but with Cat Wright playing as libero and keeping the passing on on target, Ipswich took the first set 25 – 22.
Ipswich were now hitting through every channel and working Portsmouth hard, their confidence was flowing and the noise level growing. The second set saw some amazing volleyball with very few mistakes and Ipswich made short work of Portsmouth 25 – 10.
The third set saw Ipswich begin to tire and mistakes began to creep into the game, Portsmouth responded well with some effective middle attacking. Ipswich Ladies looked set to take the set and match leading by a point at the last technical timeout. Portsmouth worked their defence hard and took the lead. Ipswich missing out on the set by 2 points, 23 – 25.
Eager not to loose control of the game and slip into a 5th and final deciding set, a tired Ipswich ladies team took to the court and gave it everything they have! Portsmouth kept within a few points through most of the set, but Emma Goosey firing through the middle gave Ipswich the extra edge they needed and they took the final set 25 – 19. Emma Goosey gaining MVP for the game.
L- R : Kev Abbott, Cat Wright, Iza Karwacka, Julia Vidot, Otylia Miazga, Everita Sokolova, Michelle Abbott, Emma Goosey, Kasia Plesnar
Ipswich Ladies showed some real team togetherness and a fantastic attacking display to be proud of, the two wins mean they are set to finish the season in 3rd or 4th position depending on the Dulwich Tuskers final matches who currently have a game in hand on the Suffolk side.