Sunday, the women’s National Volleyball League team played Southampton in Chelmsford. Southampton started 2018 in second place in the league table, having lost only 1 game. Knowing this, the Ipswich team set out to push their opponents from the outset. The first set began well, with both teams swinging strong. It became apparent that without continued pressure Southampton would flourish, and Chris Watson (coach) asked the ladies for strong serves and continued attacks. This push and momentum enabled the Ipswich Ladies to push from 17-23 up to a close loss of 23-25.
Unfortunately, the pressure wasn’t applied in the second set as the team lost again. Southampton delivered great defense and some strong outside hitting. The block was set and won multiple times by Pav Watson, but this was not enough to save the set.
Not wanting to go home early, the ladies arrived at the third set with new energy and drive. The team pushed hard, and some great hitting from the outside hitters Julia Vidot and Kasia Plesnar delivered point after point. This match saw great passing and defense from the back court players and setter Iza Karwacka was able to push the set around to different players. This meant that the team ploughed through to their first win.
With the high spirits resounding from the last set, the fourth set was a series of great 3 touch volleyball, with the team pulling together to fight for long rallies and produce great attacks from front court and back. The result was a further win.
Heading into the deciding fifth set, the team didn’t seem to bring the same energy that they finished the fourth set with, which lead to Southampton taking an early lead. Despite this, the team pulled back and managed to fight for final points, playing as they had in the prior two sets. On high spirits, the team served strong and rose to 13-14, then played point for point, until losing at 15-17.