Another nerve-wrecking 5 sets game for our NVL ladies, who fought insatiably to take the victory home.
On Sunday, the 7th of November, the NVL team welcomed Cardiff Falcons at Kendrick School. The expectations were high and the locals brought together a full 12-players squad.
Aces began with Denisa setting and Adela opposite, Marcela and Magdalena as outside hitters, Carmel and Ellie through the middle and Stassie as libero. From the first point, our ladies looked up for the battle as the serves were strong and accurate and the attack was precise and clever. Falcons were struggling with the pass and didn’t seem to be comfortable on court. With great skills, Aces close the set 25-14.
Coach James made a couple of small tweaks and the second set started with Lana as opposite and Aga as outside with Marcela; no changes for middle players and setter. Our NVL ladies put Falcons under pressure, although they started picking up more balls and hitting more effectively. Half way through, our dear Lana got injured: an unfortunate landing post-block on one of the opposition players’ foot made her twist an ankle and had to retrieve for the remaining of the game. Adela replaced her and Zosia came in for Aga. After the incident, it took a while for Aces to focus again and they lost their lead. However, they pushed back and won the set 30-28.
With two sets already in the bag, Aces were confident they could finish the game quickly. Yet, Falcons were on full swing. They made a great comeback and seemed to be everywhere: defense was spot on and their attacks, dangerous. The entire set was neck to neck, with timeouts being called by both teams, but it was Cardiff team who took the set 21-25.
The fourth set started with Denisa, Adela, Magda, Aga, Ellie, Carmel and Stassie. Despite having a strong squad, Aces got themselves to a 10-1 deficit, also due to Falcons’ captain powerful serves. Our NVL ladies fought back, but problems with communication arose. Regardless of some really good actions, specially serves and attacks, and some key substitutions (Katie, Zosia and Federica played very well), they lost the set 11-25.
Score at 2-2, 3pm, big crowd supporting both teams… There had to be a good performance! Aces brought on the initial line-up and they didn’t disappoint. Even though Falcons put on a hard opposition, our NVL squad proved that teamwork, attitude and a powerful display win games (and make volleyball more enjoyable!). They sailed through the rest of the set to win 15-12.
Marcela’s hitting booming winners and defense, Adela’s unstoppable serving and attack, Ellie’s crucial blocks and tips, Stassie’s accurate defense/passing, Carmel’s killing serves, Denisa’s clever setting, Magda’s power and backcourt work, Zosia’s great performance, Aga’s serve, Katie’s smart placements, Federica’s accurate setting and Lana’s exceptional cover made possible this win. Everyone involved delivered, but, without a doubt, we need to thank our MVP (Marcela) for her outstanding performance that led Reading Aces to keep this win home.
On and off court there was no energy drop and the players didn’t stop cheering and supporting each other.
This NVL team has still lots in storage… Watch this space 🙂