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VOLLEYBALL: Weymouth Ladies retain Dorking crown
WEYMOUTH Ladies overcame Surrey Orcas to retain their title at the national tournament hosted by Ashcombe School, Dorking.
The Seasiders became only the second club in the event’s 15-year history to achieve the feat following their 3-0 success in the final.
The event was open to teams of National League Division One standard or higher.
Six sides contested the event over two days with qualifying rounds on the Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The top four teams progressed to the semi-finals and the winners of those to a five-set grand final.
First up for Weymouth were Ashcombe II and the Seasiders soon gained the upper hand with strong hitting from Amy Weemes and Celia Gregory.
It was Weymouth’s serving power that did the most damage and Ashcombe struggled to return the ball, eventually succumbing 25-16, 25-14.
Next came the Orcas, a club recently promoted to the Super 8, England’s elite league.
Weymouth were unfazed by this and continued to attack, but despite forcing Surrey to defend the Seasiders could not gain the initiative until the first set was tied at 23-23.
Weymouth captain Anna Wachula produced a very powerful middle attack to score and followed it up with a subtle tip to clinch the set 25-23.
Surrey upped the pace in set two and established a five-point lead which Weymouth could not claw back.
The deciding set was another cliffhanger that went all the way.
Weymouth captured it and the match with a massive line shot from Weemes which gave her side their first Super 8 scalp of the season.
The side went on to earn straight-set wins against Hertfordshire, Worthing and Ashcombe to finish qualifying in top place with an impressive record of played five, won five, sets for 10, sets against one.
The semi-final was against Ashcombe, another club with Super 8 status.
Although Ashcombe defended well, it was Weymouth’s height and power at the net that won through with Marta Cerri and Yuri Chadavadh scoring a series of devastating smashes.
Another 2-0 scoreline was recorded and Weymouth had reached the final.
The showpiece event was staged over the National League best-of-five sets format and it was the Orcas that had also progressed to set up a repeat of Saturday’s epic.
It was the Surrey outfit that gained the upper hand early on, opening an 11-7 lead, but Weymouth clawed into this and eventually drew level at 24-24.
Excellent setting from Chris-tina Meddedu flat-footed the Surrey block with an overhead reverse pass and Celia Gregory made no mistake in finishing the set in Weymouth’s favour (28-26).
Set two also went to Weymouth and again it was by the narrowest of margins (25-23) with Kirsy Fargher excelling in the Libero position.
Opening up a 2-0 lead allowed coach Ian Loke to rest some of his tired players and he introduced Renata Herdukova and Angelika Sierjiej to the attack.
Seirjiej scored several points againts a now dejected Surrey side and Herdukova strengthened the back court defence as Weymouth closed out the set to take the title.
Weymouth: Anna Wachula, Marta Cerri, Christina Mededdu, Celia Gregory, Amy Weemes, Renata Herdukova, Angelika Sierjiej, Yuri Chadavadh and Kirsty Fargher (Libero). Coach: Ian Loke
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