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VOLLEYBALL: Palace show is best for Weymouth
6:00pm Friday 13th September 2013 in Sport
WEYMOUTH Ladies are celebrating after producing the best performance in the club’s history at a top tournament in Crystal Palace.
The squad came up against two National League Super Eight clubs at the National Sports Centre as well as the England squad, which was split into two teams, England South and England North.
Super Eight outfit Ashcombe Dorking were Weymouth’s opening opponents and the underdogs rose to the challenge superbly, taking the match 2-0 (25-12, 25-14) thanks to some powerful hitting from Celia Gregory and the overall dominance of wing-attack pairing Anna Wachula and Yvonne Saker.
National League Super Eight is the highest standard in the country for club teams so that victory provided Ian Loke’s side with huge confidence ahead of their next encounter against England South.
Once again Wachula and Gregory led brilliantly from the front as Weymouth limited England South’s power game to eventually record another 2-0 success, much to the surprise of England coach Stuart Fullerton, who had made several chances to try and shift the momentum.
Unfortunately for the national side, England North fared no better as they also failed to pick up a set against the Dorset outfit (25-16, 25-19).
Ilva Cunka was one of the stars of their show in that particular encounter with some great scoring from the outside-attack position.
In their final match, Weymouth then came up against Swiss Cottage, the third-ranked club in the country.
Cottage edged the first set 25-23 but their opponents refused to buckle and hit back 25-21 in the second to set up a thrilling finale.
The introduction of setter Sam Wei-Choi and Latvian ace Nomeda had certainly helped turn the tide for Weymouth but Cottage came back fighting, racing into an 11-2 lead in the decider, which then became 14-6, handing them eight match points. However, two straight aces from Gregory and a couple of strong serves down the line soon saw the leaders start to wobble.
Wachula then scored with a strong smash and a delicate tip as Weymouth went on to somehow set the game around to secure a match point of their own, but it was not to be, as Cottage then hit back again to eventually win 17-15.
Weymouth’s take on Wessex and London Polonia at the Leaf Academy in Poole today.
Warm-up is at 1pm.
Weymouth: Yuri Chadavagh, Ilva Cunka, Celia Gregory, Kirsty Fargher (Libero), Nomeda, Yvonne Saker, Sam Wei-Choi, Anna Wachula (captain), Pat Willis. Coaches: Ian Loke, James Kemp.
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