VOLLEYBALL: Rugby Phoenix

Victories for the men’s and ladies’ first teams

Nuneaton Ladies 0

Rugby Phoenix Ladies 3

(20-25, 15-25, 12-25)

The second game of the season for Rugby Phoenix ladies saw them travel to local rivals Nuneaton for a match that they were expecting to win.

Rugby got off to a strong start in the opening set with Rhea Fielding attacking well and not letting their opponents settle. Both sides battled well but Rugby managed to gain a few points lead to take control of the set. Jo Lewis served strongly to keep the away side in a commanding position, and they soon got their reward, winning the first set despite a spirited comeback from Nuneaton at the end.

The second set saw the introduction of Nikki Wardle and Verena Stoebener and their combined power hitting saw the second set take on a similar fashion to the first. Rugby pushed ahead with setter Jan Wardle continually finding her hitter Vicky Nealon, and with Sabine Innes keeping things tight at the back the visitors took the second set.

The final set saw the more experienced Rugby side really show their dominance from the off. With a clear game plan of attacking the Nuneaton defence, Rugby opened up an early 8 point gap that they were never in danger of losing. Mirjam Greiner, making only her second appearance for the team helped steer the away side to a comfortable victory in the final set and win the game.

Another fantastic display by the ladies team who will surely be thinking a good season is in the making if they keep this vein of form.

Nuneaton Men 1

Rugby Phoenix Men’s 1st 3

(25-23, 25-20,18-25, 25-21)

After a disappointing defeat the previous week Rugby Phoenix were hoping to bounce back against local rivals Nuneaton . The game started with both sides trading early points and things remained level through-out the majority of the first set. Rugby struggled to gain any momentum with the attacks and let things slip away, handing the first set to Nuneaton.

Undeterred by the early set back Rugby looked to Aneel Khanna who won some quick points at the beginning of the second set and assisted by some strong serving from Jacob Jarek the away side tried to force a way back into the game. Bav Solanki and Demitrijs Ledkovs hit well down the middle but it wasn’t enough as the home side mounted some serious pressure and won the second set by a small margin.

With the fear of a complete white-wash to their local rivals on the cards Rugby knew they had to up their game and they did so in the third set. Matt Glenn combined well with Simon Jones to open up a small lead which the visitors held on to and managed to claw a way back into the game by winning the third set.

Unfortunately even with some heroic blocking by Captain Mark Fielding it wasn’t enough for Rugby as they lost the final set and the match.

Coach Jon Chetham will be encouraged by a better performance from the previous week even if the result was not what was hoped for.