Posted by Winchester Eagles Volleyball Club on Feb 06 2022 at 10:35AM PST in 2021/2022

Last night, both Winchester Eagles Mixed teams played two games at SADVA: one against the Gosport Jedi and the second against each other in an all-Eagles derby.
First on were the “oldies’ team” facing the Gosport Jedi. It all started with David’s insidious serves down the line, over and over again. The Gosport Jedi just could not return the ball and before they knew it, it was 6-0 for the Eagles. When the Jedi finally gained the serve, it got even worse for them. Captain Andy was simply unstoppable at the net and kept on bombarding them with powerful killer hits. At one point, it got so scary on the Jedi court that one player had to duck out of the way to save her head. Timidly, the Gosport Jedi tried to build a counter attack but things did not get any better there: they simply could not get past Andy’s insurmountable block. They tried with their hits, they tried with their tips, they even tried with their volleys but the ball kept on bouncing back in their face. All it took was a few tricky serves by Fab and Ollie and the first set was over.

In the second set, the Gosport Jedi tried a come-back but they stood no chance. Relentless and clever attacks from our unstoppable middle players – Andy and Ollie – and effective hits from our wing hitters – Claire, Parakram and Fab – left setter Angie spoilt for choice. The second set was quickly over and the Gosport Jedi never made it to double digits.
Next was the derby. The young Eagles put on a much better fight than the Jedi against the oldies and did manage to get to double figures in both sets. There were some really good serves from Julio and Lou that caused some trouble and an overall great team effort from the young Eagles. Liv and Liz bravely attacked against Andy’s block. Robin, Tania, Beth and the whole team fought hard to defend the strong hits coming their way. However, once again David’s serves gave the oldies a comfortable initial lead and they youngsters were never able to catch up. So it was one set nil for the oldies.
In the second set, the young Eagles renewed their resolve not to be easily beaten. There were some excellent passes from Robin, Tania, Christian and Beth. With spectacular defence efforts from Luh and Scott and some power hits down the line from Christian and Tania, the oldies had to work hard to secure the second set but once again they prevailed and took the match 2-0, concluding the game with a brave jump-serve from David.

In the final game, the young Eagles faced the Gosport Jedi. After a shaky start, the Eagles regained their composure and fought hard throughout the first set. Unfortunately, the Jedi won it, mainly thanks to their aggressive serves.
In the second set, the Eagles made some tactical changes in their passing unit and started to have more control in their power hits. The Eagles’ serves became more effective too and they managed to secure the second set.
The decider was going to be a tie-break and what a set it was! The Eagles’ fight was amazing and the two teams kept on trading points head to head throughout the set. When it looked like all was lost, some aggressive serves from Lou made it all possible again. Unluckily, because of time constraints, the tie-break score was capped at 23 and the Eagles lost it by just one point. Yes, they were beaten but they could definitely hold their heads high.
After a panicky moment when it looked like we had all been locked in at Woodlands, both teams headed to the pub for the customary celebratory drinks. The only absentee was the team mascot, Arsie the Eagle. Where are you, Arsie and when are we going to see you back on court? Surely, if we keep on winning, Arsie will be back soon. Watch this space.


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