On Sunday 11th September, both our Blaze and Trinity teams made their way to South West London to play in the London Volleyball Cup. With a few weeks of pre-season under our belt, it would be interesting to see how we would fare against some top Super 8 teams.
With a Team Essex debut for Chester Searle, a first Blaze appearance for Joe Palombo and a return for setter Cameron Rhodes. Blaze started strongly against London Docklands, a team that finished 5th in last years Super 8’s. The first set was a tight encounter with both us and Docklands looking to make a statement with the other teams watching but it was Blaze that came out on top, winning the first set 26-24. With the nerves calmed after the 1st set victory, Blaze looked to push to a straight sets victory but it was not to be, the experienced Super 8 team showed their authority and claimed the 2nd set 19-25. Coming into the 3rd and final set. Following some wise words of advice and encouragement from Blaze coach Branislav Kovac, Blaze went on to claim the 3rd set and the match against London Docklands 15-10.
Following victory over London Docklands, Blaze went on to beat Division 2 side New Forest 2-0 (25-23, 25-23). And up next was Malory Eagles. Yet again, Blaze managed to push a Super 8 team to a 3rd and decisive set after Blaze won the 1st 25-23 and Malory Eagles bounced back to claim the 2nd set 30-28. With the match well underway and the majority of the crowd choosing to watch us rather than an all super 8 encounter between London Lynx and London Docklands, shows the level of performance of our team. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Malory showed their consistency to win 9-15 in the 3rd set.
Our final game of the day was against another Super 8 team – London Lynx. Despite some great points from both teams, it was clear that the 4th game of the day took its toll on our guys and fatigue had set in. Playing with all they had left, Blaze eventually fell to a 0-2 defeat (19-25, 19-25).
Also, this was the last time (for now) that we will see Lawrence Russell is a Team Essex top and we all would like to thank him for the all the years he has put into playing his best for this club. We wish him all the best up in Sheffield where he is going to university.
Overall it was a 3rd placed finish for Blaze and a huge congratulations is needed for everyone who took part. Also a big thank you is needed for Malory Eagles for hosting such a great tournament.
Blaze VS New Forest
Team Essex Volleyball Club is very proud to announce a number of new sponsors joining the TEVC family!
Self Holistic Health & Sports Performance are giving the teams vital S&C support, by offering our teams memberships to their facilities along with a number of other services.
Wibblers Brewery are supporting all TEVC events in the near future, supplying very much appreciated beverages to all those that want it.
With a number of other sponsors potentially joining the team over the summer, it’s defiantly an exciting time to be a part of the club.
On 7th November we held our Family Quiz Night.
It was a great night with our traditional supper, games, raffle and of course the Quiz. The “Chamber’s” table took a strategically central position in the hall and played their joker card to perfection scoring a maximum score, including bonus point. Very impressive indeed and this helped them secure the win, frist prize and the cup.
Mark Storkey performed admirably as quiz master keeping on top of a sometimes troublesome microphone. Steph Storkey ensured all the answers were marked correctly including the joker rounds. Many thanks to them and also Tom Storkey for helping with the music round.
Darren Lewis acted as MC and despite the best intentions of Dan Sach, kept the house in order. Darren also presided over the infamous card game presenting the £25 first prize to one lucky young winner.
At the end of the evening, Darren called out the raffle winners. Thanks to everyone’s generousity there were many winners and happy faces at the end of the evening. That includes Wayne, the Premises manager, as we were able to clear the hall a few minutes early!
England Mens U20 team traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria in the 2nd Round of the CEV European Mens U20 Championship. It was the first time an England team had reached the 2nd round. Their performances over the next 3 days were simply incredible, winning admiration from national coaches, officials and supporters.
Led by Blaze coach Darren Lewis, ably supported by Dave Roberts and Kevin O’Malley, the team played world top ten opposition – home favourites Bulgaria, Greece and Holland. In each of the matches, England pushed their opponents “all the way” with the worst set result only being 19-25.
The style of play and mostly great execution on the world stage had to be seen. Although England lost all 3 matches 0-3 it was a truly fantastic effort. We were very close to taking sets a number of times but such was the standard, those last points proved elusive.
Toby French was Captain and Rob Poole played Opposite. Ex Blaze setter Tom Ketley was also in the team.
The only England supporters making the trip were Team Essex stalwarts Jackie and Sean Poole and Paul French. They didn’t let “Essex” down. There was constant chanting and enthusiastic support with Jackie’s horn getting plenty of use!
Many congratulations to Rob Poole and Andy Frith who scooped prestigious awards at the recent Volleyball England Awards Dinner.
Rob received the “Young Volunteer of the Year” award and Andy the “Participation Coach of the Year” award. There is a lot of competition to get these awards so its a clear recognition of their respective commitment, energy and enthusiasm for volleyball.
Also, it is understood that Rachel Laybourne was short-listed for the “Performance Coach of the Year” award.
A full list of winners can be found here
Well done to everyone.
Essex Trinity faced Portsmouth in the last match of the season. Portsmouth needed a win to avoid relegation so Trinity knew Portsmouth were not going down without a fight. Set 1 was tight with both teams scrapping for points but Trinity had the edge winning the set 26-24. Portsmouth pulled back in Set 2 winning 25-21.
Coach Laybourne made some tactical changes in Set 3 and the team started to gel. Trinity hustled for every point and with Green’s consistently super setting, Cervantes and Pereira hit countless killer shots. The Niederquell serve also proved too much for the opposition winning 10 consecutive points for the team. Trinity dominated winning the set 25-19.
In Set 4 Trinity continued to dominate with some great blocking and hitting by Andronescu, point-saving pokies by Bohannan, super defence by Niederquell, Lambert and Sands and great support from Pollard. Every player gave everything to help win the final set and secure the victory in a true team performance. Congratulations to Niederquell for another MVP nomination.
This victory meant that Trinity finished a very credible 4th place out of 10 in their first season in Division 2 South, following promotion from Division 3 last year. Congratulations to all the team and thanks to Coach Laybourne for an awesome season! After the match, Coach Laybourne was presented with gifts from the team.
Final Score: Essex Trinity 3 v 1 Portsmouth (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 25-17)
Essex Trinity 0 v 3 Bath Mavericks (13-25, 14-25, 18-25)
Essex Trinity 3 v 2 Plymouth (25-20, 25-22, 16-25, 12-25, 15-11)
It was a mixed bag for Essex Trinity as they took on Bath Mavericks and Plymouth in a double header. Bath put out a strong opposition with some extremely powerful servers, which put Trinity on the back foot. Trinity give back a few nice attacks but were not able to build runs of points with their inconsistent serving. Despite some super setting by Green, deservedly earning her the vote for ‘Most Valuable Player’, Trinity struggled to get their game together and were quickly defeated 3-0.
Essex Trinity now faced Plymouth. They did not fancy the long drive home win-less so after a team chat Trinity returned to the court composed and ready to play. Trinity re-found their serving game with Lambert and Williams scoring runs of 5 serves each in the first set and Bohannan’s monster serve earning her 7 consecutive points for the team in the second set. Trinity dominated Set 1 and 2 and led the match 2-0. However the table quickly turned in Sets 3 and 4 with Plymouth, who were fighting to avoid relegation, turning on the heat. Despite Pereira’s unstoppable killer attacks and Niederquell incredible defence, Plymouth controlled the game bring the set scores to 2-2.
In the fifth and final set Essex Trinity gave a fantastic team performance with Andronescu, Pollard and Sands helping the team to eventually win the set 15-11 and take the match! A special mention to Niederquell for her awesome all-round play particularly her infallible defence earning her the vote for the ‘Most Valuable Player’. And thanks to James Bernardi for being Essex Trinity’s super stand-in coach
Back Row: Ailsa Miller, Leasa Williams, Maria Pereira Ambrosio, Rachel Bohannan, Claudia Lambert, Sidonia Andronescu
First row: Maelle Niederquell, Pauline Sands, Kirsty Green, Amanda Pollard
Posing at the front: James Bernardi
Essex Trinity vs Portsmouth 3-1 (25-0, 25-10, 18-25, 25-21)
Team: Kirsty Green, Maria Pereira Ambrosio, Pauline Sands, Amanda Pollard, Ailsa Miller, Leasa Williams
Portsmouth were delayed by 1hr 15mins which meant that Trinity claimed the first set without breaking a sweat 25-0.
Portsmouth turned up for the 2nd set and with two back-to-back errors by Williams Portsmouth started 2-0 ahead. Sands served strong and Trinity took the lead 5-2. Then Pollard stepped up to the service line. Pollard’s excellence showed as she powered 12 serves over the net with Pereira killing every ball she touched. Trinity dominated the 2nd set winning 25-10.
In the 3rd set Trinity took their foot off the gas and Portsmouth now at full compliment of players were ready to play. Both teams scrapped for points but Portsmouth came out to convincingly win 25-18.
Trinity came out in the fourth set ready to be aggressive. With some superb setting by Green, Williams was able to kill a lot of ball. Miller’s solid defence and clever hitting also helped Trinity to rack up the points. Trinity worked well as a team to eventually win the fourth set 25-21 and take the match.
The Mens Round 2 of the Shield took place in Plymouth on 11th January. TEVC were a little unfortunate in having drawn the reigning champions, Flaming Six Aces, in the first round of the cup proper and now Horndean, last year’s runners up in the Shield.
Rear Line: Toby French, Andy Frith, James Bernardi, Sam Thompson and Luke French
Front Line: Rees Warren, Dave Fenech and Tony Clarke
The match started evenly with Horndean service errors helping TEVC to a 6-8 lead by the first technical. There then started a great battle amongst the middle players particularly James against Horndean’s excellent M Russell (No. 10). The set was tight up to 17–17 when good serving from Toby took TEVC to 21-17 lead. TEVC were then ahead 18-22 when Horndean took a run of 6 points. TEVC had opportunities but couldn’t put the ball on the floor and eventually lost the set 25-23.
TEVC came out fighting in the second set racing to an early lead of 4-1 forcing a Horndean time out. However, the proverbial wheels then came off the wagon following the first technical (7-8) as TEVC lost the set badly 25-15. This was hugely disappointing as TEVC had shown in the first set they could complete well against a very good Horndean side but passing and hitting errors made Horndean’s job far too easy.
Set 3 started as the 2nd had finished with Horndean taking a commanding leads of 8-3 and then 16-8. TEVC seemed well and truly beaten but then maybe relaxed and started to play good volleyball again fighting back strongly to 18-13. TEVC continues to have the edge in the set and had opportunities to win a remarkable set but the finishing line came too quickly and Horndean won the set 25-21, closing out the match 3-0.
The result was a major disappointment as the club had beaten Horndean twice last year in the league. However, “hats off” to a good Horndean side that played well. There’s always next year lads!
Team Essex Trinity is currently enjoying the limelight being featured in the November edition of the esteemed Chelmsford magazine “The Edge”. If you haven’t seen the article yet make sure you get hold of a copy.