Category Archives: Trinity Match Reports


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)


1 2 3 45


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

Trinity at Bath

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

Trinity’s committed six defeat Portsmouth

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.

Mixed Emotions for Trinity

Date: Sunday 26th January 2014

Location: Tendring

Team: Sarah Mayes, Kirsty Green, Maria Pereira Ambrosio, Rachel Bohannan, Sidonia Andronescu, Claudia Lambert, Maelle Niederquell, Pauline Sands, Leasa Williams, Amanda Pollard, Irina Cervantes

Essex Trinity dropped off the promotion pace with a second loss to Tendring in a week but were consoled with a gutsy win against Plymouth.

Essex Trinity v Plymouth: 3-2 (22-25, 27-25, 12-25, 25-16, 15-10)

In Match 1 Trinity took on Plymouth. From the start the two teams were evenly matched and it looked as though it was going to be a tight match. Trinity matched Plymouth point for point in the first set with some great hitting by Pereira and Williams but Plymouth edged ahead to take the first set 25-22.

In the second set the battle continued with both sides creating some great points. Plymouth struggled to deal with the killer Bohannan serve winning 7 points on the bounce. Trinity had the first opportunity at set point but were denied by a shocking referee error – c’est la vie.  Plymouth then pulled it back to tie at 24-24 all. Both teams dug deep but Trinity had the edge and squeezed through to win the second set 27-25.

Plymouth then improved and Trinity dropped off the pace.  Plymouth played good volleyball and Trinity were in a generous mood gifting points through as many unforced errors as they could think of – rotation errors and sloppy cover all featured in the poor 25-12 3rd set loss.

Trinity now needed to take the match to 5 sets to win the game and Trinity do not give up without a fight. With some fantastic setting by Green, Cervantes and Niederquell scored some powerful line shots through the outside position. Team spirit was fantastic, helped by their vocally-superior subs and support team. Trinity chased down every ball with Lambert putting her body on the line to ensure that no ball touched the floor. Trinity dominated this fourth set to take it at 25-16.

In the deciding fifth set Trinity started with a bang racing to a 6-2 lead.  Supporters were hopeful.  However, the Trinity demons of unforced errors in clusters reared its head and inexplicably Plymouth led 8-7 at the halfway stage. Thankfully Trinity decided to play in the second half of the set.  Solid serving by Niederquell and solid team play set the base.  Then it became the Cervantes show as she walloped 3 uber-clean spikes from the wing – as one of the spectators said – ‘wow – when did she come on court?’.

And so Trinity got the win and poor Plymouth took the long trip back to the West Country still winless.

Tendring  v Trinity: 3-0 (25-13, 25-10, 25-18)

Match 2 saw a tired but spirited Trinity take on undefeated Tendring for a second time that week. Tendring dominated the match from the start with some killer serving by their whole team.  Trinity gave everything and even with some good defending Trinity’s wing hitters were blocked by Tendring’s towering middle players. Trinity fought bravely and Cervantes over-powered the Tendring defence. Andronescu was not intimidated by the 6ft middle players and dominated in the block and cleverly hit into the few spaces left on court by the tight Tendring defence. Green also showed quick thinking by following a crafty second touch winner by the Tendring setter with her own perfectly placed winning shot. Unfortunately Tendring did not allow Trinity to get into the game and they were quickly defeated 3-0.

Trinity showed great spirit and the team pulled together throughout the match for a gutsy team performance. A special mention must go to Trinity middle Andonescu, who stepped into the big league and played an amazing game – superb blocking and reliable, dynamic hitting through the middle gave Trinity a new defence and attacking dimension.

1 4 3 5 7 11 14 15 29 33


Winning ways continue for Trinity!

20th October 2013

Going into the match Trinity knew that South Hants were going to be tough opposition, as South Hants played in Division 1 last season. Coach Laybourne made no hesitation about what she wanted from Trinity, play hard and win!

The 1st set did not go according to the game plan and Trinity found themselves a fair few points adrift after a string of errors and not being able to formulate a decent attack. Somehow though, they quickly got it together and clawed back the points to bring themselves only 1 point behind, they had gained the momentum and were creating attacks that Hants just couldn’t defend. Hants didn’t go away though and hung on to their lead to take the 1st set.

After the hard fought come back in the 1st set, Trinity were keen to take this momentum and use it to start the 2nd set with attack and force, this they did. The passing became better from the defence, which meant Greene was able to utilise more options for the attack. Putting Hants under pressure, forcing them to make their own errors, meant Trinity were able continue to with their dominant force and draw the match level at 1 set all.

The 3rd set was much like the 2nd to start however Hants upped their game and kept putting pressure on Trinity. Even though Trinity had carved a lead at the start Hants clawed it back and gave the end of the set a nail biting finish. Who was to take it? Trinity dug deep and found their rhythm once more and just edged the last few points, taking the 3rd set.

Could Trinity hold on to their 2 sets to 1 lead and win the match in this 4th set or were Hants going to push hard and take it to decider? In the end it was down to the team who held their composure the better and had a bit of luck on their side, Trinity. Trinity just had that edge and even when Hants applied the pressure, Trinity were able to suck it up and bounce back with an attack every time. Trinity surged ahead at the end and took the 4th set in commanding style. Let’s not take anything away from Hants, they were tough opposition and all credit to them for not giving up. They are sure to give Trinity an ever tougher match in the away counter.

Congratulations to Trinity on another superb win and on to the next, Saturday 26th October 1.45pm at home to Dulwich Tuskers.

Guildford International v Essex Trinity

05th October 2013

Score: 13-25, 21-25, 13-25

Trinity are off to a fantastic start to the season against, Division 2 regulars Guildford International beating them, 3-0!

The 1st set started evenly, with both sides taking points but, with a composed defence from Lambert and Miller and superb attacking forces from Bartlett, Williams & Ambrosio Trinity managed to pull away and take the opening set.

The 2nd set was a much more closely contested affair. Trinity were not as clinical with their passing, meaning Green was unable to get the ball away to the attackers. This allowed Guildford to stay in the set. Coach Laybourne made a decisive change and brought on Bohannan to spice up the middle attack, this was imperative as it meant that Trinity were able to forge ahead and take the 2nd set definitively.

The 3rd set was much like the 1st, Trinity dominated with their solid passing and formidable attacking. Guildford was just unable to respond in kind and with a catalogue of errors, Trinity pounced and pushed forward to take the final set.

Lot’s to improve on but an excellent start to the season for Trinity!

Trinity out fight norfolk

In a straight shoot-out Essex Trinity went toe-to-toe with Norfolk Ladies to fight it out for second place in Women’s Div3 South and, more importantly, a place in the play-offs. The loser would get nothing.

The build-up to the match for Trinity had been fractious – injuries to Niederquelle, Andronescu and A.Miller and non-availability of M.Miller, Husk and Bartlett meant there were only five fit players. Coach Frith took the only option and emergency registered Boswells Junior Emily Bell to be able to complete the fixture.
Trinity’s preparation for the match was as tough and rigorous as ever. Plus middles – Mayes and Ambrosio – had to undergo the learning curve of playing back court as a Libby is not permitted when fielding an emergency registered player. Things were not ideal, confidence was shaky, but Trinity were not going to roll over.

Going into the match Norfolk Ladies were clear favourites as they had comprehensively beaten Trinity in the previous league match 3-0. That had been back in February and was Trinity’s low point of the season – a tired looking team losing their focus and lacking team spirit. As such, Trinity were the not favourites going into this key fixture. However, coach Frith felt Trinity were a different beast this time around. The team remembered that Trinity had not even existed 9 months previous and that win or lose Trinity would still be a team and the ladies would still have each other.

As the first set meandered its way to the first mandatory time-out, Trinity looked casually but utterly in control. With Williams hitting bombs from the right and Green and Bell serving tough Trinity gave the impression of a team completely comfortable with the challenges from across the net. And so the set went with a comfortable 25-17 win.

Set 2 and again Trinity looked very comfortable. However, their efficacy from the service line was replaced with inaccuracy and sloppiness. The hard work of service receive, defence and attack was excellent but utterly undone by an inability to serve in. The set went down to the wire but Trinity got edged out 25-23.

Set 3 saw Trinity not only go off the rails, but go beyond the sidings and slide into a muddy field far, far away. Nothing went well in this game. Tension gripped the team and quality disappeared. A 25-11 defeat was a justified hiding.

Going into set 4, Trinity’s backs were against the wall. After a brilliant start to the season going undefeated in their first six games, is this how it was to end? The ladies breathed it in. Coach Frith reminded the team that it had been his privilege to coach such a wonderful and motivated group – at this time the result didn’t matter, the play-offs didn’t matter. What mattered was the team was there, everyone understood their team-mates strengths and weaknesses, and that the team was still tight.

Knowing this, Trinity stepped back on court for Set 4. Rustiness from a poor set 3 still pervaded our play but the quality was beginning to stir again. Lambert was excellent and showed the speed and quality which are the hallmarks of her game. Ambrosio kept playing tough and started winning points. Mayes was utterly excellent – showing a skill level, dynamism and on-court maturity which took Trinity to the next level. With Green distributing cleanly and smartly, Trinity began to click again….and Norfolk began to tense up. Close points began to go Trinity’s way and from being 15-11 down they fought back for a valiant 25-22 set win.

Trinity and Norfolk’s respective seasons, thus, came down to one last set to 15. As play got underway, Trinity quickly established a lead. Their never-say-die attitude was making for some very long rallies. The girls knew this could be their last match for nearly six months and played like they wanted to remember it. A Trinity error and winner alike was always greeted with a hug from team-mates. Such was Trinity’s spirit and belief in each other that if Norfolk were going to win this match then they would have to knock down all six of the Trinity girls. As it is Norfolk did not have that ability and Trinity take the set 15-10 and thus completed the biggest win in their short history.