National League

Posted by John Biddiscombe on 18 September 2012

The NVL Men's team traveled down into Hampshire to take on newly promoted Team Southampton.

Historically, the team always deliver on the first match of the season having only lost 2 of their season openers since 2004.

Guildford started the first set very strong and managed to take win the first two sets comfortably (25-19, 25-11) but then struggled to maintain concentration and lost the next two sets (22-25, 20-25) to be forced into a deciding set.

The fifth set looked tight until 11-11 when Mirek Senekl fired home a clean kill which was immediately followed by two unstoppable attacks from Nikos Epiphaniou leaving Team Southampton dazed. When they over passed the match point serve Tanaka Zirache quickly put it away to take the match (25-19, 25-11, 22-25, 20-25, 15-11)

Nikos Epiphaniou received the MVP award.

The team's next match will be on Saturday 22nd September when they will travel the short distance up the A3 to Kingston to take on newly relegated Richmond.

The women had a deceptively long trip to Tendering, also a newly promoted team, but with some strong players in the line up.

With 2 players making their NVL debuts (Marika & Rita) both team used the initial exchanges to suss each other out. It was Guildford who grabbed the first significant run of points off setter Clair Bourgouins service. After another period of trading side outs it was Agnes Abraham who opens the decisive lead on her service.

The second set saw Tendering grab an early lead which they managed to hold right the way to a set point at 24-21, before Lucie Bystricanova showed nerves of steel to serve for 4 points to tie the scores (including one ace that landed right on the line. As often happens Guildford had the momentum to close out the set 27-25.

The 3rd set again saw Guildford coming under pressure from the increasingly influential Laura Hodgkinson with 7 kills in the set. Realising the threat Guildford adjusted their blocking assignments , with further tactical serving from Lucie Bystricanova and middle blocker Monika Regrutova adding a further 2 blocks to her game total of 7 kill blocks Guildford were able to steady the ship to claim a 3-0 victory. For what it's worth they are top of the table after one match by virtue of set difference.

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