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NVL Ladies brought home a win

This weekend saw our NVL Ladies travel to Urmston Grammar Volleyball, their first match against Urmston this season. Our ladies brought it home having lost the first set they went.

on to win the next 3 - well done ladies!

MATCH REPORT On Saturday, 25th February Northampton travelled to face Urmston Grammar Volleyball in their first encounter of the season, looking to add an important 3 points to their tally, as they continue to fight to secure a spot in National Volleyball League Division 2 next year.

The first set started with Urmston’s setter challenging the Northampton’s side from the base line, claiming 4 back to back points with her serve. Northampton reacted with libero Viktorija Žiedelytė stopping the series with a good pass, converted into their first point by outside hitter Kasia Jeziorska, hitting through the middle. Despite shaking off the initial nerves, Northampton struggled to side out in the opening, credit to an aggressive serve from the home side. The team however refused to give up, and found their groove with a streak of positive serves by outside hitter Lidia Mishchenko, forcing Urmston to a time out. This consolidated a switch of momentum in favour of the visiting team, with Northampton holding their own and coming out on top in the longer rallies. The comeback was however too late, with Northampton coming up short in the close of set 25-22.

Northampton started the second set with renewed confidence thanks to the growing intensity shown in the first, playing point for point for the majority of the set. The team once again proved their ability to recycle the ball in long rallies, with all backcourt players offering cover for their attackers in defence. Middle hitter Indrė Stankevičiūtė inched Northampton closer to first set point of the game, with 4 winning serves back to back, Urmston managed to return the fifth, which was promptly recycled on the Northampton side and returned in kind by outside hitter Dominika Stachyra. Urmston pushed the set to a deuce, resulting in a fight ball for ball. Northampton were ready, with Kasia Jeziorska fooling the opponents’ block to find the heart of the court and captain Francesca Cardilli exploiting a gap in the block to kill the ball on the line from position 4. It was middle hitters Kasia Jeziorska and Indrė Stankevičiūtė gaining Northampton the advantage by hitting a penalty over the net and a deep attack towards position 5 respectively. Outside hitter Dominika Stachyra sealed the deal 27-29 from position 4 with an unreturned cross court attack. The team were spurred on all the way through by the incredible support (and noise!) from Ruth Gillett, Agnieszka Izydorczyk and our Strength and Conditioning coach Trystan Barnett who made his coaching debut in this set!

The third set opened in a similar fashion to the second with both teams battling it out point for point. Northampton is the first to call things to order with a time out to shift the focus back to the fight shown in the previous set. The team kicked it up a notch in the following plays, with outside hitters Lidia Mishchenko and Dominika Stachyra cunningly using the opponents’ block to their favour. Dominika Stachyra went on to dominate from the base line, with a series of powerful serves that spurred the team forward in the second half of the set. Urmston attempted a comeback but Northampton sided out with a quick cross court attack from opposite hitter Francesca Cardilli. Northampton claimed the set 20-25 shortly after with a back court attack from the captain powering through the block to find the court.

Outside hitter Dominika Stachyra set the tone for the fourth set with back to back attacks. Northampton kept the pressure on the Urmston throughout, helped by another good serve rotation by Dominika Stachyra. The attackers kept working hard across the whole net, kept well oiled by setter Lisa Tasker’s balanced distribution. A slide attack from middle hitter Indrė Stankevičiūtė, followed by another quick hit by Kasia Jeziorska, inched the team closer to a match point. A one on one block from Kasia Jeziorska on Urmston’s middle hitter stopped another comeback attempt in its tracks. Agnieszka Izydorczyk was brought in backcourt, strengthening the passing unit and efficiently helping the team defend their lead. It was then captain Cardilli’s rotation to serve, preventing Urmston from building a strong offensive rally and forcing their passing unit into an error on the last point to close the set 17-25 and the game 1-3 for Northampton.

Top servers for the game were outside hitter Dominika Stachyra with 13 points won on serve and 6 aces, followed by Lidia Mishchenko and Indrė Stankevičiūtė with 11 points each. Percentage of kills was up 11% across the whole team, with captain Francesca Cardilli topping the scoresheet with 16 kills. Dominika Stachyra was votedMVP by Urmston Grammar, thanks to her unforgiving serve, 11 kills and 3 blocks.

COACH Lee Barnett : "What a game! This team have been working so hard at training, thoroughly deserve this result. A performance like this has been coming for a while, and what good timing against a team that has dominated this league with Everton. So proud of everyone involved with this team.”

The team will bring the fight to unbeaten Everton Volleyball next, as they host them at home next Saturday, 4th March in Moulton.

Thank you to our sponsors ROTHENBERGER, The T-Shirt Printing Company, and Sundried for their support.

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