Wirral U16s vs Chester Uni
Sunday, 22 January 2023 10:00
Venue Woodchurch HS
Team - Katie Leppington, Eisha Chahal, Abi Larway, Lily Prosser, Yan Xi Chen, Imi Newell, Kaitlin Ha, Libby Canham
Result - winners by 3 sets to 2, 25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13
This was a really tight hard-fought match that our girls, always technically superior and the better organised team, deserved to win. It was an important win as it marks a turning point as the first time this U16 squad have not let themselves be overawed by older players.
The first set, with the first 6 on court, was really impressive. Team shape and organisation was excellent, we served well, covered the court well, passed well, and were able to set up a number of effective point-winning attacks. The margin of victory should have been even more impressive if there hadn’t been a lapse of concentration when we failed to close out the set and let Chester Uni take 5 cheap points near the end. We fell a long way behind in the second set, struggling a little with service receive and unforced errors but a strong fight back near the end helped restore confidence going into set 3 which we’d have won by a big margin but for strong serving by an ex-Wirral player - Amelia Jones. She caused us problems again in set 4 as Chester Uni came back from 12-18 behind to take the set with Amelia scoring 10 consecutive points on serve.
To their credit our girls didn’t give up, the advantage in the 5th set went back and forth, but we dug in, served stongly and came back from a 10-11 deficit to take the set 15-13. By the final set you could see the determination to serve and pass well and the effort on cover, fighting for every point. The ability of our young players also showed with some strong blocking and hitting and some intelligently placed winners. It wasn’t just a good win it was a morale boosting one for the whole team. I hope Lily got some good video footage for her GCSE course from it.