VE U16 Grand Prix Round 3
Sunday, 12 March 2023 12:00
Venue: Woodchurch High School
Volleyball England U16 Girls Grand prix Tier 1 Round 3. Bronze pool
Time 11:00am to 4:30pm
Opponents: Leeds Gorse, Nottingham Rockets, Urmston Grammar 3, Stockport
Wirral vs Urmston Grammar C won 2-0, 25-12, 25-9
Wirral vs Nottingham Rockets lost 0-2, 12-25, 23-25
Wirral vs Leeds Gorse lost 0-2, 16-25, 17-25
Wirral vs Stockport won 2-0, 25-19, 25-17
A bit of an odd competition, one we should have been looking forward to but never seemed comfortable with.
The first match vs Urmston C went OK. We were able to try out different systems and make sure everyone got some court time without ever really getting going or managing to build much attack.
Nottingham were a very different proposition, much stronger than when we played them in an earlier round and a much more powerful team than us, they kept us in the match early on by smashing their attack wildly into the net or out of court and making unforced errors. We were even leading 12-10 when one of their girls began a strong run of serves, we capitulated, and she served out the set - 15 consecutive points. To their credit our girls didn’t repeat the collapse in the second set but we still weren’t really firing in attack or covering aas well as we can, then, at 17-22 down Lily started a strong run of serves, Rocket’s head went down and they started to panic, we got to a lead of 23-22 with Yan Xi doing sterling work on the net, but it all went wrong when Lily missed with her 6th serve and Rockets took the 2 points the needed to close out the game.
The Leeds Gorse group was unrecognisable for the team we beat earlier in the Grand Prix programme, our girls played well in short spells but were never really able to challenge.
Finally, Stockport, the only team above Wirral in the bronze pool standings and what we had expected to be the hardest game. Without ever really playing well our girls won this match easily. We found a little attack but really won the game on the net picking off loose ball and with much better cover than Stockport could manage. It was a clear victory but no-one felt like celebrating after the previous two matches.
Overall the competiton had a curiously detached feel. The girls didn’t get excited or particularly engaged and this wasn't helped by the lack of support from parents or other club players and a very flat atmosphere in the hall. From a playing point of view in was noticeable how poor our passing was compared to the better teams. Our ball in in was so out of control that Eisha was unable to penetrate from back court, we set up no reverse ball and very few hittable sets to 4 all day. We can do better.