Sunday, 24 January 2016 21:51

Men's NVL get a win and ladies press on

Written by Clare and Chris
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Sunday saw the ladies play Sheffield followed by the men against London Lynx.  Both teams had played the weekend before with Riga losing each encounter so it was all to play for.  With the women up first they started off strong with good blocking from Mim and strong hitting from Jody.  Jules controlled the passing unit allowing Clare to use multiple options with Sophie hitting strongly in reverse.  But Sheffield's strong serving and four attack saw them take the set 25-20.


In the second Riga rallied together with good hitting from Sylwia and new signing Karolina consistently finding the line to leave the Sheffield attack chasing the ball down.  Bella served and hit well and Riga were in control.  But as it got to the business end of the set Sheffield stepped up the pressure and took the set 25-22.

Getting closer the girls went into the third set with confidence.  Hannah came on and had an impact through the middle with a good attack and block.  Jules' passing enabled Clare to find all hitters to keep Sheffield's defense guessing.  Jody served and hit well and the girls found block after block with also some superb back court scrambling to put themselves well ahead.  A small wobble let Sheffield back into the game but Riga kept its control and took the set 25-21.

Into the fourth and Riga somehow lost momentum and saw themselves with a seven point differential to claw back.  Great teamwork saw the girls fight back with Jules receiving serve and Netti providing the libero service during play.  However, serving and hitting errors saw the girls waiver under the pressure and they couldn't close the gap and Sheffield took the set and the game 25-18.

MVP Clare Francis

The men then faced Lynx looking for the win.  Having only played last weekend both teams knew what to expect.  But Lynx showed no signs of travelling and started the game positively bouyont on the win of last weekend.  Riga stuck together and played well as a team with Phil connecting well with Janis through the middle to help keep Riga in it.  However, Lynx won the first set 25-17.

Riga started the second set with a renewed determination.  The teams traded points and it was neck and neck to the technical.  Strong service runs from Chris followed by Phil took the score to 11-23.  Lynx showed what they were made of though and kept fighting to keep the ball alive.  Finally Riga closed the set out 25-17.

The third set saw a similar pattern.  The team benefited from good hitting through four by Tom and strong blocking from Edwin which kept Lynx's four hitter out of the game.  Strong passing spearheaded by libero Charlie gave Phil the options to enable the hitters to close out the set 25-17.

The fourth set saw Riga have a disastrous start and they soon found themselves 10-0 down!  Strong teamwork helped keep spirits up through and Aurimas started to find his range with consistently good attacking through four.  Combined with good defence Riga clawed their way back but left it too late and lose the set 25-18.  

Momentum was now well and truly on Riga's side as they went into the fifth deciding set. Both teams started strongly with not much daylight between them at the change of ends.  Another strong set of serves from Chris (despite two time outs from Lynx trying to disrupt his rhythm) saw Riga edge ahead.  This combined with a good strategic move from stand-in coach Torsten where he brought himself on for Phil to strengthen Riga's block saw Riga push on even further.  Janis did a great job as the stand in setter keeping the Riga attack alive if Lynx made it past the now killer Riga block.  Riga pushed ahead and didn't look back taking the set 15-8.

MVP Tom Young

Read 2196 times Last modified on Monday, 11 July 2016 19:17