Dream start in state competition
FULL VOLLEY wo wins from two games has Volleyball Horsham veteran Tim Popple reassessing his team’s goals for the 2018 State League season.
Popple has taken charge of the Phantoms men’s division-two team and enjoyed wins over Mazenod and Eastside Hawks in its first games of the season.
“It’s never easy when it comes to your first game knowing firstly how your own team will perform, least of
Tall knowing what the opposition will front up for the contest,” he said. “To get two wins first up you’ll take any day, especially in this competition when eight to 10 wins is what you need as a minimum to make finals.”
Popple was blessed to have three boys who are members of the national youth squad who helped his team no end.
“The three boys showed why they will wear the green and gold in Thailand later this week, with some heady play and in the case of the two setters, smart choices when distributing the ball.
“Unfortunately we won’t have them for our next two games which is a real challenge for us next weekend when we play Dandenong’s two teams.”
In a historic day for the club, with the women playing in the premier division for the first time and eight teams representing the club for the first time, there were some great results across all teams.
The premier women started their season in perfect fashion, making short work of Heidelberg, in a result that would have sent shock waves through the rest of the competition.
The tone was set early when former Volleyball Horsham member Jess Radford opened the first with some strong serving, opening up a 6-0 lead before Heidelberg players knew what hit them. Then fellow setter Kara Johnson made some great defensive ups and gave her hitters an armchair ride to finish the set strongly.
“I felt comfortable out there after the first few points and happy how I set the ball. I’m excited for the season ahead,” Johnson said.
In other games the premier men split their results defeating Mazenod in five sets and going down to Eastside Hawks. The reserves men did likewise, beating Mazenod and going down to Monash. The division three men also enjoyed two good wins.
In the reserves and division three women the Phantoms lost both games, while the division-two women split their results.