Mixed results in State League
Phantoms Volleyball Club will take confidence into the next round of State League matches on April 27 after experiencing mixed results against Melbourne Uni Renegades in Horsham.
The club scored five wins across 17 matches at the weekend but coaches were impressed with how their teams performed against high-quality opposition.
The showcase match on Saturday night, featuring premier men, created history when Phantoms recorded their first premier men’s victory over Renegades.
Phantoms won in a powerhouse display of volleyball that had the crowd on its feet in amazement.
“The boys were up for the fight and they didn’t take a backward step,” coach Todd Broadbent said.
“In the past when the boys lost momentum they would just fall away, but to their credit they refused to yield under some pretty intense pressure.”
While the team couldn’t repeat the effort on Sunday, going down in five sets in a two-hour dog fight, it will take great heart into its next match against Dandenong.
Premier women showed great tenacity in their four-set loss in a morning match against Renegades. They were first to 23 in the first set and captured the third
to take their more highly fancied opponents into a fourth.
The Renegades’ women were too tall in the end, with their six-foot-plus hitters in Athy Henshaw, Xi Xi and Eliza Smith overpowering the Phantoms.
The Phantoms let themselves down in the afternoon match, going down in straight sets and not showing any fight at all.
That was the disappointing thing about the result, given how well we played in the morning.
On the positive side, reserves men scored two hard-fought wins to stay undefeated after three matches, and a division-two Black team also scored a good straight-sets win to take its record to three and one.
Reserves girls suffered two losses but had onlookers on the edge of their seats when they served for the match in their Sunday game, only to be denied by a good Renegades team.
“The girls were great in both matches, especially given that the same team toweled them up in Warrnambool only last month. To fight back the way they did on Sunday after going down the night before shows great character,” coach Paul Byrne said.
Division-two girls split their results over the two days, losing on Saturday and bouncing back on Sunday.
“They will take huge improvements into their next game after that win, which was their first for the season,” coach Vanessa Phillips said.
Two young division-three teams both suffered losses across the weekend against more experienced opponents, but will take heart knowing they pushed hard in all games.
Coach Wayne Symons said team leaders were disappointed for the players but both teams were full of first-year players.
“They will take time to adjust to what is required to play at this level,” he said.
Overall the weekend was a huge success with plenty of people supporting both clubs throughout the weekend.
Volleyball Horsham volunteers and members did a power of work to ensure the success of the weekend
State League will break for Easter and return with matches at the State Volleyball Centre on April 27.
BIG OCCASION: Horsham’s Nicholas Adamson, playing for Phantoms in Horsham, spikes the ball past Melbourne Uni Renegades player Caleb Adams. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER