Mixed re­sults in State League

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DAVID BERRY

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

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