Ulster Coleraine started their league campaign on Tuesday night at home to Aztecs Warriors. Aztecs brought a team full of youth and experience and set out to play good volleyball throughout the match with only a few service errors and indecision letting them down on occasion. The Ulster Coleraine team have welcomed a lot of new players for this season with many taking up volleyball as a brand new sport for the first time!
Aztecs had travelled all the way from Craigavon but that didn’t seem to trouble them as they got off to a good start against the student side. They raced to a quick lead and stayed ahead until the middle of the set when good serving from Ulster Coleraine MVP Cathy Wallmuth reduced the deficit. With many of the Coleraine team playing their first match of volleyball it took some time to get used to playing as a team but as the set progressed you could hear the noise level on court build and the players’ performance improve with it. Caoimhe Ward’s well placed serving troubled the Aztecs passing unit and brought Ulster Coleraine to within 2 points of the set with the score at 23-22. Unfortunately Aztecs regained the serve and player/coach Amy Wethers stepped up to serve out the first set winning it for Aztecs taking it 23-25.
With the 1st set behind them Coleraine came out looking more settled and confident for the 2nd. This set produced some of the best rallies of the match with good defence from Aztecs libero Hannah Wickham (MVP for Aztecs Warriors) and Ulster Coleraine’s Caoimhe Kenny keeping the ball in play. Coleraine managed a few service aces and with middle player Sarah Bond always an option at the net they began to put a few runs of points together. Aztecs were feeling the pressure as they called a time out at 19-17 down and this seemed to pay off as they produced some good serving of their own to give them a strong finish to the set taking it 21-25.
The inexperienced Coleraine team had been playing very well so far and were eager to come out and continue this in the 3rd set. Setter Verena Rupp began to connect with her hitters as the passes came in and with good blocking and a defence determined to not let the ball drop, Ulster Coleraine were visibly coming together more as a team. Aztecs however upped their game and were able to bring middle attacker Lauren Bell more into the match. Their side out game improved and made it hard for Coleraine to gain any momentum, Aztecs finally taking the 3rd set 14-25 and with that the match 0-3.
Thanks to everyone who came to watch and cheer on the team, the next home match is on Tuesday 13th November. View all the fixtures and results on the Northern Ireland Volleyball website www.nivb.com/fixtures.php?division=WN and keep up to date with Ulster Coleraine volleyball on our facebook page www.facebook.com/UlsterColeraineVolleyball
Training is on every Tuesday night
in the main Sports Hall in the Ulster Coleraine Sports Centre
from 7:30pm – 10:00pm
All the girls who took part in the match tonight can be very proud of how they performed! Thank you to Callum, Caroline and Kerry for looking after the officiating.
Ulster Coleraine Team: #5 Madi Sparshott, #1 Verena Rupp, #4 Cathy Wallmuth (c), #11 Sam Watson, #7 Sarah Wilson, #8 Sarah Bond, #Caoimhe Ward, #2 Caoimhe Kenny, #3 Ailise McKeegan