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Rockets Women take silver medal at Regional Champions Trophy!

posted 24 May 2011, 03:11 by Web Admin   [ updated 25 May 2011, 01:11 ]
After winning the East Midlands league convincingly this season, the Nottingham Rockets ladies team played in the Regional Champions Trophy this weekend. Held at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering, the competition pits regional champions from all the areas of the country against each other to find out who is the ultimate champion!!


Rockets had a good run of matches in the round robin, although did let a few sets go before we woke up properly! First up were Wessex, with an older but very skilled team. For the first set, our heads were still somewhere on the motorway but in the 2nd and 3rd the block got going, passing improved and we eased out a 2-1 victory. Next up were Spelthorne, who with several players from National Shield Finalists Surrey Orcas, proved to be tough opposition with hard serving and a very strong middle player hitting our wings with some success. The first two sets went Spelthorne’s way, with our points creeping up as Lucie, Sharon and Christin began to find the floor. In the third set Spelthorne tired and struggled to cope with a long run of tough serves from Sharon… we were pleased to take the set and a point from the 2-1 loss. The match against Barnsley proved more straightforward with strong serving again from Sharon and Jole taking the pressure off early on and good passing in particular from Marta at 1 making easy work for Nicole. We left on Saturday afternoon in 2nd place behind Spelthorne.


Sunday morning the final round robin matches were played out; first up Nunthorpe Eagles from the North East, a very young team who Rockets Under 18s had faced in the nationals earlier this year and definitely one to watch next season. However, again our serving was too strong for the opposition and they struggled to pass to the setter gifting us several points. The game was over relatively quickly, another 3-0 win. Peterborough Harriers from the East proved to be a tougher test, particularly with tired legs. A new team this year, there were 2 strong hitters and we struggled to find a gap in their defence. Missed serves and lack of concentration meant we found ourselves at 1-1 and had to wake up to take the game 2-1!


This meant 2nd place after the pool stages, and a 1st – 3rd place play off with Barnsley and Spelthorne with the competition moving into best of 3 sets. After some strong play across the weekend, Barnsley started to look tired and were quickly beaten by Spelthorne 2-0 and then by Rockets 2-0. So the final match (Spelthorne v Rockets) was in effect the final and with the men’s competition over, many spectators moved over to watch! In the first set Spelthorne took an early lead as a series of strong float serves left us stuck in rotation for 8 points and we were forced to play catch up. At 24 to Spelthorne a chance block from Kate gave us the Side Out at 9 points behind. Despite a fight back to 21, we couldn’t quite close it and an attack in the net gave Spelthorne the first set. In the second, we took an early 6 point lead with a double block from Christin and Lucy restricting the effective middle. Again though we got stuck on one rotation and despite introducing Marta back court for more stability, the damage was done and we were again behind. Some spectacular back court pick ups and good hitting closed the gap, but Spelthorne remained consistent with to finish the set and end up well deserved winners of the tournament.


A fantastic weekend performance from all the team but credit to Nicole in particular for consistent setting under pressure, finishing off with some super fast serves and not even looking tired on court after the 7th match despite being the only one not to have a rest!
Photos coming soon!


Congratulations also to Worksop, who representing the East Midlands in the Men’s competition, turned round a poor first day to remain unbeaten on the Sunday and take 4th place in the competition.


Click here to read the official Volleyball England report and see all the competition scores from all the teams.


Final Rockets scores:


Group Games (3 sets played)

Rockets v Wessex /BU (SW): 2-1 (23 – 25, 25 – 20, 25 – 9)

Rockets v Spelthorne (SE): 1- 2 (13 – 25, 23 – 25, 25-23)

Rockets v Barnsley: (Y): 3-0 (25 - 8, 25 - 20, 25 -18)

Rockets v Peterborough Harriers (E) 2 – 1 (25 -21, 20 – 25, 25 – 13)

Rockets v Nunthorpe Eagles (NE): 3 – 0 (25 - 12, 25 - 15, 25 - 16)


1st – 3rd Play Offs (Best of 3 sets)

Rockets v Barnsley: 2-0 (25- 16, 25 - 18 )

Rockets v Spelthorne: 0 - 2 ( 21 -25, 21 - 25)


Squad: Primrose Chiswo (Captain), Sharon Nelis (Vice – Captain), Lucie Pekarkova, Marta Larraona-Puy, Nicole Sparwasser, Jole Martino, Christin Pelzel and Kate Rothery

Coach: Sian Lamb Assistant Coach: Paul Lamb

Trusty Supporters: Ondrej and Carl J