NI League

Mikasa League Week 2 Review

First of all take a moment to look at the lovely symmetrical design of the Men’s league table as it stands! That’s all set to change with the first match of the fortnight being played this evening between Aztecs Warriors and Ballymoney 2 at Portadown College.

4 weeks of matches have gone by and so far they’ve all been fairly 1 sided with 3-0 results all round, that could well change this fortnight as Ulster travel to play Ballymoney; where 1 of the teams will have to give up their 100% unbeaten record in the league.

Unbeaten Richhill Raiders host North Down on Wednesday 27th where they will be looking to continue their good start to the season whilst North Down will be keen to bounce back after a good performance against Ulster, despite losing the match 3-0.

The final match of the fortnight sees Civil Service travel to Laurelhill Community College to take on Lisburn Lynx. Lisburn have just enjoyed a fortnight with no match so they will be eager to continue their good start to the season and maintain pace with the early league leaders Blaze 1, Richhill and Aztecs Eagles. Civil Service had a tough first match away to last year Champions Blaze 1 and so they might fancy their chances against the newly formed Lisburn team.

Taking a look back at last fortnight then, the first match was at Bangor Leisure Centre where Ulster took on North Down. Ulster managed to come away with a 3-0 victory but the match was a lot close than the score line suggests, North Down started well and had a 21-15 lead in the 1st set, but somehow Ulster were able to swing the momentum with a couple of kills and then North Down mistakes gifted Ulster the set. This seemed to still be in the minds of the North Down players at the start of the 2nd set and Ulster were able to capitalise and win the 2nd and then go on and take the match in 3 sets.

The 2nd match was between Aztecs Eagles and Civil Service played in Methody. This match was close throughout with both sides displaying good defence, but Aztecs were able to convert defence into attack more effectively and won the match 3-0.

Aztecs 2nds (Warriors) came up against new team Richhill Raiders in their 2nd match of the season. Richhill started very well taking the 1st set 25-9 and then 2nd 25-12 and although Aztecs came into the match more in the 3rd, Richhill proved too strong winning that set 25-20 and the match 3-0.
The final match of the fortnight was between the 2 Ballymoney teams, there was good local support at this match and it had an extra edge to it as it was between the 2 teams of the 1 club. The 1st were favourites going into the match and lived up to expectations running out comfortable 3-0 winners.

Over to the Women’s league then, unfortunately due to several reasons a few matches had to be forfeited last fortnight, but this fortnight more volleyball was played! North Down are sitting at the top of the league with 2 good victories over Skea Spikers 1 and 2, and a forfeited result so they are the early pace setters, though Queens are close behind with a 100% record so far with a game in hand.
Last Wednesday PVC Syrena travelled north to Ballymoney to play Blaze. PVC had a lot of new players and Blaze had quite a young team. PVC started brightly and won a close 1st set 25-20. They were able to carry this momentum into the 2nd set were Blaze never really got going taking it 25-10. In the 3rd set Blaze played well again and it could have gone either way, but the quality serving from PVC proved the difference and they edged the set 25-20 and the match then 3-0.

Looking forward to this fortnight it’s a top vs bottom clash with North Down travelling to Ulster this evening, although it’s early days and I don’t think the league positions are a fair reflection yet. Also this evening Ballymoney are taking on Queens in Belfast and I don’t expect that to be an easy match for them. In Lisnaskea Skea 1 vs Skea 2 with bragging rights and points to play for, both Skea teams will be eager to win this won with the added incentive of getting one over on your training mates.

For a full list of fixtures, results and league tables go to: http://www.nivolleyball.com/fixtures.php

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