Northern Ireland Volleyball
NI League

Lisburn Lynx versus Civil Service

After the comfortable win in their first match of the season, Lisburn Lynx were not scheduled to play in Week 2 and so were able to concentrate on training hard in areas they needed to improve on. A lot of blocking and serving was undertaken and when Week 3 arrived, the team were eager to get on court again to take on Civil Service, previous N.I. League Champions.  Lynx knew it would be a competitive match as they were without starting players Mirek Pilch and Ricardo Bordes due to injury and regular players Rory Callow and Leszek Stryszyk were also unavailable due to illness.

The first set was a nervy affair with both teams producing a lot of serving and defence errors, but Wil Oshoke of Lynx was on top form and produced several massive wing attacks that CS were not able to get near. These made an impact on a normally solid CS defence unit, and Lynx were able to squeeze a set win, 25-21.  Lynx knew they had to improve as CS were pretty confident and were finding court with sensible, if not aggressive, attacks.
Set 2 was much more comfortable for Lynx as setter Abdul Abdulhamid began to find his middle attackers Tom Fabian and Romain Gouveia causing problems to CS in both their attacking and blocking. Opposite Axel Brettschnieder also caused problems with his enormous block and Wil Oshoke again produced several aggressive attacks and blocks.  Captain Lucas Schaper produced a run of fine serves which put CS under pressure and so slowed down their attacking potential.  Lynx began to get into their stride and pulled away from the middle of the set, winning it 25-14.

Set three followed a similar pattern to Set 2, where both teams traded points up until around the 8 point mark then Lynx produced some fine attacking from Paddy Crooks and Wil Oshoke to allow them to pull away pretty quickly. Middle Lukas Borowiecki also produced a find blocking display and with Paddy Crooks finding his range with a run of excellent serves, CS were finding it difficult to reply with much aggression.  As the Lynx confidence and spirit built, the team grew louder and more aggressive, running out 25-11 winners and with it the match 3-0.  Head Coach Chris Grant said after the match, “This was a test for us, but we proved to ourselves that we are able to dig deep and reply when under a bit of pressure.  We didn’t play well today, but the areas we worked on last week in training have improved.  I hope we continue to improve as a team as the season progresses.”

Thanks must go to Laurelhill Community College, referees Jeff Scott and Alan McKnight and scorer Callum Currie.

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