Northern Ireland Volleyball
NI League

Ballymoney Blaze 1st team continue unbeaten run at Fortress Dalriada

Ballymoney Blaze continued to show their class with another 3-0 win. Their opponents this week were Ulster, Jordanstown and with Ulster’s recent unexpected win over Richhill Raiders, Ballymoney were prepared for a tough test. Ulster started the match confidently but as the 1st set went on Blaze’s well drilled team play allowed them to pull away. Strong middle blocking from Surgenor and M. Scott prevented Jordanstown setter Connor Doherty from unleashing William Robb and Stephan Kunz. The set finished 25-15 with Matthew Scott serving intelligently to give Blaze 7 points on the trot and momentum to bring into the 2nd set.

Unfortunately for Ballymoney, Jordanstown didn’t give up the 2nd set so easily. Blaze struggled to score points on serve, scoring only one point on serve from 2 full rotations. In a good position at 16-13 up Ulster took a timeout hoping to disrupt the rhythm Blaze had begun to get into. During this timeout Blaze stayed focussed and came out to serve another 4 taking them 17-16 up and forcing Jordanstown to take another timeout. The set finished with both sides fighting, but dazzling hitting from Blaze outsides J. Scott and Hunter and superb passing from libero Workman saw Blaze through with a narrow 27-25 win.

In the 3rd set Blaze setter McKnight was able to vary the plays and caught out the Ulster block a couple of times, leaving one blocker or an open net for Park hit through, this helped to see the set out 25-18. This leaves Blaze as the only team not to have dropped a set this season and going into the match on Tuesday night against league newcomers Lisburn Lynx on a high. A big thankyou has to go out to our referees; Kevin Uprichard and Kerry Kirkpatrick, our scorers Clare Scott and Sarah Dempster and of course the crowd.

Ballymoney Blaze team: David Park (Captain), Alan McKnight, Jeff Scott, Adam Hunter, Richard Surgenor, Matthew Scott, Callum Currie, Jonathan Workman (Libero)

Ulster Elks team: Nick Wright (Captain), Conor Doherty, Chris Cousins, Stephan Kunz, William Robb, Niall Madden, James Kane (Libero)

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