Southampton Volleyball Club 3-1 Weymouth Beach Volleyball Club
The newly formed Weymouth Beach Volleyball Club played their first game of the season on Saturday 16th September travelling away to Southampton who play in National League Division 1 in the National cup. This is the first time an indoor team from Weymouth has competed at a national level for over 20 years. The squad, formed of former international players Ryan Stout and Sean Hendry, as well as other players who have only played at Weymouth area level, are hopeful they can work their way up the national league structure.
Weymouth took the first set by storm with a huge hit from Ryan Stout and an ace served from Sean Hendry allowing the team to go point to point with Southampton placed four divisions above them in the national league. Weymouth managed to sneak in front with a super run of serves from Terry Oldrid. Following this some fine hitting from Sean Hendry and blocking from Ryan Stout saw Weymouth take the first set 25-23.
Weymouth started the second set slow. Serving errors and missed chances from the travelling team saw Southampton race to a lead in comfortable fashion. Player coach Ryan made several substitutions, one being forced as Sean Hendry dislocated his finger. One of these changes saw young 19-year-old Liam Tewkesbury come into the fold steadying the team and encouraging Weymouth back into the set. Unfortunately, the lead Southampton had was unassailable and they went on to win the set 25-20.
Weymouth reverted back to the original six for the third set to try and gain another set advantage. Weymouth battled with Southampton in the set with both middle players Ian Denslow and another young player, 18-year-old Sam Groom working hard through the middle position with some consistent hitting and blocking. Libero Elliot Sawyer organised the defence and received well to allow Weymouth to compete early in the third set. However some fine serving and middle hitting from Southampton saw them power through to win the set (25-16).
Weymouth remained very much in the game and committed to the cause; Stuart Jeanes playing particularly solid in both attack and defense. Despite this Weymouth struggled to find a way through the organised Southampton defence. With more firepower needed player coach Stout made changes and in came Ben Stokey, Ben Mills and Carl Neal to try turn around the team fortunes in the second half of the set. Sadly, it was not to be and Southampton closed out the set (25-19) and took the game 3-1 overall.
Despite the result player coaches Ryan Stout, Sean Hendry and Stuey Jeanes were happy with the performance and proud that a team that had only been formed six weeks earlier managed to steal a set off such experienced opposition who played in the ‘premiership’ of English volleyball only last year.
Despite the national cup run ending as soon as it started, Weymouth still have National opportunities after now being put into the national shield competition starting in the next few months. Attention quickly turns to the South West League, with the team’s first fixture being played at Redlands Community Sports Hub on the 8th of October. The team would like to thank their sponsors Aura Nightclub, Stressless Massage and Stylish Stitches for their support.
Squad: front row: Carl Neal, Liam Tewkesbury, Elliot Sawyer, Ryan Stout, Stuart Jeanes. Back row: Sam Groom, Ben Stokey, Sean Hendry, Terry Oldrid, Ben Mills, Ian Denslow.