Giants beat Tuskers (Men’s D2B - London Volleyball League) 21:12 21:11 21:17 First win for newcomers Team Manager, Cisel Ormanci felt before the game that her new team were beginning to play together for the first time this season while Tuskers have assembled their squad late and played their first match of the season only four days before. This difference in teamwork was the main difference between the sides. At the end of the match Giants' captain observed, "The whole team showed up to the game with incredible motivation to contribute to this win. Effectively all players had the chance to play this time so I would say this has been a communal success"
The first six points were shared between the sides and it looked initially as though both sides were playing tentatively: Giants seeking their first win of the season and Tuskers wanting to settle their newly acquired squad. It was Giants that first established a tiny lead but it had been reduced to a single point at 9:8 before they began to apply little more pressure and moved to 15:8 despite a time-out called by Jonathan Doyle at 13:8 to try both to break the concentration of server, Rafael Jovanelle and to steady his team. It made little difference and, despite another time-out at 11:19, Giants were on their way.
Tuskers won the first point of the second set and for a while: up to 8:9 held a lead albeit of never more than two points. Giants drew level and Tuskers confidence seemed to wane. Jonathan took another time-out at 14:10 but his side were only able to score a single extra point before a two set lead had been established.
The opening rally of the third set also went to Tuskers and a period of good, competitive volleyball followed in which the lead changed hands several times. Eventually, with a lead of 13:11 Giants looked a little more secure and Tuskers took a team talk. Both squads seemed to benefit from the coaching and the stands began to make more noise as the score mounted to 16:all. Giants won the next two rallies and Tuskers pulled back a single point only to suffer a final spell of excellent play from Giants.
Both sides will have benefitted from the experience of this match. The next fixture for both teams will be against Curveball, so far without a win this season, Tuskers at home on 24th November and Giants away at the Copper Box on 12th December. All three teams will fancy their chances of earning three league points and the situation is likely to attract many of their followers to cheer their side on.
Battersea Sports Centre, Battersea, 17th November.
Players: Giant Men Starting Six: Federico Cifuentes, Gordon Davenport, Rafael Jovanelle, Radostin Dimitrov, Roberto Rigante (captain). Krasi Zhechev. Libero: Ibrail Khan. Other players: Guiseppe de Mosa, Simon Granger, Herve Mottais, Marcin Tkaczuk, Coach: Anestis Kales
Tuskers Starting six: P Carver, Jonathan Doyle (captain), Hai-Binh Li, Gregory Lojko, K Petkev, Moro Segu, Peter Nunoo, Other Players: Rafau Amibaba, C Brett, K Pineda, Coach: Jonathan Doyle Libero: Other Players: