Durham 3 - 0 Tendring Ladies

25-23, 25-14, 25-19

Report by Milly Smith

The first game of the season saw the Tendring ladies venture up north to take on last year’s Super 8 champions, Team Durham. In spite of an early start and a long journey, Tendring were in high spirits and ready to tackle a tough match.

The beginning of the first set proved hopeful as a composed Tendring forced Durham to play their A-game, pushing them point for point. Captain, Mechell Daniel proved a key player in challenging Durham’s defence, using her skill and prowess to create opportunities for points. This, alongside a solid service run from player-coach, Colleen King, brought Tendring neck and neck with Durham in the latter of the set. Despite a tough fight, and some outstanding defence from Libero, Lena Bitadou, Durham swiped the first set, with Tendring narrowly missing out only by two points, with a score of 25-23.

After losing a pivotal player, Sarah Edwards, in the closing stages of the first set to a reoccurring back injury, Tendring started the second set on the back foot. Despite Outside, Emily Bell, stepping in to fulfil her role, the team fell behind in the set’s early stages, struggling to regain consistency. By this point, Durham were dominating the game, and regardless of some smart plays from setter, Molly Van Essen, the set ended 25-14, a disappointing score for Tendring considering the previous.

The third set proved better mentally for Tendring, with many players stepping up to raise the intensity. Despite a stronger start and overall a more rounded performance, Durham’s class and experience shone through as they took the third set 25-19. On the whole, the match against Durham has given Tendring plenty to take away and work on in preparation for their upcoming games, and despite a disappointing result overall, only improvements can be made as the season continues. Bring on the return fixture!