Tendring Volleyball ladies team had a tough first game in the top flight of the national volleyball league against last season’s reigning champions, Team Northumbria.

Over the summer Tendring’s local squad has been bolstered with scholarship athletes studying at the University of Essex, however with only one training session as a squad before the game, it was a big task to compete with the experienced champions.

Coach Fernanda Guimaraes, saw this game as an opportunity to see all players in action against the strong opposition. The first set saw 5 new players making their debut and Tendring trading points early in the set up until the first technical timeout.  Pressure from a combination of strong serving and hard hitting through the wings saw Team Northumbria take the lead. Setter Molly Van Essen connected well with hitters Fran Smith- Daye and Katerina Lamprou winning points with intelligent hitting, but Northumbria  comfortably extended their lead finishing the set winning 25-14. Starting the second set Tendring made 3 changes and had a positive start with a service run from Leah McWilliams building a lead of 8-5 at the first technical time out. Tendring had some impressive blocks and defensive  plays during this set, however long service runs from the opponents put them in command towards the 2nd half of the set winning 25 – 17. The third set saw Tendring trading points right up to 18-19 due to an improved performance from the passing unit led by Millie Stamp which allowed the setter to distribute the ball to all of the hitters kept the scores tight. Northumbria’s class showed through at the end of the set with strong serves helping them to win 25-21 sealing them the 3-0 victory.

“Today really was an opportunity to get all our players on court and start the process of building a team for the rest of the season. Everyone in the squad came on and performed well, it showed we have a lot of potential moving forward and lots to work on to perform at this level, but we can take a lot of positives from todays game.” Laura Hodgkinson