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London Volleyball : Inter dispose of Dartford
Posted by Media Team on 2019/1/7 15:00:00 (79 reads)

Third round result (Women’s national knock-out Shield)
To face Onyx or Richmond
With only late stages of the women's shield competition being played this weekend, the mid season break was stretched for most volleyball players. Moreover, the fixture list in London was halved with Onyx and Richmond deciding to play their tie a week later.

All eyes were on Dartford and two National League sides based in London, the hosts in the second division where they occupy fourth position and their visitors, Inter, in the first where they are currently mid table. By the end, the higher class told in what had been a very competitive match although at times one suspected a shortness of fitness here and there, perhaps a result of volleyball's lack of the tradition of loads of social games over the holidays that many sports enjoy.

All the same, the first three sets were very close. Inter held on to win the opening one after Dartford had enjoyed a tiny lead until caught at 18:all when they were penned back by some great serving by Viola Salvestrini and the encouragement of captain Anita Bjelica's coming off the bench and into the front line attack.

The success only allowed Dartford to show how dangerous they can be and they shaded the second set. They had battled almost point for point to 12:all when Narsita Stumbre rotated to serve and, with Olga Afanasjeva in form at the net well supported by captain Amanda Haggerty, Dartford's score advanced to 18:14 and they held on to tie the scores.

Inter eventually took the third by the same score but they had looked home and dry when they raced to lead 1:10 before suffering an injury to libero Glorineli Perez and a resulting lowering of assurance allowing Dartford to close the gap to 18:22. However, Inter hung on to take the set and return to the lead.

They were then able to raise their game to win the fourth relatively easily. Again they started very well, this time racing to 0:10 with accurate serving by Raquel Baskunan building a confidence that refused to allow Dartford back into the match although they played well enough to hold their own almost to the end.

It's a confidence Inter will need as they return to league competition next Sunday (13th January) when they entertain Hertfordshire at Island Sports Trust. The national first division in which they play is a very close one beneath an undefeated University of Nottingham, a side they have yet to play this season.

The Shield win takes them to the quarter final when they will play away to the winner of next Sunday's fixture between Onyx and Richmond. Richmond are one place above Dartford in the national league while Onyx are a London League contestant so it should be a fascinating contest.

Sunday 6th January
Knock out Shield
Dartford lost to Inter, 21:25 25:22 22:25 11:25

Sunday 13th January
Knock out Shield
Onyx v Richmond

Dartford Technology College, 6th January
The Harrow Club, Notting Vale, 13th January

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

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