Women's Weekend Review
2nd October 2017
A round-up of the ladies NVL action...
Women’s Division 1
Following a winless season and relegation from the Super 8s, City of Salford VC will be desperately disappointed they couldn’t get win in their first game – they couldn’t have got much closer. Playing Herts VC who were in the bottom two of the division last year, the Salford ladies were 2-1 up, before Herts snatched victory as things went to the wire. Herts won the fourth 26-24, before the golden set was also won by the tightest of margins, 16-14. Herts will be buoyed by the result as they only recorded two wins last season at this level, so to beat a side that were playing Super 8s last year will be a feather in the cap.
Sheffield Hallam, last year’s Division 2 North champions, stepped up with aplomb beating another side relegated from the Super 8s, Team South Wales. Winning is a habit and Hallam will hope to keep this sort of form up for the whole season.
Women’s Division 2 North
The University of Nottingham Volleyball Women recorded a fantastic victory over Tameside. Not only was it their second straight victory of the season, but it came against a side which finished second in the league last year. After being promoted, Nottingham are looking well placed at the higher level. It’s very early days but seeing their name top of the pile will be a big confidence boost.
Tameside had a day earlier underlined their class as they got their season off a winning start. They powered past Manchester Marvels, who finished mid-table last season, to win in straight sets.
Team Sunderland are also expected to be in the promotion mix after finishing third last year, level of points with Tameside. Sunderland recorded a 3-1 victory over Telford Ladies who were champions of the third tier last year.
Another promoted side Leeds RGA VC beat Newcastle Staffs 3-1 to get their first win.
With three teams still to play a game, the league is yet to take any real shape.
Women’s Division 2 South
After being touted as promotion hopefuls this year, Birmingham Volleyball Club 2 maintained an unbeaten start with a second straight victory. They defeated Cardiff Falcons 3-0, who themselves were stepping up following promotion from the third tier. The Falcons have had two tricky matches to start so shouldn’t being disheartened that they have yet to win.
Oxford Ladies finished fourth in the league last year and despite being defeated last time out, are expected to be in the mix of teams at the top. They got back to winning ways by defeating Dartford Ladies, a tie which had proven a banana skin in the past. Despite finishing four places below Oxford last year, Dartford had won the last time the pair met.
London Inter Women have made a flying start to life in the second tier. Champions of the third tier, the London Ladies already had one victory under their belt and beat Reading Aces to make it two wins out of two. Reading Aces had already beaten Oxford Ladies and finished mid-table last year, so London Inter Women look well set for a strong campaign. Could they be the league’s dark horses?
Women’s Division 3 Central
Ashfield Vipers went to battle against Tamworth Spartans, in the opening matches for both teams. Having moved from the Division 3 North, the Vipers made a winning start taking the match in straight sets.
Four of the nine teams in the league have yet to play so the division is yet to fall into any pattern.
Women’s Division 3 South West
The first matches in the division saw Plymouth, Beach Academy 2 (North Devon) and Southampton Volleyball Club Women 1 contest a triangle of fixtures.
For Plymouth who were winless and relegated last season, it was a case of you wait all season for a victory and two come along at once! They defeated Beach Academy 2 by a 3-1 scoreline but more impressively, beat Southampton who finished third in the division last year. Plymouth will be hoping the drop down in quality can act as a springboard for better things.
Having done the double over them last year, Southampton maintained a good record over Beach Academy with a 3-1 win over their Devon rivals.
Team of the week: Plymouth – like the Men’s Weekend Review, it goes to a team that have bounced back from a winless season last year. Plymouth may have endured a torrid previous campaign but, in particular, victory over Southampton Women 1 indicates that Plymouth could be a serious contender for promotion back to the second tier.