Go Spike

Team Northumbria vs Team Durham

7th May 2017

Team Northumbria vs Team Durham


Team Durham are the Super 8s women’s champions!

After a five-year reign at the top for Team Northumbria, they lose out to the new champs – Durham. The hall turns purple, Durham are ecstatic. Northumbria meanwhile, are as dejected a group of players as you’ll ever see. Not that anyone was doubting how much this meant to all of these women, but it’s written clear all over the whole team. What fight though – two fantastic matches, both real battles. Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to the runners-up. The MVP award goes to the Durham skipper, Cat Dailey, who was simply amazing today.

Team Durham 15-13 Team Northumbria

Match point brought up with a block from Doerfler. And Jodie Gregson keeps her cool to serve the match and championship out with a 15-13 victory in the fifth. An amazing victory – Team Northumbria unbeaten all season until yesterday.

Team Durham 13-12 Team Northumbria

O’Brien gets her side out of a small hole to level again – but Dailey comes up with the goods to out her side within two points of victory.

Team Durham 11-11 Team Northumbria

Sareeta Nethersole, who’s had a quiet match so far, joins forces with Amber Mirabello to block out Phillips. But then Johnbull puts away a one-handed set for Northumbria. It’s tight.

Team Durham 7-7 Team Northumbria

It’s a close contest but the error count is creeping up slowly. Fullarton goes long again and coach Goodchild has seen enough as she comes off for Cheyne Corrado.

Team Durham 0-0 Team Northumbria

Here we go then – two chances for Durham, in reality. Northumbria need to win this one to even have a chance of victory overall.

Team Durham 25-16 Team Northumbria

Holthus brings up set point for Durham, big attack through four. And a Fullarton hit goes long to hand the set to Durham. We’re heading to a fifth. And don’t forget, if it goes Northumbria’s way, we go to a golden set. Durham just need to win this next one.

Team Durham 23-15 Team Northumbria

Ah, it was us, with the mockers, it seems. First Phillips gets blocked, and then hits one into the net. Then, Dailey steps up to serve and puts it into the net. It seems that the nerves might have kicked in a little here. Those two don’t usually make mistakes – but to be fair, they are both well in credit at this stage.

Team Durham 16-10 Team Northumbria

Even the usually unplayable power hit from Phillips isn’t quite working at the moment, as she picks out Durham libero Ropiak who passes it perfectly to set up a huge hit from, yes, you guessed it, Captain Dailey to bring us to the technical.

Team Durham 13-8 Team Northumbria

How does she do it? Every time Durham need an outlet, up pops Dailey. We said before that she’s everywhere, and it’s still true in this set. Whether it’s an aggressive pipe, or a rescue set, she always pulls something out of the bag. And her team are right back in this match now – you may go as far as to say they’re in complete control as Blomgren powers a hit straight through the block.

Team Durham 9-6 Team Northumbria

Northumbria are getting a little hot under the collar here, with appeals for four touches – but you can’t blame then for being flustered after losing seven out of the last eight points. Probably my fault for commenting on how cool they all looked at the end of the third…

Team Durham 6-6 Team Northumbria

Neat little reverse set to Dailey who rolls a pipe shot away brings the scores even again.

Team Durham 0-0 Team Northumbria

Right then. Can Durham bounce back to inflict only the second defeat of the season on Northumbria? Or are we heading for a golden set?

Team Durham 26-28 Team Northumbria

Durham saved two set points there, before failing to convert one of their own, and ultimately conceding the third set. No sign of any nerves from either team though – those few points had a bit of everything. Whichever way this goes, there’s not a player out on court who doesn’t have the guts to stand up and try to find a winner. This is shaping up to be quite a tie.

Team Durham 24-24 Team Northumbria

It ain’t over til it’s over – a roll into the middle of the court evens this up and saves a 2nd set point.

Team Durham 22-22 Team Northumbria

Some messy play in a long rally ends with a quick attack – again from Campbell, to keep Durham in this.

Team Durham 19-21 Team Northumbria

Daily ends up on the Northumbria side of the court but even those efforts can’t stop the point going Northumbria’s way. A lovely tip in the middle from Karen Campbell can though.

Team Durham 18-19 Team Northumbria

Ace from Amber Mirabello brings Durham tantalisingly close to levelling the set up. Northumbria take a time out.

Team Durham 15-18 Team Northumbria

Call in the floor moppers! Northumbria take a moment to compose themselves whilst the floor’s being given a buff, and it works, as they block out the Durham attack to take their lead back to three.

Team Durham 10-15 Team Northumbria

ENORMOUS hit from 2 for Sarah Blomgren there. No one’s getting anything on an attack like that – stunning.

Team Durham 8-10 Team Northumbria

A net touch, a pick up off the shoulder. They all count, do these points. Durham starting to come back at Northumbria – partly thanks to some good fortune, partly thanks to their dogged resistance of the Northumbria onslaught.

Team Durham 3-8 Team Northumbria

When you need her, she always steps up. An impeccable run of serves from Northumbria skipper Phillips reasserts her side’s dominance as they take a lead of five points at the technical. Time for Durham to find some of the fluency and rhythm from set one.

Team Durham 2-3 Team Northumbria

So here we go into the third. Will this match be a carbon copy of yesterday’s? Or are there even more twists to come. Stay tuned folks – we’re in for an exciting time whatever happens…

Team Durham 19 – 25 Team Northumbria

That’s what champs are made of. Northumbria have won the women’s Super 8 for the past five years and this is why. Relentless. A rare Campbell slide error took them to 22, followed by a Johnbull winner off a frankly wonderful piece of work from Woolsey right on the net. The final two points – quel surprise – were delivered by Phillips; the last one flying off the Durham defender and into the side wall. We’re level at one apiece.

Team Durham 15 – 21 Team Northumbria

Durham just can’t make any headway here. After Cox rescued one from the opposition free zone, Northumbria simply pounded it back with interest. Time out Durham; second set slipping away.

Team Durham 11 – 16 Team Northumbria

A big O’Brien block takes Northumbria to the technical five in front. That “monster block” jingle blasts out of the Kettering speakers again. That’s going to be in my head for weeks.

Team Durham 11 – 15 Team Northumbria

We’ve been talking a lot about Cat Dailey but Karen Campbell is having a quietly effective game in the middle. She and Dailey are the tallest players out there at 1m88 and Campbell uses that reach to good effect with two winners to bring Durham back at 10 all. But a series of errors after that sees Durham concede a four point lead. Time out called by Durham.

Team Durham 6 – 8 Team Northumbria

All change. Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised. Northumbria lost a set to just 10 yesterday as well but came back to win the next to 20. Will they do the same again here? They’ve started far better. A brilliant pick up from Durham libero, Streicher, leading to a Dailey winner, got Durham to within one but the libero was called for a handling error the very next point. She’s not happy. Northumbria lead. Another five setter anyone?


Team Durham 25 – 10 Team Northumbria

Let’s be honest; that was something of a shellacking for the regular season league champs. O’Brien was blocked at 2 on the slide to take Durham to set point. Phillips – of course – saw that one away with a fine hit off the block. But this is a battle of the skippers so Dailey stepped up to smash away from 2. What a big win that is! Northumbria are supposed to be invincible, aren’t they?

Team Durham 21 – 9 Team Northumbria

Inspirational stuff from the Durham skipper; Dailey is everywhere now. In the front row, she unloads from 4 to put her team 19-8 up. Gregson follows up with a big block before points are traded.

Team Durham 16 – 5 Team Northumbria

Even the reliable Johnbull slide isn’t firing for Northumbria now as she misses to the left to go 16-5 down. Captain Dailey was at it again in that period of play – pounding in a monster back row attack.

Team Durham 13 – 4 Team Northumbria

Northumbria in bother as they call another time-out. Phillips, with a pipe attack, and Fullerton, with a huge block on Holthus, showed what they can do but the errors are killing them as Durham stretch to nine in front.

Team Durham 8 – 2 Team Northumbria

Durham’s Holthus almost knocks libero Ropiak off her feet with another winner from the outside. Northumbria commit a rotational error after that and head to the technical down by six.

Team Durham 5 – 1 Team Northumbria

Early time-out for the Northumbrians as Durham come out firing. They’re up for this. Campbell scores with an early slide and then follows up with a winner through the middle. Echoes of yesterday here; excellent defence and the two captains – Dailey and Phillips – are seeing lots of early ball.


12:45 Teams out on court now. Team Northumbria will open up with Phillips (capt), Vlasic, O’Brien, Fullerton, Johnbull, Blomgren and Ropiak (L). Team Durham starts with Dailey (capt), Cox, Holthus, Campbell, Mirabello, Gregson and Streicher (L).

12:30 Team Northumbria are playing in white today, having been in black yesterday. Team Durham are again in their striking purple; which rather begs the question – did they bring two shirts each or did they rush back to the hotel to get a wash on? We need answers…

12:20 So, in case you forgot, Team Durham won an absolute belter of a five set match yesterday https://www.volleyballengland.org/news/article/5542/team-durham-win-super-8. Team Northumbria have to now win the second leg today to force the golden set decider.

If you need a reminder of how the two sides made it to the play-off finals, you can find out here: https://www.volleyballengland.org/news/article/5535/top-mens-seeds-crash-out. Team Northumbria were mighty impressive during the regular season, not losing a match and dropping only seven sets – so don’t write them off just yet!

The teams are warming up now so stay tuned for what should be another thriller. While you wait, make sure you check out the #logowars competition taking place on our Twitter feed. New Forest and Weymouth are locked in battle to decide whose logo is the best. So you see – there are some BIG prizes up for grabs today!!

Team Northumbria vs Team Durham