Successful merger, successful season for Southampton VC
10th June 2021
With the excitement around volleyball’s long-awaited return building, the 2019/20 Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball League (NVL) title winners from each league are taking a trip down memory lane to reminisce on their triumphant season.
Tim Nash, Coach of the Southampton Ladies 1st Team, re-caps on an unbeaten season that led to the Division 3 (South West) title.
Tell us a bit about your club, its ambitions and history.
The development of Southampton VC has been down to the hard work, dedication and desire from a large number of volleyballers to merge Team Southampton VC and Solent VC. Both these clubs had had rich and successful histories. However, vying for the same players was becoming extremely difficult to do every year. Through careful and brave negotiations, the clubs merged. The bringing together of a world of experience, the high-quality coaches and wealth of players has cemented the club as the elite volleyball club in Southampton. With two ladies squads, a strong mens contingent and a truly successful and thriving setup, the club has ambitions to move up the leagues and challenge for future successes at local and national level.
How does your team’s 2020 title win rank against your club’s other major achievements?
This was very sweet. Not losing a game and dropping only a handful of sets showed the merging of the two clubs was the right thing. The ladies have worked extremely hard all season. It has been immensely pleasurable to see their hard work pay dividends.
Aside from winning the league, tell us about some of your favourite memories from the 2019/20 season.
As already mentioned, winning every game and only conceding seven sets was a great team accomplishment. Also, our many road trips to Plymouth throughout the season were always entertaining. Starting the season with a group of players who had been relegated from Division 2 the previous season, remoulding them, and instilling a clear team spirit and winning mentality was so rewarding too.
How would you describe your side’s style of play and greatest strength? Did you have a star player?
The team played some fast, attacking, and intelligent volleyball. They had the confidence to take risks. Their greatest strength was an amazing team spirit on and off the court. It didn't matter who was on the court or on the bench, everyone pulled in the same direction. So, they were all star players!
Who was your toughest match against and what made them formidable opponents?
I wouldn't say we had a difficult match. But the games against Plymouth and Plymouth Mayflower on 24th November 2019 were memorable. Although we won both, both matches were played at a high pace where everything just clicked. The competition between the teams was brilliant and it cemented a great winning mentality in our team.
Which club was your favourite to play against, and why?
I am going to be cheeky. With our ladies second team in the same league, it was great to play against them. As it felt like a normal training night. There was great banter and camaraderie through the net.
If you could pick any player, past or present, to join your team, who would it be and why?
We lost a fantastic player, Lydia Clark, halfway through the season because she went off to live in the USA. She came to us and played as a great libero, but we found out that she was also a cracking setter too. More than that she was a great team player on and off the court.
What are you most looking forward to about the NVL’s return?
Yes, we are eager to play again. We have missed it. I think we are really looking forward to testing ourselves in Division 2 again. I have retained all my players, but we are always looking for new players to strengthen the team and take them to the next level.