Tendring Men 1 1 - 3 Wessex

22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 19-25

National Cup 3rd Round

Report by Alex Porter

Tendring’s preparations for the national cup game wasn’t ideal, with both James Baker and Derek Sullivan both unavailable due to injury and Kosta Yiannakkos having not trained due to illness.

Wessex lead by Olympian Dan Hunter started strongly and build a 3 point lead 11-8, but good setting from Tendring’s Own Lamb created one on one opportunities on the wing and Tendring stabilised their game. Wessex maintained their 3 point advantage the entire set and won 25-22.

Set 2 saw the introduction of Erik Halberg in the middle, good serving from Yiannakkos keep the boys in red in the game but Wessex’s pass was better which enabled them to have a stronger attack. Captain Stuart Dove found form at the end of the set but Wessex kept up the pressure and won 25-20.

Player Coach Alex Porter started himself in the 3rd set and Tendring raced to a 9-6 lead, the Tendring pass improved with Jack Bruce and Conor Walker taking most of the court. A string of intelligent serves from Lamb took the game from 10-8 to 19-8. Tendring were playing some of the best volleyball of the season so far and started to gel as a team. One of the tallest front court line ups in NVL of Dove, Porter and Walker (average height 6 foot 6) meant that Wessex struggled to get back in the set. A monster block from Walker sealed the set for Tendring 25-19

Tendring took the lead  in the beginning of the 4th set 8-6, Gary House punched some holes in the Wessex defence and Tendring marched on to a 16-10 lead. With Tendring in a commanding lead they took their foot of the gas and Wessex showed why they are a Super 8 team. Their Bulgarian duo of Kostadin Stoimenov and Andrea Ivanov lead a their attack to 17-15, Porter was forced to call a time out to steady the Tendring nerves, both teams then made service errors and the pressure was back on for Tendring. A cluster of uncharacteristic passing and hitting errors from Tendring meant that Wessex finished the set in a dominate position and won the game.