Match report: MM1 v Newcastle Staffs 2 (28/09/2013) - Zach
The second home match of the season saw MM1 up against a young Staffs team. A strong start from Marvels saw them leading 8 – 2 at the first technical time out. With some tough hitting Marvels looked to press on with this advantage.
However Newcastle were not going to let that happen without a fight, and they started to pull back some points with very tough serving, which challenged the marvels passing unit. Newcastle pushed hard and clawed back the points they lost earlier in the set. This created a tense end to the first, but Marvels dug in and won out with some strong attacking and great defence from all players.
The second set saw Newcastle come out serving tough but the marvels passing unit was able to get on top of these serves and establish a good pass early in the set. This allowed the setters to spread out the attack and for the hitters to really open up an attack. Big hits, strong serves and some solid defence helped the marvels maintain a lead throughout the set.
The third set played out in a similar fashion to the second with the marvels offence pressing hard with big hits and clever plays winning points from all attacking positions. Once again Newcastle pressed with tough serves but the marvels passers were ready for this and took each serve in their stride. It was a good win for the Marvels, with plenty of positives to take into the next match.
13/08/2013: Summer Trip to Italy
19/05/2012: Salford Outdoor tournament
12/06/2012: Salford Outdoor tournament
Match Report: Marvels v South Birmingham (Sunday 22nd September) - Francesco
The match took place in Birmingham, hosted by South Birmingham, with the final score being 3-2 in South Birmingham's favour.
Marvels started off with a really good first set showing solid organization on the court. The team worked well together with strong passing and defending, a sharp reading of the game by the setter which enabled the spikers to strike powerful attacks and score a several points for the first set victory. Our serving was consistent and we showed a good ownership of the game. Good communication between the players helped to create team spirit and coordination inside the court.
On the second set we started off losing a few important points on passing, which seemed to be due to a lack of concentration. The atmosphere inside the court changed from aggressive to relaxed. South Birmingham stepped up to the plate a bit better while we started failing the passing and defending. We also made a few mistakes serving which didn’t help. The first referee kept holding the game up which was a waste of time and we kept going cold and then straight back in to the game. I think this started to distract the team and influenced the lack of concentration despite the efforts by Howard to keep us in the game.
The third set started off a bit deflated for us but soon we became more aggressive fighting point after point. Once again we started leading the game concentrating more on our team than anything else. The defense got stronger, the attacks were efficient and the overall set was looking positive.
Fourth set was probably the hardest one, lots of mistakes on serving and defending. I have to say that South Birmingham had a stronger attack than ours. We only had 7 players and most of them were not at their top form. Even though we kept our defense high our attacks were not as good and that made the difference for this match. Several interruptions meant that concentration went down again, together with morale.
At the fifth set I think the whole team tried its best to keep up, all of us were tired but we gave the other team a good run for their money.
Score wise we won the first set 22-25. Lost the second 25-21. Won the third 23-25. Lost the fourth 25-20 and lost the last one 15-11.
I am sure we could have brought home a victory if we had the whole team coming to this match. With a stronger and constant attack we wouldn’t have got to the 5th set. We demonstrated a strong mind set but this had to be more constant throughout the game.
First MM1 match of the season, 14th September - James
MM1 made a great start to the new season in Division 2, despite a line up including some new players, with a convincing 3 - 1 win over Sunderland City Predators, also newly promoted from Div 3.
Some nerves were evident at the beginning of the first set, which was only to be expected, given how this was the first game that many of the players had played together. However, some big hits by Tom Atkinson helped settle the Marvels down allowing them to take the set 25 - 19.
The second set, however, wasn't as positive. A slip of concentration early on let Sunderland take a large lead that proved too much for the Marvels to pull back, eventually losing the set 16-25.
Of course, the Marvels weren't going to let that go unpunished. A flurry of big serves, bigger hits and great defensive play gave them a 8 point advantage to start the set and from there Sunderland crumbled, unable to cope with the onslaught. Marvels took the set with a satisfying 25 - 11 score.
The last set then played out almost exactly the same as the third with the opposition unable the defend the Marvels offence, allowing them to cruise to a 25 - 13 victory. It was a good overall game for Marvels (ignoring the second set) proving the new look team has what it takes to get the victory.
League game #16, 7th of April 2013. “The finish line”.
Even though it was clear for everyone that that the last match of the season would not decide anything and Marvels were already National League 2013 Division 3 winners, the squad set off to Nottingham early on Sunday morning. Nottingham Rockets 2 were beaten 3:0 confidently at home a couple of months ago and everyone expected the same result this time.
The first set started with a four point lead for the Rockets due to four failed jump serves by Marvels. After that Marvels switched to float serves that seemed to work pretty well against Nottingham. The point difference grew as Marvels successfully attacked from all positions. The first set was in Marvels’ pocket at a score of 25:17.
The second set started with Marvels a couple of points down, but this was fixed very quickly and Rockets managed to reach only 15 points in the this set.
In the third set Thomas Atkinson was playing opposite, which is his normal position, and killing every ball set to him, he left no hope for Nottingham to win the set. Marvels continued their confident and consistent play in the third set, which led to the expected 3:0 victory.
On behalf of Manchester Marvels Mens 1 squad, I would like to show my gratitude to Tomasz Ostrowski who suffered a shoulder injury in the middle of the second set, but yet stayed on court and played till the very end with the team. That’s the Marvels spirit. Well done boys, I can’t wait for the next season in division two already.
Andrejs Isajevs, outside player, MM1
Two match reports here from MM1 - definitely worth a read!
Shield quarterfinal, 2nd of February 2013. “A lesson from Londoners”.
In the National Shield Quarterfinal Manchester Marvels Men first squad (MMM) faced a non-national league team from London branded as “Flaming Six Aces”. The match took place down in London at the opponent’s premises. The game was at 11:30, therefore the team had to shoot off very early Saturday morning, leaving Picadilly train station at 6:35am. MMM had only heard rumours about the opponent and it was not clear what to expect from the game.
During the warm-up it started to become apparent that Marvels were facing another strong team. Flaming Aces’ players all looked mature, tall and skilful.
The first set did not start very well, as in most games, the lads were warming up. The difference in points was growing more and as Marvels tried all the attacking skills that they had in their pockets, each time they faced fearsome blocking, which after the game was agreed to be the best MMM had seen so far. The first set was lost with Marvels hitting only a ten point result.
Realising how strong the opponent was, the next two sets were played at a good level with the teams going point to point, and Marvels even leading the score from time to time. Players were rotated around all three sets to see which rotation was the most effective against Aces, but nothing seemed to work very well. The second and third sets were lost 22:25 and 20:25.
As in previous games versus strong opponents, the main point of failure for the team was consistency throughout the set, especially at the end of the set. This is something Marvels need to work and work and work on. In general, not a bad game for the Marvels first season. On behalf of the MMM, I would like to thank Flaming Six Aces for the great game, experience and for giving us a lesson and showing that we have a lot to improve.
Andrejs Isajevs, outside player, MM1
League Games #14 and #15, 10th of March 2013. “The contrast”.
Marvels were hosting two league games, the first two of the last three games left in the season against both opponent teams being in the bottom half of the league table. The first game against Kingsthorpe was played with an unusual starting six on court since some of the squad members could not make it to the game. There was no dedicated middle player and no libero. To cut the long story short the game was won 3:0 as expected, but indeed with no satisfactory performance. Lots of silly errors and missed serves were the highlights of the game. It was definitely not a game to be remembered. Marvels, pull yourselves together, this is frustrating and not acceptable!
The second game against the Loughborough Lions was the complete opposite to the first one. Marvels played their level of volleyball being in control of the situation and consistent throughout the entire game. At different stages of the game one or another player was stepping up and putting a lot of pressure by either very good, strong and precise hitting or tough serving. With a libero being back on court for this game the defence was back up to “Nothing touches the floor” standard. Great game lads! An important note is that yet with still another one league game left to play this season, Marvels have already assured their promotion to division 2 for the next season by not losing a single game so far. Keep your heads up, boys, do your best, work your butts off as you all did this season and division 2 will not be a problem for us either.
Andrejs Isajevs, outside player, MM1
9th December 2012
It was a beautiful Sunday morning (not) when MW1, Manchester Marvels Women 1 that is, started their journey to RAF Cranwell. After 40 minutes of touring the streets of Manchester, we eventually found a road out of the city centre. And I’m not talking about an ‘A road’ in the right direction, it was ‘a road’, not necessarily in the direction we wanted to travel to. Not the best start to the day, but the rest of the day was smoother.
Apart from the detour at the start, the drive went pretty well. Us foreigners were shown the sights: the highest motorway in England, the bridge with most suicide jumpers. We found the sports hall at Cranwell, but one problem remained: how to get in? All the doors were locked. After 15 minutes of standing outside, seeking advice from a nearby sports hall and talking to the guards, we rang our reliable coach-Tom who suggested knocking on the door. Ah! We were in.
Our first match was against the ‘kids’ of North Riding Eagles. Despite some strong line attacks by our captain Alia Paschali and seamless collaboration by our two setters Leanne Vernon and Giulia Fenci, Marvels battled through the first set, winning it unconvincingly 25-22. For the second set we brought in our secret weapon: Lucy Shattock. 3 weeks on a high altitude training camp had clearly paid off: she was unstoppable. Serving 16 points in a row, and scoring in style by volleying a ball in the block and then out, the rest of us just stood in awe and watched. The set finished with a handsome score of 25-12. In high spirits, we started the third set with a sturdy lead of 12-3. But the opposition’s hits to one scored a lot of points and brought them back to 16-12. Giulia Fenci and Kate Taylor then found the rhythm. With Giulia setting the ball short in the middle to Kate, the opposition had little to no chance of picking the balls up, such was the force of Kate’s arm. In the end, the opposition faltered with their lack of experience and we took the set 25-20.
The next match was against RAF Hawks. With Giulia now pounding the balls on the outside, instead of her usual position as a setter, we took the first set easily 25-16. We were on a roll, or so we thought. But the Hawks fought back with a tall block and strong defence. Our hitters were unable to find the gaps on their court, and despite Leanne Vernon recovering from her few Christmassy bevies the night before and bringing us back from 21-24 to 24-24, we narrowly lost the second set 24-26.
But some mental imagery forced upon the team by Ellie Kuitunen brought Marvels back into the game. The aim was to annihilate the opposition, which we almost managed, finishing the set at 25-14 with an all round solid performance.
The fourth and final set saw some strong attacks through the outside by Ellie and excellent backcourt defending by our middle hitters Kasia Tkacz and Kate, who both gave a flawless performance in the absence of a libero. (Beware liberos, your positions may be endangered!) This along with the clever use of her head by Kate, and some great backcourt ‘punching’ of the ball by Alia ( it may not have lifted the game, but it definitely lifted our spirit), helped the team secure the win 25-18.
A slightly disappointing result of dropping a set, but an overall convincing performance by Marvels. The return journey was quick, with Kasia singing to Britney Spears and our drivers speeding (figuratively speaking) through the darkness. Thank you to Leanne and Lucy for the safe driving, and for the extra banana provided to the lactose intolerant. I had a very enjoyable day.
We're back! Regular training starts this week - we're offering 8 weeks of coached sessions for just £35! If you've not been before, come along on Sunday at 3pm at Sugden Sport Centre and give it a try!
Well done to MM1 who beat York and Nottingham this week to remain top of the table for yet another week! Matches coming up this weekend as well, when MW1 take on Sunderland and MM1 square up to the RAF Harriers. See the calendar for details.
Well done to MW1 who beat Wirral on Sunday and now head the league on 19 points, ahead of Sunderland on set difference.
MM1 have a national league match coming up this Sunday, come along and support them from 11am at Sugden Sport Centre
Our first open session of the season is also this Sunday, 3-5pm at Sugden. Come along and get playing again! Join the Facebook event here.
Hoodies are here! Support your club AND be snug and warm - what's not to like? Order yours now!
15/01/2013: After a hard fought match, MM1 defeated opponents Oxford in a 3-2 victory at Sugden Sport centre. This takes them them 2 matches away from the final of the shield competition.
23/11/2012: It's the season to be jolly and fill your calendar with loads of fun and festive events. What could be more jolly, fun and festive than our very own Marvels Christmas Tournament on the 16th of December. Whether you just can't get enough of us, or whether you want some revenge for a beating during the Christmas Social on the 15th, get a team together and register for this legendary tournament. More details to follow soon....
22/11/2012: Manchester Marvels have just announced an upcoming social.
What: Laser Tag and possibly a visit to the Christmas Marker or pub afterwards
When: Saturday 15 December
Where: Trafford Centre
How much: ca. £10 each, but the more people the cheaper it will be.
Please check our facebook event for the latest details and to confirm your attendance!
11/11/2012: The Women's National League team have just won their match in the second round of the national cup. On Sunday afternoon they beat Darby Darkstar 3-2 in what can only be described as a very thrilling game. After being two sets down, the ladies got their heads together and made an amazing comeback, taking the next three sets and, ultimately, the game. We wish them the best of luck for round three on the 2nd of December, when they will be facing Bristol.
From the moment that the whole team gathered at Sugden, on time, ready for the short walk down to Trinity Sports Hall, we knew it was going to be a special day. Heady with the memories of a much anticipated victory against Manchester Uni just the day before, the seven-strong team was ready to face the veterans of the local league, Phoenix.
After a shaky warm up and the decision from team captain Chris to sit out the first set due to injury worries, nerves were on edge as the match began. Despite some solid passages of play and good hitting from all over the court, Phoenix pulled ahead at the end to win the first set.
Chris’s return to the court for the second set seemed to bring some confidence to the team, with Marvels establishing an early 7-1 lead. Although Phoenix raised a spirited resistance as the set continued, thunderous hitting from Michael at opposite allowed us to win the set and level the score at one apiece.
Going into the third set, some reshuffling of the Phoenix team combined with a series of stray hits left us facing a daunting 22-11 deficit as the final time out was called. With minds set on a recovery in the fourth set, we nevertheless resolved to fight for as many points as we could in the third. Some outstanding serving from Zach pushed the Marvels scoreboard up and up, as Phoenix fought to secure the final three points they needed to close out the set. In an astonishing turn around and after just one dropped point, Dan came in to serve out the set and steal a 2-1 lead.
Having just conceded an almost insurmountable lead, Phoenix struggled to defend against the momentum that Marvels took into the fourth, and final, set. As Marvels passed, set and hit their way to victory, the potential of this young team was clear, and if the team can capitalise on that, who knows what successes the season will hold for them.
Final score 3 – 1 win for Marvels
Players: Chris Schwampe, Alex Malkov, James Mercer, Dan Jarman, Michael Hawigu, Arno Mayrhofer, Zach Sinclair
23/9/2012: MMV Women: National League Division 3 North
Match day 1
Opposition: Wirral & Sunderland City Predators
Our first match day was away at Wirral, so our day started fairly, or in my case very, early in the morning, with our team meeting up at Sugden, our home venue, at 10:30. Our team seemed to be incomplete at first with only 6 players able to go to Wirral since Ellie, Kirsty and Andrea were away, but we were excited that new comer Kasha (?) was able to join us at such short notice. So the 7 of us (Marije van Hattum, Dorka Tamasi, Alia Paschali. Leanne Vernon, Lucy Shattock, Maria Quesada and Kasia Tkacz) arrived at Woodchurch High School, along with our coach Tom Atkinson, just before 12:00, while the first game between Wirral and Sunderland was being played. This gave us the chance to relax and get ready for the game well in time and also check out the opposition.
Match 1: Sunderland City Predators
Score: 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25, 14-16. MMV lose 2-3
We knew beforehand this was going to be a challenging first match day for our team, with some players missing and others playing out of position, but we were determined to make it work. We started the game with Leanne setting, Lucy as opposite (where she remained for the whole day) Marije and Dorka outside and Alia and Maria in the middle (let’s just say these are not their usual positions).
For the 1st set we were playing simple yet effective volleyball. Serving well and putting the opposition under pressure with every attack being well placed so as to make them move (especially from Marije and Lucy) caused Sunderland to make quite a few serving and passing errors which in turn made it easier for us to score points. Our block was also doing a good job, forcing Sunderland to ease up their attack which made it easier for us to attack back, thus winning the first set quite comfortably 25-18.
However, Sunderland had already played their first game together (which they won 1-3) and began correcting their errors and communicating well with each other, something that became apparent in the 2nd set. Making quite a few mistakes, we were down 5-10, when Alia went to serve and managed to cause trouble for Sunderland’s passing unit, taking us to 11-10. However, our passing unit had trouble receiving a float jump serve from Sunderland’s young setter, which left us at 14-20 and we ended up losing the set 20-25, despite Maria’s good defending and Marije’s great (as always) hitting.
In the 3rd set, our coach changed our starting line-up, putting Kasia in the middle for Alia who moved to the outside for Marije, who became our setter, (talk about a flexible group of players) a formation we kept for most of the remainder of the game. This was the longest lasting set (28mins), which found us finishing the set at 25-22, with Maria serving 6 points in a row and Marije successfully distributing the sets between all 5 hitters, who all did a great job finding the empty spaces and making Sunderland struggle to keep every ball off the floor.
The 4th set was our worst, even though it started well. Our great serving skills lead us 19-11 ahead of Sunderland and we should have finished the game there, 3-1 sets to us. However, as we were so close to winning we got nervous and shaky, losing concentration and thus making a lot of passing and hitting errors, which ended up costing us the set, 23-25.
For the fifth and final set, Alia started serving and gave us a 4-1 lead, with Maria carrying that on to 7-2, which was a great start. Lucy and Dorka continued serving well, taking us to 10-6, which Sunderland then turned to 10-10. The game was very tense and, as always, leave it to the referees to make the worst decisions at the worst possible times. A wrong call for four touches on one of Alia’s hits was rectified by Marije’s good serving, taking the set to 14-13 for us. Even though we should have finished the game at that point, the referee stepped in once again; or more like failed to step in. A very obvious double-touch by Sunderland’s setter (who was nice enough to admit it AFTER the end of the game) was not called, thus giving her the serve, which eventually won them the set 14-16 and the game 2-3.
Match 2: Wirral
Score: 23-25, 18-25, 22-25. MMV win 0-3
After being very disappointed and frustrated by the result of our first game, we became even more determined to win the second game 3-0; which we did!
Even though Wirral was a weaker opponent than Sunderland, we kept the level of our game high and were able to overcome most of the mistakes we made against Sunderland. Lucy and Kasia had a very good game, cleverly placing the ball and scoring points for us. Marije had a rest for half a set and then came on all powered-up for Alia, who wasn’t having a great first set. The team played well and we were ahead for all of the first set, winning 23-25.
In the 2nd set it was Dorka’s turn to rest after having a very good, and tiring, volleyball day. Leanne came on to set and did a great job. Passing was good since communication between us improved, thus giving Leanne the opportunity to set very well, which she did, to the middle for Maria and Kasia to kill the ball, as well as to the outside, with Marije and Alia finishing off most of the balls they got. Our passing and our defense kept getting better and better, whereas Wirral did not have many answers to our serving or attacking, so we won the 2nd set quite comfortably 18-25.
By the 3rd set, we were all quite tired; some of us had already played 7 sets in a row. Dorka came back on for Marije on the outside, while Leanne continued to give every player the chance to score points for our team; and all of our players did, finishing off the 3rd set 22-25.
Even though we lost our first game against Sunderland 2-3, mainly due to nerves and everyone trying to do everything cause we all wanted to win, we managed to put that disappointment and frustration behind us and went on to win 3-0 against Wirral, something that took quite a lot of professionalism from all of the girls. We know we have a lot of work to do to prepare for our next games, but we are all confident and capable players and I am quite sure we will do great in every game that follows. After all, we are a completely new team and let’s face it, first games are always our worst.
16/9/2012: MMV Men 1: National League North 3: Match day 1.
Opposition: Dark Star Derby and Loughborough Lions.
MMV men arrived at Sugden centre bright and early on Sunday morning (with the exception of Lenn and Alkis), ready for our 1st away trip to Derby. A trip that was supposed to take 1hr and 40mins was inexplicably reduced to just over an hour. Arriving at the Dark Star venue an hour before the scheduled warm up time, a good job really as it took half an hour of wandering round the building site to find the sports hall, the only part of the sports college ready for use. Eventually the home team turned up and we were ready to go.
Match 1: Dark Star.
Score: 25-20, 25-14, 25-20. MMV win 3-0.
Being a big fan of throwing people in at the deep end, Howard starts Alex Schwampe in the 1st set, just minutes after arriving back from Germany as well as Tom Atkinson as setter with only half a working leg. You wouldn’t have known it though as the passing unit got off to a great start, minimizing the amount of moving Tom had to do. The Derby block was so obsessed with Martin Mayanja (don’t know why) that Alex was almost unchallenged on the outside and comfortably put away his 1st few hits, proving Howards decision to rest himself spot on. MM didn’t get everything our own way in the 1st set, as Derby proved they were capable of playing volleyball with some strong hitting from their opposite player keeping them within 2 points. With the score at 19-17 the youngest player in the MM team stepped up to serve, James Barlow, a man not exactly renowned for his serving ability. Apparently nobody had told him this as his took the score onto 22-17 without a return from Derby. MM were then comfortably able to close out the set.
With the 1st set won MM settled into their rhythm and were never really troubled by the derby attack, with Andrej Isajevs shutting out their opposite attack they looked completely out of ideas. Everything MM hit seemed to be a winner, with Martin and Andrej hitting way over the top of their slow middle blockers. The 2nd set was over swiftly as MM took it 25-14.
The 3rd set saw MM rotate a number of players in order to keep them fresh for the 2nd match. Tomazs Ostrowski coming on at opposite for Pawel Wisniewski, Alex moving to middle and Howard replacing Martin.
Tom got MM off to a flying start, exposing Derby’s week libro by serving his way to a 6-0 lead. The passing and hitting however didn’t go so well, it took a while for new players to settle into the game. At 18-16 to Derby Tomasz proved what an exceptional volleyball player he still is as he demanded the ball at opposite, rose miles higher than any of us have seen him jump before and killed the ball with ease. He then stepped up to serve, nailed a couple of aces and by the time he was finished MM were leading 24-19. Then all that was needed was a stuff block from the man with half a leg to close out the game. My only block of the game by the way as I couldn’t jump.
Match 2: Loughborough Lions.
Score: 25-12, 25-21, 25-17. MMV win 3-0.
Feeling confident after a great 3-0 start and with everyone rested after only a few players played the whole of the 1st game. Much to the surprise off the opposition and officials Howard decided to rest star player and Captain Tom Atkinson, who to be fair was knackered. With Pawel taking over as captain and setter, MM started the 2nd match with their strongest team. Pawel, Tomazs, Andrej, Howard, James, Martin, Jose (libro). Basically the same team that beat div 2 team Wigan earlier in the week.
The match didn’t last long and MM didn’t need to make any changes to the starting line up as the guys completely out played Loughborough, who by the way finished 3rd last season.
Highlights of the match included some outstanding serving, again James Barlow proved very difficult to pass, what has that boy been doing over the summer. Pawel demonstrated that our setters can hit the ball better than anyone on the team with a hat trick of powerful jump serve aces.
Throughout the match the passing from Jose, Howard and Andrej just got better and better, to the point where Pawel was able to distribute the attack to any of 4 hitters. A task that he did expertly, linking up with Andrej and Martin beautifully and even winning some cheeky points himself.
At the end of the match Martin was awarded MVP for his unstoppable hitting and consistent serving, also hitting over a blocker hands on to his head helps. Though you could have picked any of the guys, Andrej was excellent, cutting inside the block and hitting both corners from back court. Jose even chalked up a winner, volleying a serve straight over into a gap. James could have won it for fooling everyone by hitting the winning point onto the 3 meter line with his left hand rather than right and leaving their blocker scratching his head.
A great performance from the guys, and there is still room form improvement. Lenny and Alkis and I may struggle to get back into this team if they keep playing the way they did against Loughborough.
06/09/2012: Hello everyone!
Social time!! Keep the evening of Sat. 15th September free- the plan is to go out for a meal (possibly Rev’s for pizza!) It’s a great opportunity for newbies to get to know others in the club and for the veterans to catch up after a long summer. We want as many people as possible to come, especially because it’s the first social. Please let us know if you're interested so we can book a table. Time and exact place to be confirmed.
Hope to see as many of you there as possible!!
02/09/2012: After the succes of the Manchester Marvels launch event on the 18th of August, the club hosted it's second Open Session today from 11.30 to 17.30. Apart from a couple of regulars who have been training with the club all summer, we also saw the return of some players who played for our affiliated club UMVC in the past, as well as quite a few newcomers to the sport. We hope everyone enjoyed playing today and we hope to see you return to one of our next Open Sessions.