/ Author: SPF

Our last update saw SPF Mens Volleyball going into the Christmas break joint top of the table after a statement victory over their rivals Mojitos.

The New Year brought, however, new problems for SPF. Thanks to Covid, injuries, and off-island training for new jobs, the SPF squad found itself without players Joe Ogier, Matt Ashworth, Jack Nurdin and Pete Guilbert for a number of fixtures. A thumb injury also saw setter Joe Baines having to change position. Undaunted by the challenge, SPF dusted themselves off and prepared for their post-Christmas matches. Steve Adam, experienced island libero, rejoined the squad. The team was also delighted to sign talented young outside hitter Luke Halker who was back from university for the Christmas break.

SPF played new team How I Set Your Mother out of the gate. The instructions were clearly articulated for the match: Do the simple stuff right, make errors. This plan was carried out to near perfection as SPF swept HISYM in 3 sets. The next match was a tough one and everyone knew it. Defending champions, SpikeTyson, were a side of full of island players and, with their eyes set firmly on the title, they brought the best squad they could. Ryan Martel set for SPF. Jack Hoskins started as outside and used every trick in his arsenal to score points. Ultimately the combined power of Spike Tyson captain, Harry Barrett-Giles and opposite hitter Jakub Polomka proved too much. Spike Tyson overpowered SPF in 3 close sets, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23.

Next was the training room derby, SPF vs Mojitos. Smarting from their pre-Christmas loss, Mojito Captain Josh Martel brought a dangerous line-up of players. Martel made the shrewd decision to move Stanley Nganga to outside hitter and he proved tough to stop. SPF found themselves 2 sets down. By the third set they found their best line-up with the blocking of Matt Ashworth and defence of Joe Baines proving vital. The fourth set was neck and neck until a clash led to Steve Adam rolling his ankle. Without his impressive passing and defence on court, SPF lost a few key points and ultimately the match. Mojitos won in 4 sets, 25-17, 25-22, 15-25, 25-19.After a week off SPF played Sure Spikers. Recovering from injury, Jack Nurdin cameback into the squad. Sure were missing two key players and struggled to compete losing in 3 quick sets to SPF.For the final time this season, SPF faced off against Mojitos. Joe Ogier returned from injury but SPF did not have Ryan Martel or Jack Hoskins who were both away. Down to five players, SPF borrowed Isaac Langlois from Sure Spikers who had a strong game.Baines returned to his setting role and set consistently throughout, particularly to the leftside position where Nurdin and captain, Robbie Le Messurier, scored most of the points.In the end the class of Mojitos was too much thanks to the excellent setting of Josh Martel and hitting of Luke Archard. Mojitos won in 4 sets, 25-23, 17-25, 25-23, 25-23.

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