Date: 28th May 2013
Location: Tendring Volleyball Club, Frinton
Cost: £4 per session, first session free. We had five sessions.
Rules: There are two teams of six players competing over a 2.24m high net. The match starts with three front row players in a line near the net and three back row players in a line near the back of the court. At each team serve, the players rotate one space. Each team has up to three touches of the ball before it must cross the net. A game is played over the best of five sets, with the first four sets going to 25 points. The fifth set goes to 15 points, and all sets must be won with at least a two point advantage.
Team Ellie: Ellie, Lottie, Patty, Jessica, Georgia, Zoe & Hannah
Team Sarah: Sarah, Claire, Christelle, Alvi, Nicki, Beth, Catherine & Michelle
Game One: Team Ellie - 25 v Team Sarah - 23
Game Two: Team Ellie - 25 v Team Sarah - 13
Game Three: Team Ellie - 23 v Team Sarah - 25
Game Four: Team Ellie - 25 v Team Sarah - 23
London 2012 Winners: Brazil.
Sarah: Tuesday nights seem to be a popular time for sports clubs to meet, so it took a while for us to get to Tendring due to our commitments at other clubs. I felt quite nervous on that first week- I'd never tried the sport before, and didn't really know what to expect. I shouldn't have been worried though, we couldn't have been made to feel more welcome or part of the club. We were straight in to it, learning digs and spikes, and came away from the first lesson with our arms stinging but eager to get back for more! Everyone told us our arms would soon toughen up, and of course they did! Over the weeks we learnt more skills and took part in games, sometimes even getting the ball over the net or scoring a point! We hadn't played a 6v6 game until the night of the Challenge, and both loved it! It was really fast, with more people on the court than we were used to, and there were some brilliant rallys. Ellie's team won overall, but the games were really close (apart from Game 2.. not sure what happened there!). Volleyball seems to sum up what we were hoping for when we started this challenge; to discover a sport that we'd probably not have otherwise tried. We learnt so much in just five weeks, and it was satisfying to see that we'd progressed! We've had such a great time and are really pleased it's not yet all over; we now move outside to the beach courts to try and master the sand!
Ellie: After our first session back at the start of April I wore my bruises like badges of honour. Volleyball had an immediate impact on us. It is a fast-paced and intense game; a real spectacle. We learnt so much at each of our sessions - just to watch the skills of the other players was education in itself. The Volleyball community and Tendring Volleyball Club in particular, has been very supportive. We have been involved with Go Spike, an organisation that encourages people to pick up Volleyball at any stage of their life. They have been very friendly, we have had goodies and have been to events in our region and in London.
So, the game, wow! It was wonderful to play in a team of six and the level of talent around us was staggering. Nerves really took hold of me and most of the time I felt really daunted (and much like I was going to vomit). I could rarely tell which team was leading as I was too concerned with if the ball was coming my way. I was proud to contribute on occasion and I can really imagine how close a team can become if they play on a regular basis. The game really topped off how much fun our training sessions have been and Sarah and I have both agreed that Volleyball is definitely a game we would return to. Luckily, we still have Beach Volleyball to complete so as soon as this rain clears up we'll be out on the sand. Whatever the weather, I'm really looking forward to it!
Huge thanks to Alex, Claire and everyone at the club for being so patient and making us feel so welcome! Tendring Volleyball Club meet on a Tuesday; indoor courts over the winter months and out on the beach volleyball courts over the summer. For more information have a look at their website: www.tendringvolleyball.com