Wednesday, 20 August 2014

61. Beach Volleyball

Event: Beach Volleyball
Date: 5th August 2014
Location: Tendring Volleyball Club, Clacton Beach Volleyball Courts
Cost: Free
Rules: There are two teams of two players competing over a 2.24m high net. After the service, each team is allowed three touches of the ball before it must cross the net. The game is played over the best of three sets, with 21 points needed to win a set in the first two; 15 points in the third and deciding set. All sets must be won with at least a two point advantage.

The Event:


Set 1: Ellie & Gemma - 14 v 21 - Sarah & Lottie
Set 2: Ellie & Gemma - 11 v 21 - Sarah & Lottie  

London 2012 Olympic Winners: USA  

Sarah: We had planned to complete our beach volleyball event last summer after we'd been to several practices, but the weather kept working against us each time we arranged the match and we had to postpone a whole year! A year-long break from a sport probably isn't the wisest training strategy, so we returned to the beach courts for a practice ahead of the big match. We were more than a little rusty, and our unconditioned arms soon remembered the familiar sting of the ball. The match was really fun, but fairly short and concise. We could try to blame the wind for the shocking lack of any real volleys during the match, but we should probably step up and claim responsibility for our own lack of volleying talent! If we'd got round to a few more practice sessions, it would definitely have improved the fluidness of the match, and helped us remember how to move more accurately through the sand. On the flip-side of our bad form, it was great to return to the club and catch up with everyone after a year away.

Ellie: I've really enjoyed our involvement in volleyball. I had played at school and enjoyed it then too so it was good to go back to it after (Oh Dear God) 20 years... Beach Volleyball is something else; trying to move in the sand is like trying to run through custard - it's really difficult and slow and er...very yellow? Our match was a little one sided and Gemma really was carrying our team. I took pleasure in the little things I could get right like a good serve, reaching the ball before it reached the sand or the times I was able to actually 'pass' the ball on to Gemma! 
Any skill I'd built up last year has been lost which is a shame as I feel we'd learnt a lot in a short time. 
Volleyball is firmly on my list to return to once our project is finished. Tendring Volleyball Club have been a great example of a friendly, welcoming and highly skilled, all-ages club which is exactly what we hoped to find.

A huge thanks to Gemma, Lottie and John for helping us out, especially with their sore bodies and heads after their big tournament the previous weekend!

L-R: Sarah, Lottie, John, Gemma, Ellie

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