Double success in league and cup has Welwyn & Hatfield’s men on a high
PUBLISHED: 11:04 22 January 2019
Welwyn & Hatfield Volleyball Club’s men enjoyed a super Sunday as they clinched two wins at home.
The Hawks progressed through to the semi-final of the Herts Volleyball Knockout Cup after a 3-1 win over Milton Keynes City.
The tie was originally meant to be played in Buckinghamshire but a lack of court time saw it switched to Welwyn & Hatfield’s own base of Ridgeway Academy Sports Centre.
And it proved hugely beneficial for the Hawks against the side who have won the cup for the last two seasons.
MK’s woes continued with the late arrival of their sixth player leaving them with just the bare five and meaning they forfeited the first set 25-0.
When the game started though it was as close as expected with the second set a case in point.
It went point for point to 18-18 with some great play on both sides and mistakes adding to the excitement.
However, the visitors were able to pull away at the end to tie things up 25-23.
A Hawks substitution made at the start of the third set gave the hosts the impetus and some amazing serves from Jason Woodward and some great attacks by the team saw them pull away, clinching it 25-16.
The fourth set delivered some nail-biting rallies but with some good ball and net touches, and fine defence from Pio Tongsombut, Hawks always had the edge to take it 25-22 and seal their place in the semi-final where they will face either Aylesbury Vale Pirates or Watford.
Zhen Guo was chosen as the most valuable player for Hawks.
The Welwyn & Hatfield Falcons also enjoyed a fine victory, beating VK Southgate 3-1 in HVA League Division Two before the Hawks took to the court.
They began by taking the first two sets comfortably but mistakes in the third gave Southgate a way back.
However a much better fourth set gave Falcons the 3-1 win and keeps them second in the table behind Kings Langley Knights.
The club also hosted a mini junior tournament with four teams from the club joining two from Milton Keynes.
All the teams played timed games against each other with play-offs used to decide the final positions.
A total of 23 players took part in the event and Welwyn & Hatfield’s junior coach Russell Franklin said: “It was great to see so many enjoying their volleyball. All of the players showed great team spirit and the standard of play was high too.”