Storm bound back

10:26 18 January 2013

Exeter Storm’s setter, Kyle Alves, serving.

Exeter Storm’s setter, Kyle Alves, serving.

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Exeter Storm bounced back from their first SW Volleyball League defeat with wins against Academy of Beach Sports and Kernow Truro.

The young Academy of Beach Sports, from North Devon, pushed Kernow Truro hard in the first match of the triangular fixture, displaying impressive teamwork for such an inexperienced side. Haydn Lawson put up imposing blocks, despite being the smallest player on court. After many long, hard-fought rallies, they eventually lost 3-2.

In the second encounter, Exeter Storm also found it tough to break down Academy of Beach Sports.

The match was point-for-point for a while, until Storm found their rhythm and put together some devastating attacks, to take the first set 25-15. Storm started the next set slowly too, but at 14-13 a series of well placed serves from Kyle Alves put the set beyond their opponents. Storm won the set 25-16. Academy of Beach Sports continued to battle and looked like they may be rewarded with a set. However, at 18-16 Ben Fairweather served out the match with a long run of intelligent serves.

The third and final match, between Exeter Storm and Kernow Truro, was the real spectacle of the day.

Kernow were looking for revenge, after losing to Storm 3-0 in December. Both sides played aggressively from the off, but Exeter Storm took a 23-19 lead. Kernow fought back to 24-24, but after a tactical timeout, Storm regrouped to seize the set 27-25.

Storm carried the impetus into the next set, making the 25-13 win look effortless. As is often the case in volleyball, the momentum shifted after the interval. Kernow were suddenly finding holes in the Storm defence and took a 17-10 lead. Storm hit back, but it was too little too late, with Kernow winning 25-22.

Refusing to throw away all their hard work, Storm came out for the next set in fifth gear. Pinpoint passing and uncompromising smashes sealed a 3-1 win, with the final set finishing 25-16. Both sides started the season with the ambition of winning the regional league, but a fifth loss for Kernow has all but ended their hopes. Exeter Storm now sits comfortably in first place, with two games in hand on second placed City of Bristol.

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