Blues 0-3 Oxford University (8-25, 24-26, 11-25)
Iffley Road, Oxford, 20/10/2004
The first BUSA outing for the new Blues squad was a rainy trip to Iffley Road to see old rivals Oxford for the first time in the season. Playing the majority of the experienced members of the 2003-4 squad, new players were also introduced into the team to see how they played under match pressure. The starting six were Wendy Tsang Man Pun (capt), Bethan Shaffrey, Jill Aitken, Nadia von Maltzahn, Fiona Danks, Laura Diaz-Anadon and Lindsey Mehrer. The bench squad for this match included Karolina Lada, Helen MacIntyre and Katy Bidart.
With Jill taking first service of the match, the opening points of the first set were taken by Oxford, scoring two on each side-out. A run of serves from Oxford captain Nicki Osbourne gave the opponents a large score margin as Cambridge struggled to contain the Oxford attack power. Good serving from setter Bethen kept the Blues in touch, but poor passing gave Oxford two more serve runs that emphatically shut Cambridge out of the set.
Blues serve errors plagued the start of the second set, but Oxford substitutes kept the game more evenly matched with unforced attack errors. The re-introduction of Osbourne and Diaz, a new strong swing attack signing for Oxford, saw the Cambridge lead eaten away to 22-22. Occasional attacks from outsides Helen and Lindsey or reverse Wendy were easily picked up and the returns found the Blues frozen in defence.
With Katy setting in set 3 and Karolina playing reverse, the Blues were still struggling to get the middles into the match from serve passes. Good blocking from Nadia was returned into play by the Oxford team who used back-court attack options to good effect. With an enormously costly 10 point serve rotation, the set was under Oxford control, even with the best efforts of libero Laura to defend her court area. An unfortunate 3-0 loss for the opening of the season, but plenty for the Blues to improve on in the coming matches.
MVP was Bethan Shaffery
Report by Jon Clarke
|Name||Position||Sets Played||Attacks||Kills||Kill Percent||Aces||Blocks||Pass||Total Points|
|Wendy Tsang Man Pun||U||2||14||0||0||1||0||1.9||1|
|Nadia von Maltzahn||M||3||18||3||17||0||0||3|