With only three surviving members of the 2002-3 Blues Squad in this year's team, it was an experimental outing to face newly promoted Warwick away. With the trials and one training session under their belt the travelling team consisited of Fiona Danks (Capt, M), Sarah Payne (M), Jill Aitken (O), Cynthia Lim (O), Candice Baseden (O), Uta Wieland (O), Wendy Tsang Man Pun (U), Maria Chlouveraki (S) and Joyce Wu Ka King (S).
After a somewhat chaotic extended warmup period, during which the officials tried to find vital pieces of equipment, the players swept the debris of the preceeding archery practice away, and the second ref invited both teams to hit through both sides of the net (resulting in Candice dealing out a Mikasa-tattoo to an unfortunate Warwick player), the match got under way.
Having spent all of 15 minutes before the game discussing which system to use, the Blues were somewhat confused in the first set and suffered loss at the hands of uncertainty. Runs of serve on the Warwick receivers pulled the Blues ahead, but the team struggled to get a consistent set from their own pass. Thankfully Warwick were making more errors to secure the set for Cambridge.
With a change of Maria on to set instead of Joyce, the Blues remained otherwise unchanged in set two. Wendy and Candice were passing well and most of the Blues attack came from Sarah or Fiona through the middle. Warwick also picked up their game and covered well, resulting in long rallies that were crying out for someone to kill the ball. Again a long serve spell from Fiona tipped the balance for the Blues.
Set three and four saw the Blues beginning to gel but still making the odd unforced error. Court time for Cynthia, Uta and Joyce provided valuable changes for the Blues, Cynthia passing with impressive efficiency. Wendy and Candice put in strong serves in the final set and Sarah and Jill began at last to swing - grounding balls for the last points in the match.
MVP Sarah Payne
Report by Jon Clarke
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