Melbourne Vipers’ Women
Match 1: 22-25, 16-25, 19-25
Vipers lose 0-3
Round 1 opener saw a fresh-faced Viper Women’s squad take on the experienced Adelaide Storm in the first match of the double header weekend. The Vipers started strong with some key passing and defence by libero Rochelle Sison and a solid presence at the net from Monique Stojanovic to keep the Vipers within striking distance. The women fought hard but found overcoming some key player absences just too much against a tough Adelaide offence lead by captain and Volleyroo, Beth Carey. The Storm defeat the Vipers in match one, 0-3 (22-25, 16-25, 19-25). The Women return to the State Volleyball Centre tomorrow at 10am and will try to weather the Storm with the addition of Tarryn Angermeier (USA) into the line up.
Match 2: 25-19, 25-16, 22-25, 27-25
Vipers win 3-1
The women came out firing against the Adelaide Storm on Sunday with six straight points to start the first set. The Storm struggled early to pass well and defend the outside attack from #6 Mikayla Adam and #22 Alyssa Kinkela. The Vipers get solid first and second set wins (25-16, 25-19 respectively). But the Storm fought back hard with improved blocking and serve receive to edge out the Vipers in the third set 25-22. the Fourth and deciding set saw 5 match points broken by the Storm before Melbourne finally edged out Adelaide to win 27-25 and take the second match win in Round 1.
Melbourne Vipers’ Men
Match 1: 25-17, 25-17, 25-17
Vipers win 3-0
It was a different story for the men whose Viper attack lead by vice captain, Ben Abbott, and Mexican import, Jose Martinez, dominated the court. The offence was nearly unstoppable thanks to the outstanding setting from Lawrence Bahn in his debut on the national scene. The Storm succumbed to the effects of the #vipervenom and went down in three sets, 25-17, 25-17, 25-17.
Match 2: 25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 25-19, 16-14
Vipers win 3-2
After a clinical performance on Saturday night, the Vipers men looked to continue the momentum on day two. The Vipers knew they would be well scouted by Storm coach Mehrdad Mehranpour and to expect a different game plan for the second game. The Vipers men had a change to the line-up with Ben Abbott out for working reasons and Will Crawford coming into team. Gareth Rees would also suit up for his first taste of AVL Super League.
It seemed the results were going the same way with the Vipers coming out strong to take the first set 25-18 behind the consistent passing of Luke Kustreba and the force of Ashby Smith. In set two the Storm rallied behind their captain Daniel ‘Chop’ Wauchope to take their first set of the weekend 25-19. The Vipers made some changes to wrestle back momentum with Will Crawford and Michael Smith seeing their first action of the weekend. Unfortunately the Vipers lost a tight third set 23-25 to go down two sets to one. With the home crowd behind the Vipers and Nick Boesten and Jose Martinez presenting through the middle. The Vipers looked like a different team to take the set comfortably 25-19 and go to the decider at the Snake Pit. Lawrence Banh showed maturity beyond his years to find ways to spread the attack options and keep the Storm guessing to get ahead at the change 8-7. The Storm tried to rely on Thomas Kabelitz to get them over the line, but the Vipers men managed to form some impressive blocks late in the fifth to seal the victory 16-14.
Vipers go to Canberra next week 2-0 to take on the Heat. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the new look AVL teams and we look forward to our next home game November 9th and 10th against UTSSU from New South Wales.