In a balanced and entertaining match marking the official start of the 2021/2022 volleyball season, Swieqi Phoenix Ixaris clinched the season’s first trophy by narrowly beating Flyers. The match, went down to the wire, with Swieqi, last season’s Superleage and National Cup winners, only managing to get the best of their opponents in the fifth set.
The match started with the two teams neck and neck, until Flyers managed to build a 7-point lead on 12-5. Swieqi tried to get back into the match, and brought the deficit down to just 3 points on 10-12. However, this effort proved futile as Flyers went on to rebuild the gap and ultimately win the first set 25-18.
The second set proved to be an even closer affair, with the two teams alternating points throughout. Swieqi managed to build a 4-point lead in the middle of the set with the score at 15-11. However, Flyers fought back and first tied the score on 15-15 and then took a minimal lead on 20-17. This was short-lived as Swieqi managed to tie the score on 21-21. Flyers again managed to gain the lead but did not manage to close the set with the score at 24-23. Swieqi reacted and again overturned the score, cancelling Flyers’ set point and going on to win the set 26-24 and tie the game at 1 set each.
Flyers reacted well and came out strong in the thurd set, immediately building a 7-point cushion on 8-1, and actually going on to increase their lead to 9 points on 13-4. Although Swieqi managed to make up some of the lost ground, bringing the gap down to 5 points on 10-15, Flyers kept control of the set and went on to a comfortable 25-17 win and again take the advantage in sets at 2-1.
With no option but to win the set to stay in the game, Swieqi started positively and built an 8-point lead on 10-2. Flyers, however, reacted and brought the difference down to a single point on 11-12. Swieqi kept their cool and maintained at least a two point lead until Flyers came back and forced the score to 20-21. Swieqi again maintained their composure and built up points again, ultimately winning the set 25-21.
With the game entering the deciding set, both teams gave it all they had left. The balance between the two teams, so apparent throughout the previous 4 sets was again displayed as the teams stayed close to each other with the point gap never being higher than 2. Flyers managed to take a 3-point lead on 8-5 but this seemed to only make Swieqi work harder, as they first overturned the score to 9-8 and then built their own lead on 14-9. Yet another strong reaction by Flyers saw then cancelling two match points but the point diffrence was too great to overturn and Swieqi won the set 15-11 and the match 3 sets to 2 to lift the cup.
After their Super Cup showdown, the two teams now take their rivalry to the Women’s Superleague, with Flyers facing Mellieha Tritons on Saturday, November 13 and Swieqi Phoenix Ixaris taking on Mgarr on the following day.