The match of the weekend saw Balzan Flyers Crosscraft overcome Fleur de Lys Twistees in a very balanced match to gain two points that saw them overtake Paola at the top of the Ladies’ Super League, with the clash between Balzan and Paola this coming weekend becoming all the more interesting. In the Men’s League, Valletta Mapei overcame Fleur de Lys Twistees to obtain their eighth win of the season and consolidate their top spot before the start of the playoffs.
Balzan Flyers started the match playing their best volleyball, flying off to a 20-14 score midway through the first set. However, Fleur de Lys Twistees managed to make a comeback by improving their reception and defence; however they could not stop Balzan taking the first set 25-23. Balzan Flyers continued playing well in the second set, with Zane Maly obtaining important points for her team and give them another advantage in the second set. But Fleur de Lys had other thoughts for this set, and with Belinda Milton and Catherine Attard combining well with their setters, they overturned this set in their favour.
The third set could have gone either side, but FDL nudged forward at the end to turn their match in their favour, with youngster Mikaela Galea getting some important points for her team. Fleur de Lys continued playing well, with Thais Gatt showing super defending skills, but Balzan Flyers’ attackers were managing to combine better with Dorianne Caruana Bonnici’s sets, with the latter equalising the match by winning the fourth set 25-19. The deciding set started as a balanced affair until 8-8, but once Balzan took a two point advantage, Fleur de Lys could not manage to stop them taking the fifth set and the match 3-2 after 2 hours and 15 minutes of play.
The other match from the Ladies’ Super League saw Balzan Flyers 2 obtain a very important win against Mellieha, with the latter taking the first set 25-20, before succumbing to Balzan’s better organisation in the next three sets.
In the Men’s League, Valletta Mapei obtained another win, the eighth one of the season, which sees them lead the standings with maximum points. The first set was quite a see-saw affair, until Valletta obtained two points at the very end to take it 25-23. Valletta’s Robert Balzan was instrumental at the beginning of the second one, giving his team a 5-0 advantage. However, his team’s service reception was quite erratic, with Fleur de Lys first turning the score 16-12 in their favour, and then close it at 25- 23. The third set started out quite balanced, with FDL Twistees going 8-7 up at the first technical time out. However, Ron Stivala’s service run caused havoc in their service reception, with Valletta turning the score in their favour. Valletta kept playing well in the fourth one, deservedly winning this set, although Fleur de Lys’ Marek Gala kept his team alive until the very end.
Sliema Wanderers kept their hopes alive in the Ladies’ 1st Division by beating Swieqi Phoenix 3-0. Linda Margetiakova and Kim Grech’s services gave Sliema valuable points, with Phoenix, who had some of their players playing in different roles, taking long to start playing in the first two sets. Darina Ilieva helped Phoenix stay in touch in the third set, however Sliema kept playing well to take this set 25-19 and the match 3-0.
Photo Credits: Mark Soler – msphotography.net