Busselton’s impressive growth in the WA Volleyball League was on show last weekend as the men’s and women’s teams both took on grand final matches.
A sizeable crowd saw both teams play exciting, hard-fought five-set showdowns at Loftus Stadium in Perth on Sunday.
The women’s team fought hard throughout their final against Perth team Reds and took the match to five sets.
After a slow start they were unable to capitalise on improved play as they settled, losing the first set 25-15.
The next three sets were back and forth, with momentum shifting throughout.
Busselton won the second set 25-23, lost the third 22-25 and then convincingly took the fourth 25-15.
When their first passes were accurate, Busselton were able to attack convincingly, but sometimes the players struggled to take advantage in transition plays.
In the deciding fifth set, Reds took control early. Busselton had their chances, but Reds held the lead to take the final set and the match 15-8.
Coach Mandy Combes said players were a “small percentage” off their best in the match, though overall had shown great improvement throughout the season and she was optimistic the experience would be used to be better prepared next year.
The Busselton men also faced-off against the Reds and started strongly, with their opponents often unable to stifle their attacks. Like the women’s match, the scores see-sawed.
After taking the first set 25-22, the second set was a marathon, with teams going point for point and the Reds just managing to take a two-point lead 30-28.
Reds then edged out the locals again, 23-25, but Busselton responded emphatically with a 25-15 win in the fourth set. Jordan Boyle’s blocking was a feature, together with power hitting from Sunny Kemp, Joe Dorval and Brett Lewington.
A tight fifth set was marked by long, exciting rallies and great saves by both teams. In a close finish, the Reds overcame Busselton 12-15.