Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Woodies Rock Solid in Volleyball Final

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Woodies Rock Solid in Volleyball Final

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Lee

GYMPIE Volleyball A grade minor premiers Woodies stayed true to form to make it a double by defeating rivals Hookers in the grand final last Thursday night.

Played at The Pavilion, Woodies won the final act of the winter volleyball season 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-19).

Following on from the staging of the women's C Grade and B Grade finals the week before, the A grade clash was volleyball at its best given the rivalry shared by the two finalists.

Hookers qualified for the final with an upset win over Woodies during the preliminary stage of the season, giving Woodies every motivation to enact revenge in the final.

And it was revenge at its clinical best for Woodies after taking the long route to the final.

Gympie Volleyball commentator Rod Tebbutt said both sides started the final with hesitation.

"Both teams started a little tentatively, with Woodies maintaining only a couple of points lead," he said.

Woodies, however, broke free from the initial deadlock midway through the opening set with a run of points, jumping to a 23-16 lead.

"They looked about to close out the set," Tebbutt said. "But Hookers had other ideas, stepping up the standard of their defensive plays."

Key players for Hookers' first set revival were Bruce Houghton, Rick Mills and Shane Handy, expertly executing block after block.

After reigning in Woodies to see scores levelled at 24-all, Woodies' Karl Christensen came to the fore and won back the serve thanks to a quality spike.

Woodies then went on to close out the first set 26-4, boosting confidence.

The second set didn't see Hookers deteriorate after the disappointment of the first, maintaining a narrow lead for the majority of the set.

Woodies sustained its attack and eventually the pressure took its toll on Hookers, closing out the set 25-19 to lead two sets to nothing.

On the threshold of seizing the premiership, Woodies signalled intentions early in the third set, establishing a five-point lead. …

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