Two new teams in A grade and several closely contested matches were the highlights as the Marlborough Volleyball Club's Fairweathers senior winter league got under way with opening round action at Marlborough Lines Stadium on Thursday night.
Back in action after a four-week break, the 28 teams are again contesting titles over four different divisions.
First up in the eight-team A grade were defending champions Magnum against new Woodbourne-based outfit Alfie XXX.
Led by experienced captain Alfie Walter, the newcomers went point for point with Magnum in the first two sets. However, piloted by Nigel Sowman, Magnum just managed to dig a little deeper at the crucial stages and secured the win 25-23 25-22. Despite being resigned to a loss, Alfie XXX completely outgunned Magnum in the third set to pick up a crucial point.
Treefellas came out firing against Cri Clovers, finding numerous gaps in their opposition's defence to win the opening set 25-16. The second set was much closer and, spurred on by Paul O'Donnell, Cri Clovers levelled things up after five extra points 28-25. Some sound serving from Brian Carr kept Treefellas in the hunt in the third and deciding set. But it was not to be, as Cri Clovers edged ahead in the final stages to seal victory 25-22.
Elsewhere in A grade, Clippers started the new season in emphatic fashion, the Tristan Hegglun-led side taking maximum competition points for their 25-16 25-8 25-13 win over Kinoaths.
Returning team Woodbourne Cannons beat Marlborough Boys' College 2-1 in the final match of the night. Cannons came out all guns blazing and secured victory by winning the first two sets 25-11 25-11. MBC coach Cris Phelan came on in the third set and settled things down for his charges. That, along with some good play from Sam Marshall and Tom Black, saw MBC bag a deserved consolation point with a 25-22 result.
In C grade, the new MBC Junior A side beat the A-Team 3-0, while Smash 'Em Bro and Westmeat Geriatrics won by the same margin over MBC year nine and MIA, respectively. Safe Crackers downed Desperate Housewives 2-1 in the other opening round clash.
Results from Thursday, August 2
President's grade: Magnum beat Alfie XXX 2-1, Clippers beat Kinoaths 3-0, Cri Clovers beat Treefellas 2-1, Woodbourne Cannons beat MBC 3-0.
C grade: MBC Junior A beat The A-Team 3-0, Smash 'Em Bro beat MBC Yr Nine 3-0, Westmeat Geriatrics beat MIA 3-0, Safe Crackers beat Desperate Housewives 2-1 .
Mixed grade: Meaters beat JAMASH 2-1, Safe Air Social beat Team Wilson 2-1, Play School beat International 2-1.
Social grade: Domin8 beat The Young Ones 3-0, Indevin Thunderballs beat Six Pack Dreamers 3-0, The Faze beat Mambo No 7 3-0.
- The Marlborough Express