Defending champions Magnum and XXX both go into this Thursday's president's grade final of the Marlborough Volleyball Club's senior winter league with momentum after scoring straight sets 3-0 wins when round-robin play wrapped up last Thursday.
The results meant Magnum finished round-robin as top qualifiers for the final on 19 points, with XXX close behind on 18.
Magnum prevailed over Treefellas in their seventh and last round-robin match, while XXX proved too strong for Marlborough Boys' College.
Despite scorelines of 25-12 25-14, XXX were made to work hard for the first two sets against an ever-improving young MBC outfit. In the third set, the two sides went point for point until XXX managed to win a couple of crucial points and sneak ahead for a 29-27 victory. Joel Wiapo was the all-round standout for XXX, while Cameron Steel spiked particularly well for MBC.
Elsewhere in president's grade, Clippers booked their spot in the third-place playoff with a 2-1 win over Cri-Clovers and Woodbourne Cannons beat Kinoaths 3-0.
Clippers cruised to a 25-12 first set win against Cri Clovers, but thanks to strong play from Clovers' father-son duo Greg and Matt Stretch things were much closer in a 25-21 second set to Clippers. With the game already in the bag, Clippers could not hold out a determined Clovers outfit in the final set as Clovers edged ahead late in the piece to gain a consolation point 26-24. Tristan Hegglun and Sebastian Lock were the key players for Clippers.
Powerful first and third sets were the highlight of Cannons' 25-10 25-18 25-9 win over Kinoaths.
Meanwhile, Smashed ‘Em Bro will take a large deal of favouritism into the C grade final after they produced a convincing 3-0 win over MIA. Finals opponents Westmeat Geriatrics were downed 2-1 by Desperate Housewives on Thursday, while Smashed ‘Em Bro are unbeaten and have lost just two sets throughout the competition.
The A-Team and MBC Junior A had 3-0 triumphs over Safe Crackers and MBC Year Nine, respectively, in the other C grade matches. MIA face Safe Crackers in the third-place playoff this Thursday.
Safe Air Social take on Playschool for the mixed grade title.
Results from Thursday, September 13
President's grade: Woodbourne Cannons beat Kinoaths 3-0, Magnum beat Treefellas 3-0, Clippers beat Cri Clovers 2-1, XXX beat MBC 3-0.
C grade: The A-Team beat Safe Crackers 3-0, MBC Junior A beat MBC Year Nine 3-0, Desperate Housewives beat Westmeat Geriatrics 2-1, Smashed ‘Em Bro beat MIA 3-0.
Mixed grade: International beat JAMASH 2-1, Meaters beat Team Wilson 3-0, Safe Air Social beat Playschool 3-0.
Social grade: The Young Ones beat Indevin Thunderballs 3-0 (by default), The Faze beat TBC 3-0 (by default), Domin8 beat Mambo No.7 3-0.
- The Marlborough Express