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Tahitian Volleyball Championship

The Last Step (on the Stairway to Heaven)

Tuesday 10 June 2008 by legendary_totoro

We’ve fought our way to the final and are now just one step behind the title, and what a huge step to make as the other finalist, Venus, finished the regular season as the best team in spite of their 2 defeats against us...

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Well, sorry for the delay, got a busy week. But here we are for the review of the final match of the season, which will determine the champion.

We were up against Venus who we’ve been playing a lot during the year as we often had them for a friendly match. We both know each other strengths so this final shouldn’t be an easy task.
We were setup to play at Papenoo which is a neutral ground, right after the girls’ final (Pirae vs Tefana).

Papenoo’s gymnasium is juxtaposed to a soccer field and a basketball playground. We went to the playground in order to warm up while the girls were finishing their match. Everything went fine during that time, we were getting excited and managed to regroup our spirits and clear our minds before the main event.

First Set

Venus is using the same strategy that they used during our last confrontation : floating serves and a 2-man block option on the wings. Unlike last time, we manage to quickly stabilize our passing line with Maka playing as the libero. I guess he’s still not in a good enough shape to come back to his usual post (wingman), but he makes a good job tonight as I don’t have to run a lot to catch and set the ball. This allowed me to serve our centers a good number of times and to put my wing spikers in good conditions.

We quickly grab the lead before the first technical timeout (8-6) and managed to keep it to the second technical timeout (16-13). I can’t recall if if my choices were decisive or if our spikers were just in a good day but I guess we just played better than them in all fields. I found their passing line and defense line kinda sloppy as if they just woke up. Maybe they were also feeling the physical strain from the past week or the psychological pressure of such a match.

Anyway, we get to settle this fast.
Score : 25-20

Second Set

The second set starts just as well as the first set and we quickly take the upper hand at the first technical timeout : 8-5. Then, as anyone could have predicted, Venus started to wake up from their apparent slumber and started giving Thierry (main center) more responsabilities whenever he got to the front line.

Somehow, Terou our main center starts crumbling in front of Thierry who’s starting to take the upper hand whoever he gets in front of... He really is an amazing and clever player, always looking for the hole in the block and making the right move consequently.

We’re still in the lead but our advance has melted when we reach the 2nd technical timeout : 16-15. My choices of sets are still the good ones, according to the coach and my partners but at some point, as I wanted to make a reverse setting to the right wing while the receive is plummetting to the opposite left wing, I completely miss and it gives Venus the lead for the first time of the match : 21-22.

Hereafter, it’s been a rally to try to catch them up, with a duel between me and Venus’ wingman, Marere (and Terou vs Thierry still ongoing). I’ve been quite unable to catch him on the block as he keeps playing the block-out game....

The set arrives to its climax when we finally take that point back giving us a set point : 24-23.
The coach makes a substitution between Tapu who was coming to the front line and Maheanu who was coming back last match. We serve, they give the ball to Thierry, end of point : 24-24.
They serve, I set to Maheanu and he spikes right on the line (post 2 - post 1) and hits the head of their setter : It’s Skull-Time !!. 25-24
We serve and weirdly enough they don’t give the ball to Thierry who’s still in front and use one of their backliners (post 1) Steinley. He decides to aim for our line (post 4 - post 5) but is serverely block by Maheanu, Stratospheric !!.
Score : 26-24

Third Set

With the claim of the previous set, we’ve taken a huge step toward the Championship, but as always, the third set is the one that matters...

The setting I missed at the end of the 2nd set was announcing our diminishing physical freshness and the comfy lead we were now having entailed a loss of focus. At this time, whether Venus woke up like a slumbering dragon or we just started playing worse, they quickly took the lead 3-8.

I start losing ground and my settings start missing more and more. It seems Venus also started to adapt their game to my style as my spikers often got in 1to2 situations (or maybe was it just that our receivers also started failing me...). Their lead only increases to the second timeout : 11-16.

I find myself trying to catch a breath here and there through my centers but to no avail. Venus is back in contention and I get substituted at the right after the 2nd technical timeout in order to rest a bit says the coach. We finish the set with a huge handicap on the score :
Score : 18-25


Forum

  • The Last Step (on the Stairway to Heaven)
    13 June 2008

    Bonjour Totoro,

    Bravo pour avoir remporté le titre du championnat !! La finale était vraiment très serrée. Les deux équipes étaient au coude à coude. Je me souviens encore de ton anxiété au début du championnat. Pirae était loin de se qualifier pour la finale. Et voilà ! Aujourd’hui,vous êtes sacrés champions. Quelle aventure ! J’espère que cette victoire vous amènera de nouveaux recrues pour l’année 2008-2009. J’imagine déjà que certains se bousculeront devant votre club pour s’inscrire.

    à bientôt.

    P.S. J’ai essayé de surfer sue le site de la Fédération Tahitienne de Volleyball pour en savoir un peu plus sur l’engouement des Tahitiens sur ce sport. Apparemment, il n’est pas du tout à jour. Je sais qu’elle manque de moyens financiers. Mais comment voulez-vous qu’on soit au courant de certains clubs, qui se trouvent à 100000 km de chez nous ?

    • The Last Step (on the Stairway to Heaven)
      15 June 2008, by legendary_totoro

      Salut,

      Merci, ce fut un beau match avec beaucoup d’intensité et la finale aurait pu basculer de l’autre côté à tout moment au cours du 4ème set. Nous nous sommes cependant accroché et avons arraché la victoire avec nos tripes.

      Pour ce qui est des recrues, nous récupérons un passeur et un ailier je crois. Ce ne sera pas de trop car je ne pense pas pouvoir m’investir autant l’an prochain. Je pense que c’est également le cas de plusieurs autres joueurs qui seront aux abonnés absents pour diverses raisons. Le club recrute donc à tous postes. Intéressé ? :P

      Ensuite, j’aimerais bien savoir comment tu fais pour surfer sur un site mort...la dernière adresse connue du site de la Fédération Tahitienne de Volley-Ball est : www.ftvb.pf et ce site est mort depuis au moins 18 mois...

      En ce qui concerne l’engouement pour ce sport ici, il reste bien vivant. Traditionnellement le volley-ball est très pratiqué dans les quartiers (découpage résidentiel, terme sans connotations) mais souffre du manque d’implications de ses pratiquants pour entrer dans les milieux scolaires et professionnels... Il est clair que le foot et le basket par exemple sont les rois du collège/lycée et que les médias préfèrent couvrir une compétition de surf (Bilabong Tahitian Pro Tour) qu’une finale du championnat de volley...

      Enfin bon, si tu as d’autres questions, envoies moi un mail et j’essayerais d’y répondre au mieux ou alors je ferais suivre aux personnes compétentes.

      @+

    • The Last Step (on the Stairway to Heaven)
      15 June 2008

      Bonsoir,

      Merci pour les informations. Je suis ravi que vous ayez trouvé de nouveaux recrues à la rentrée. En fait, j’ai confondu la Fédération tahitienne du volleyball avec la Ligue de Volley-Ball des îles Wallis et Futuna. Le site de cette dernière ne l’est pas plus à jour que le précédent. Je ne m’en plains pas : au moins,le ballon bondit sur l’écran. Grâce à ton site, on connaît l’issue du championnat.

      En outre, je te remercie beaucoup de m’avoir proposé d’être parmi vous. Malheureusement, je vis en métropole et mes poignets ne me permettent pas de pratiquer le sport à un tel niveau. Toutefois, cela ne m’empêche pas de suivre de très près les compétitions sportives. D’ailleurs, j’attends avec impatience les Jeux Olympiques de Pékin.

      Bien cordialement.

    • The Last Step (on the Stairway to Heaven)
      30 July 2008, by David
      Congratulation!
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