Thrilling comeback win lifts Portsmouth to top spot

Portsmouth Volleyball Club ladies' second team (2011)
Portsmouth Volleyball Club ladies' second team (2011)
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Josh Green in action for England under-17s at the NEVZA Championshi. Picture: Hamistolen Photography

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PORTSMOUTH II completed the double over Oxford, edging a dramatic and hard-fought contest 3-2 in National League women’s division two south.

After brushing aside the athletic students 3-0 when the sides met recently, Portsmouth were faced with a much tougher proposition away from home.

Oxford were in no mood for a repeat result and stormed into a 2-0 lead.

Portsmouth hit back, though, excelling under pressure to level the clash at 2-2.

And when it came to the crunch, captain Tanya McCarthy produced the goods to guide the visitors to victory and take them top of the division.

Portsmouth started well with some strong presence at the net from Zuzanna Resetarova.

But Oxford capitalised on some enforced changes to the visitors’ game plan and took the first set 25-16.

Strong serving from Magda Kowalska, for Portsmouth, made the second closer but Oxford took it 27-25.

The pressure grew as the home side chased victory.

But some consistent passing from Chieko allowed setter Jojo Choi to distribute the ball and confuse Oxford.

Rebecca Fountain was also in imperious form and she inspired Portsmouth to a 25-15 third set win, keeping them in the game.

There was no room for error in the fourth set.

Oxford played hard but Elza Francis performed several amazing pick-ups, leaving the home team bamboozled.

With smart tipping in the middle from Kathy Green, Portsmouth took the set 26-24.

In the decider, Portsmouth quickly showed their strong desire to win.

The intense training which the team put in paid off and momentum was with the visitors.

McCarthy performed some vital blocks which disarmed the opposition.

And Portsmouth secured a dramatic victory 15-7, for the 3-2 success.