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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Police, Al Rayyan notch up wins in opening ties

Al Gharafa trouble defending league champions while Al Sadd go down to Super Cup winners.
Al Sadd Raimie Wadidie Spikes Al Rayyan Milos Stevanovic Ahmed Jamal
Al Sadd’s Raimie Wadidie spikes past the block of Al Rayyan’s Milos Stevanovic and Ahmed Jamal. Photo: QVA

Police and Al Rayyan notched up wins in their opening matches of the Qatar Volleyball League but it was not all smooth sailing at the Al Arabi Club on Friday.

Police won 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 against Al Gharafa while Al Rayyan had it a little easier against Al Sadd with a 25-20, 25-17, 25-14 scoreline.

Police coach Damian Arredondo’s fears of his team struggling to settle down in the opening games came true. The defending league champions were given a hard time by Al Gharafa as the struggle to function as a cohesive unit continued from the Super Cup match against Al Rayyan.

Al Gharafa’s attacks were effective, the Police team struggling to come up with good blocks. Al Gharafa also kept at bay the Police attacks with some effective positioning on the court and blocks at the net. What troubled them were the errors, a bulk of them on the serves. If Gharafa can take care of that chink in their armour, they will be a more effective unit in the matches to come.

RESULTS

  • Police bt Al Gharafa 25-22, 25-22, 25-23; Al Rayyan bt Al Sadd 25-20, 25-17, 25-14.

SATURDAY’S MATCHES

Al Shamal vs Al Wakra-4PM; Qatar SC vs Al Arabi- 5.30PM

Minimal errors saw the Police through in Friday’s contest but the close scoreline was a warning that they need to get their act together quickly as tougher contests lie ahead.

Jochen Schops and Nader Abubakr led the attacks for Police but the latter was blunted by some smart work from the Al Gharafa defenders. Schops’ contribution proved vital in Police negating the rival challenge in the opener.

Al Rayyan had to subdue Al Sadd’s initial enthusiasm before they came through in the other match. Sadd did well to keep abreast of Rayyan in the first half of the opening set but then faltered as the Super Cup winners raced ahead to 16-13 and then 21-17. The deficit was too big to bridge and Sadd lost the set at 25-20.

The second set too saw Sadd starting well but losing momentum midway. Rayyan raced to 16-12 and 21-14 leads to close out the set at 25-17. It was an uphill task for Sadd in the third and they went down tamely at 25-15.

Rayyan’s new Portuguese recruit Marco Fereira and Brazilian Marcu Vinisius led the attacks securing them a bulk of the points. Sadd’s attacks were led by Raimi Wadidie and Musa Koni but they found the going tough against an experienced Rayyan defence.

Al Gharafa Emina Guilherme Police Kennedy Jochen Schopps
Al Gharafa’s Emina Guilherme attempts to lob past the Police defence of Kennedy and Jochen Schopps. Photo: QVA