Good start for ladies

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And although their straight sets victory over City of Bristol was tempered by a 3-0 loss to Exeter Torexe, their coach, Peter Cadiou, was pleased with his squad.

‘This was the first time that most of the players had competed at a national level,’ said Cadiou.

‘We had a very good performance from a very small squad of just six players.

‘Our outside hitter Gemma Cole was our player of the tournament – she showed all-round commitment to motivating the team.

Captain Jo Dodsley, who has a wealth of experience, also helped the new players to adjust.’ There are 12 teams in the south-west ladies league, which is considered one of the toughest in the UK.

The Island Ladies will be visiting the region another seven times to play in triangular competitions before the league finishes next April.

The men’s league starts on 15 October at Bath.

Both sides are using the league as a training ground for the NatWest Island Games.

Indeed, the decision to enter the league was taken because the five-set games are a better reflection of the Island Games than tournaments, where three-set matches are generally favoured.

Added Cadiou: ‘The South-West league is a very good development aid ahead of next year’s Games in Rhodes.

It’s a great opportunity to develop less experienced players.’ Island Ladies bt City of Bristol 3-0 (25-20; 25-12; 25-13).

Exeter Torexe bt Island Ladies 3-0 (25-14; 25-21; 25-16).

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