ASHCOMBE Dorking stepped up their performance level this weekend with a tough but very competitive loss at home against Swiss Cottage, earning them a crucial league point.
Despite missing key players Lucy Boulton and Alex Standifird, the Dorking team were able to apply pressure to the visitors taking the first set to eighteen points.
A difficult second set was to prove costly and it wasn't until the fourth that Ashcombe regained the momentum to force the game into a fifth set and also guarantee each team a point on the league table.
Michelle Conway returned to action after a month off due to injury.
Despite only managing two training sessions prior to the match, the time off seemed not to affect Conway's performance as the highest point scorer for Ashcombe, totting up 13 points and picking up the MVP award.
The tightly-contested fifth set looked to be going steadily Ashcombe's way after Carol Fogarty's service run brought the team one point ahead 9-8 in the shorter tie-break set to only 15 points.
A fantastic block by Olivia Obaseki was followed up immediately by the referee ordering a replay, to the bewilderment of the spectators and home team.
It was an unfortunate point which Ashcombe were not able to recover from, losing the final set 15-11.
Although not the win that the team so desperately needed, the point does give them a small boost.
The improved performance and morale will prove even more valuable as the team take on league strugglers Portsmouth on Saturday, February 9, at 1pm at The Ashcombe School.
Entry is free and spectators are welcome.
Meanwhile, Ashcombe Volleyball's U18 team failed to defend their National Championship title as they crashed out of the cup just before the last eights stage.
With many of last year's winning team now too old to compete, it was down to a young crop of players to defend the title.
Kristen Erickson and Alex Standifird brought their Super 8 experience to the court but in what was probably the toughest pool, Ashcombe narrowly missed out on qualification, finishing third. behind the Boswells Blaze and Szysko's Polonia.
Brief court time was given to rising stars Lydia Goodwin and Rachel Higgins, both students at The Ashcombe School who have been invited to attend England trials in two weeks time.
Much of this young team will be in action again next week as the teams contest the U16 National Championships in another bid to reach the last eight stage.