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Season 2021-22 gets underway

The first competition of the 2021-22 season took place on Saturday. The club had two teams in the WVA pre-season tournament at Wellsway School.

The first-team had a successful day finishing third, although they only lost (twice) to Devizes. The second-team was a very youthful team (only three players having mixed league experience and five of the seven players being juniors). The second-team players all gained a lot of experience which will help them in the forthcoming season.

Outdoor League starts

The first matches in the outdoors league have been completed.

In the first division, Calne Fusion had a tough initial match against Dutch Courage (from Devizes) losing 0-4.

It was a similar start in the second division for Calne Top Knots against Bassett Back On Court while Calne X won their opening match against Chippy-Mc-Chipface and then drew against The Young and Middle Aged.


During the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic the club is following general government guidance and the volleyball specific guidance from Volleyball England. This means that at the moment the club is not organising any training sessions. There are also no matches as the Wiltshire Volleyball Association has suspended its leagues.

14 April update: Outdoor volleyball has resumed. The juniors are training regularly on a Friday evening at Calne Recreation Ground (off Anchor Road). The Wiltshire Volleyball Association has organised a four-a-side outdoor league starting on 19 April and the club has entered three teams.

Previous updates

10 March update: Volleyball England has confirmed that volleyball can resume outdoors at the end of the month. No decision has been made on what training sessions will be run by the club but the WVA has proposed an outdoor league.

6 January update: With the introduction of a national lockdown for England, we are once again suspending activities.

11 December update: The leisure centre has reopened and we are resuming junior training only (as adult volleyball is not permitted in tier-2).

New court

During the refurbishment of the leisure centre, the gym is going to be temporarily in the sports hall at the end where the volleyball court has traditionally been.

Therefore James and Matt were up early on Sunday to mark out a new court at the other end of hall and put fixings in the floor for the volleyball posts.

It looks like they have done a good job.

The new season starts here

It is September which means the new volleyball season is beginning. This season we are going to start things a little differently by running the first adult training session outdoors on the Rec at Anchor Road. The session will start promptly at 7PM because it will get dark. The first indoor training session will be on 14 September (at Calne Leisure Centre).

New players are welcome at any training session (and the first one is free if you are new to the club).

Matches get under way later in the month. The fixtures are due to be finalised and it looks like a busy start for the Meteorites with their first match at home on 23 September (which is before the pre-season tournament on 29 September, the team for which Marketa is organising). Comets have their first match on 7 October (away to Swindon Reds).

For the juniors the first grand-prix (now branded at JoVoTo) is on 29 September while regional training starts on 22 September (all the dates for both can be found on the SWVA calendar). The Wiltshire training starts on 9 September (this Sunday).

Fun in the sun at Salisbury

The baking hot summer continued for the Salisbury volleyball tournament at the start of August. We entered as Calne Voyager Ⅵ in the mixed category.

Having struggled to get a team of six together, we did not get off to the best start when Alex had to pull out on the eve of the tournament. However Cliff had met two boys who had come down to play the pairs and were looking for a team to join in the six-a-side; therefore Jake joined our team while his friend Casper played for Wiltshire Mavericks,  although Mavericks wanted Jake to play for them on Sunday. The rest of our team was Anji, David, both Harriets and Neil.

Calne Voyager Ⅵ at Salisbury 2018

There were nine teams in the Mixed 2 competition with each team playing all the other teams in 30 minute matches. We played six matches on Saturday. Although we only won the last of these, we had played well and came close to winning a few of the others. We did have a problem when Harriet Bentley hurt her ankle in the second match and had have treatment, although she did manage to return for the matches in the afternoon. The weather was very hot and sunny and we were glad to finish for the day.

On the Sunday we played the final two matches of the round-robin and discovered that we had come eighth of nine. That meant we were going to play PVC Storm and Cry Me A River for the remainder of the day. We started well and beat both teams but Harriet Adams was not feeling well and could not continue. We were very grateful to both the other teams for lending us players to enable us to play the matches. For the final match Nik Ball joined us and played very well.

The picture shows the Neil, Jay from PVC Storm, Lisa from PVC Storm, Harriet, David, Anji and Nik.

Serena Morten

Serena Morten passed away on 29 June at Great Western Hospital after a brief illness. This came as a shock to the entire club as Serena was much loved by everyone in the club. Our thoughts and prayers are with Richard and the rest of the family.

Funeral arrangements

Richard has sent the following message regarding Serena’s funeral.

“Firstly, thank you very much for your kind words of support.  Serena’s funeral will be at Semmington Crematorium at 14:30 on Friday 20th July.  All are invited, and we’d love to see you afterwards in the Town Hall, Calne (even if you can’t make the Crematorium). We’re going for colour rather than the traditional black and white.  Family flowers only but small donations via to the NSPCC and Diabetes UK would be much appreciated.”

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 4 July 2017


Matt Morten, Serena Morten, Jen Fisk, Pippa Fisk, Harriet Bentley, Charlie Grant, Ben Ball, Irénée Ajeneza, Richard Morten, Tina Vennall, Julia Vennall, Chessie Bentley, Anjali Sodera, David Ellis, Amy Adams, Harriet Adams, Jörg Steimer, Stoyan Piperkov and Neil Bentley.


Trevis Young, Stefan Young, Sue Walker and Tom Morten

Minutes of the meeting and matters arising


Chairman’s report

The chairman gave the following report.

Thank you everybody

Especially the committee that have all done their jobs with no leadership from myself.  I think last year if i told them I was going to do a worse job than the previous year they would have been shocked.  This year has once again be an abysmal show by me.

I’m sure Cliff is ready to tell me how low my training attendance has been this year let alone the running of the club.  Neil has been his usual encouraging menace and has kept me mostly on the right track, this is despite the fact that he now plays his volleyball in Bristol.

There fore if any one would like to take over the chairmans role I’m sure they will only do a better job than me.  Several of the committee are resigning tonight so there are several rolls that will have to be filled.

Firstly i would like to thank Sue for holding the secretaries role for several years including the last year where Matt had stopped playing.

Secondly thanks to Stuart who has held several committee roles over the last few years.  Unfortunately Stuarts injury he picked up in the end of season tournament has meant an immediate end to his playing career.  Stuart, I’m sure everybody is aware, has been playing volleyball in the county for 30 years playing for 3/4 different teams.  I’m sure he will be missed in the coming season.

I don’t want to step too much on Cliffs report but this has been the most successful year the club has managed getting runners up in both of the divisions.  However the club probably has the lowest membership for many years. In fact this coming year I am expecting to lose at least 2 current players and we desperately need to start encouraging some fresh blood in to the club.  We tried a stall at the winter festival which was pretty unsuccessful.  If anybody has any ideas at all then i am sure they will be taken on board.

Treasurer’s report

The club had a deficit of £600 this year mainly due to the reduced number of players. In addition £347 is owed to the club.

Stuart was thanked for his service to the club as injury has forced him to stop playing volleyball.

Fixtures Secretary’s report

Everything went well apart from one fixture was not played and another went to appeal, which we won as we had sent an email early.

Ladies’ Captains’ report

The ladies had their best season for a long time with scores and team work improving through the season. Unfortunately the ladies were unable to field a team for two fixtures early in the season but picked up after Christmas winning in both January and February. In the final fixture they lost on the final point. Next season they will lose Ben (too old) and Chessie (off to university).

Thank you to Cliff and Neil for coaching at matches.

Men’s Captain’s report

Everything is in order.

Coach’s report

The coach gave the following report.

Dear Calne Comets Volleyball Club member here is my review of the 2016/17 season: –

  1. Attendance Statistics: –

    1. 31 training sessions – same as last season

    2. 28 sessions coached by Cliff; thanks to Neil and Jorg for coaching 3 sessions between them …I thought Richard was involved also involved ….thanks just in case

    3. Reminder that any coach is welcome to take a session or part session to either keep their hand in or use it to develop their coaching … and also makes a change from me droning on!

    4. Average attendance 13 per session – down on last season!

    5. Highest attendance 18; lowest attendance 7 – tailed off towards end of January, but picked up again?

    6. Can you believe that 33 individuals attended during the season? With this many people having attended how come we only average 12 per session?

    7. There were no junior/adult mixed sessions! I believe these are worthwhile 2 to 3 times during a season as they have proved popular in the past in bringing together the different sectors of the club

    8. Highest attenders: Jorg, Ben, Anjali (& Cliff) closely followed by the two Harriets. This is clear proof that regular training pays off as seen in the performances of Harriet x2, Anji & Ben’s performances in the L & J series in particular

  1. Teams and Playing System: –

    1. Comets, Meteorites and L & J …No Asteroids again …as I have said previously we need this team for development of beginners and juniors stepping up to adult volleyball

    2. Continuation of playing system we have used for past 6 seasons – setter, outside and middle rotation format

    3. Comets play single setter system, receiving on 3 players

    4. Meteorites and L & J started season using 2 setter system with the ‘live’ setter penetrating from back court. Progressed to single setter during the season – evaluated at each match. Meteorites and L & J normally receive on 4 passers.

  1. Training Session Structure: –

    1. Playing tactics covered: –

      1. Definition of court zones – cover and serving

      2. Attack numbering system – 11 12 13 – 22 – 31 41 51 52 – 71 72 – 82 – 92 93

      3. Combination attacks

      4. Blocking alignment and rhythm drills

      5. Defence drills around block – line and cross court block dependent (block determines position of defence to allow better chance of recovery of ball for transitional to attack)

    2. Drills –

      1. Pepper drills – passing, volleying, serving, spiking – variations

      2. Blocking rhythm drills –

      3. Attack & blocking drills – developed spiking practice with soft smash from setter to attacker to set up spiking approach under pressure

      4. High Tempo defensive and recovery drills

      5. Combination attack drills

      6. Transitional drills – defence to offence (attack) and vice versa

      7. Individual development

      8. Always looking to introduce progressive drills and consider change of tactics

  2. Achievements: –

    1. Comets: Premier Div R-Up from 7 teams – Pld 12, Won 10 (best result Devizes …worst result was the default win over Salisbury), Lost 2.

    2. Meteorites – Div 1 R-Up from 6 teams – Pld 10, W 7, L 3. Best memory …taking a set off Swindon Reds (only set dropped); low point …home match v RWB with insufficient match officials! The Mets squad was a mix of experienced and junior players; objective was to win matches to instill that ‘winning feeling’. Also to provide as much court time for all to gain experience and integrate all skill levels.

    3. L & J – Finished league R-Up ….wow! Unable to field a team in one tournament. There were some great team performances from the squad of Harriets A & B, Anjali, Ben, Marketa, Kat (and Julia in 1 tournament I believe). 3 or 4 tournaments coached by Neil and Cliff, but at least 2 tourns were self-coached. Most memorable moment ….seeing the pure elation on the player’s faces having just beaten Devizes, who fielded an England Jnr Girl and 2 NVL players! Watch out Devizes as all these youngsters are improving all the time. You can be proud of yourselves

I have enjoyed coaching the club sessions as always. It has been challenging at times when preparing for big matches and not having consistency in players turning up to training. Having said this, it has been the club’s best performing season to date since I took on the coaching 7 years ago.

I recall a conversation and e-mail from Andy Smith from March 2010 when he first broached the subject of the possibility of me coaching Calne (you can also blame Matt Morten for me deciding to coach and play for Calne). Anyway Andy’s brief to me at the outset was “we need you to run at least 1 senior training session a month; we need to develop both individual and team skills and also develop training to increase team interaction…..” Perhaps the statement from Andy that stood out for me was “On a personal and perhaps selfish note a target would be to make our A team more competitive …..I would settle for more than one victory but not being demoted would be an absolute triumph”.

Well Calne Comets, and indeed Meteorites and L & J squads, I believe you can all be proud of yourselves as together we have achieved the above and more. The belief is now instilled that we can win matches. Of course we still have work to do, and I believe with the constant improvement shown in individuals and team-play shows we can go further and win the competitions and leagues.

I again ask that all Calne members make training a higher priority in their busy calendars in order that we can train together more often. One final thought: Only 6 people attended over 20 training sessions this season! If we can achieve everything we have this season with the above training attendance numbers, just think what we could achieve if we applied ourselves even more!

Junior Development Officer’s report

The Junior Development Officer gave the following report.

Last season there were 30 junior training sessions at which 23 different juniors attended although the average attendance was only about nine players. We also ran some joint sessions with Bristol Spikers at Wellsway School; those sessions were targetted towards those starting to play six-a-side volleyball. The majority of those sessions were coached by myself although I am grateful to Cliff for taking one session at short notice when I was ill.

At the moment we do not have enough juniors and those we do have are getting to the age when they are transitioning to the seniors. Jen Boorman ran a session at Cherhill Primary School in May but that has been the only school that we have been able to do a session at. We did gain one player as a result of wanting to learn a new sport for her Duke of Edinburgh award and advertising this as an option might be a good promotion. Otherwise we will soon be in the situation where we do not have any juniors.

On the competitive side we had three teams competing in the SWVA mini-volleyball grand-prix. Harriet Adams and Harriet Bentley as Calne Milky Ways continued their dominance of their age category losing only one match all season while Alex Steimer, Ollie Morris and Isaac Gibbs as Calne Comets won their age category as well. The third team was another U15 girls team which competed only in the tournaments as Calne and Bristol but managed second place at Calne; Jen Fisk was partnered first by Nele Wolters and then by Stefan Young in that team. In addition a number of the juniors have also played for the ladies team.

Finally two juniors, Ben Ball and Harriet Adams, were selected to represent the South-West region at the Inter-Regional Championships at the end of the season and Harriet Bentley was a reserve.

In January we hosted a SWVA mini-volleyball grand-prix for the first time.


Post Nominee Proposed Seconded Vote Result
Chairman Matt Morten Richard Morten Cliff Ball Unopposed
Secretary Amy Adams Harriet Bentley Cliff Ball Unopposed
Treasurer Vacant
Coach Cliff Ball Richard Morten Jörg Steimer Unopposed
Ladies’ Captain Harriet Adams and Harriet Bentley Chessie Bentley Anji Sodera Unopposed
Men’s Captain Jörg Steimer Cliff Ball Irénée Ajeneza Unopposed
Fixtures Secretary Serena Morten Neil Bentley David Ellis Unopposed
Club Welfare Officer Amy Adams Jörg Steimer Chessie Bentley Unopposed
Junior Development Officer Neil Bentley Serena Morten David Ellis Unopposed
Volunteer Coordinator Anjali Sodera David Ellis Chessie Bentley Unopposed


Junior Player of the Season: Alex Steimer

Junior Coach’s Award: Jen Fisk

Coach’s Player: Jörg Steimer

Player of the Season: Ben Ball

Clubman: Neil Bentley

Thomas Mouillé Award: Neil Bentley

Any Other Business

  1. WVA end-of-season presentation evening is on 8 July
  2. RWB ladies had enquired about using our facilities on a Sunday evening when we have no match. No objections received.
  3. Serena Morten to attend the Volleyball England AGM on behalf of the club. The committee to discuss beforehand.
  4. Happy birthday to Harriet Adams!

Date of Next Meeting

Proposed for 8 May 2018.