Varsity Volleyball Match Report: Wins for UoN Men and NTU Women

The University of Nottingham (UoN) earned a victory in the men’s volleyball over Nottingham Trent University (NTU), while the women’s volleyball put in a stellar performance despite losing, to move to 7-3 in the 2015 Varsity Series.

UoN Women’s volleyball lost 3-1 to NTU in the first game of the evening, going 2-0 down early on, and despite threatening to stage a stunning comeback, eventually bowed out after a fighting final two sets.

The men’s volleyball team dominated their game, winning 3-0 in a very one-sided affair, in which number 8 Jakub Wojcik starred with a string of ferocious smashes and serves.

In the women’s game, the first set seemed to be heading to UoN after they managed to snatch the lead after some tense opening exchanges, reaching 24-17 with only a point needed to take the first set. However, NTU’s women’s volleyball fought back with tenacity, pulling off a string of great shots to bring the score back to 26-26, before snatching the first set 28-26 in a nail-bitingly close game.

NTU came back out for the second set in style, taking a 9-4 lead and always keeping UoN at arm’s length, taking the second set 25-17 after what looked to be a spirited fightback from UoN failed to materialise.

With seemingly a mountain to climb going into the third set, it seemed UoN were able to find another gear; despite going 6-0 down early in the set, the ladies managed to claw their way back to 19-19, with a heroic effort and a string of fantastic blocks and smashes. In what became a nail-biting close set once again, after 4 points were shared UoN were finally able to break down the Trent defence and took the third set 25-23, the crowd now starting to believe that the comeback was on.

In the fourth set, once again there was nothing between the two sides, with both teams throwing everything into what was the pivotal set. When the UoN team managed to edge ahead at 21-19, it seems that we would be privilege to a final set; however, Trent once again found a way to draw level, taken the game to 24-23 and having their first match point. UoN managed to save two match points, however the third was won by Trent, who took the final set 26-24 and a 3-1 victory, which belies how closely-fought and tense the women’s game was. UoN’s number 10 G Harberlah picked up the best player award, as sadly it wasn’t to be for the women’s team.

With the Varsity score now 6-3 after the women’s loss and the NTU’s victory in the netball, the men’s team looked to stop Trent coming within two wins from levelling up the series. UoN, however, came firing out at the start, with number 8 Wojcik’s ferocious serving helping UoN into an early 6-1 lead in the first set.

The high intensity stuff continued throughout the first set as both sides hit some massive smashes, although UoN continued to dominate. A fantastic block by number 7 Jeffrey Chow brought up set point for UoN, and despite Trent’s spirited attempt at a fight-back they took the first set 25-15.

An edgier start to the second was epitomised by missed serves from both teams, before a controversial line decision going UoN’s way helping them to build up a 1-5 lead in the second set. A fantastically placed cross-court smash by number 7, Chow, brought up 13-7 for UoN, and it was a lead the men didn’t squander, with two great blocks at the net from numbers 10 and 6, Sam Kesmmirz and Jason Cheung respectively, helping UoN to 9 unanswered points to take the second set 25-10, bringing up an imposing 2-0 lead.

Trent took the lead for the first time in a set when they edged ahead at the start of the third set, but a fantastic set of smashes by number 8, Wojcik, allowed UoN to lead 8-6 in the third set. On the back of this fantastic play, UoN kicked on in the third set, with some fine set-up work allowing UoN to lead 20-14, seemingly uncatchable.

However, NTU refused to give up without a fight, clawing back to 22-19 to set up an edgy finale to the third set. UoN held their nerve however, with Wojcik serving out the match in style to give UoN men’s volleyball a thoroughly deserved victory.

The volleyball results meant that UoN take a 7-3 series lead into tomorrow’s football events at Meadow Lane.
Women’s Team:                                              Men’s Team:
2. N Cheung                                                      3. Mark Jackson
6. H Leynghy                                                    4. Joel Matthews
9. V Stoyanova                                                 5. Darian Chow
10. G Haberlach                                               6. Jason Cheung
11. J Tarassova                                                 7. Jeffrey Chow
12. T Tingshan                                                 8. Jakub Wojcik
18. C Carter                                                     10. Sam Kesmmirz
28. S Lyness                                                    27. Justin Chow
30. J Velzen (c)
31. B Ferri

Connor Higgs

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