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Lancaster were staring defeat square in the face after York clinched the opening two sets 25-16 and 25-12 and as the teams lined up for the third set they seemed to be only one outcome. However the girls were determined not to let the Red Rose suffer a complete York whitewash and rallied superbly in the remaining 3 sets to stage the comeback of the tournament.
Erika Pedersen was the beating heart of everything good about Lancaster’s play and they would surely have succumbed to defeat without her. Her ferocious serve came in particularly handy and Lancaster owed much to her, not least of all for her ingenuity in attack as she displayed some clever feigns to outwit a strong York side.
After claiming the third and fourth sets, Lancaster headed into the final set the more confident side, yet York were still in it and it seemed impossible to separate the teams. Lancaster’s luck held out however and they clinched a nerve-racking set 16-14 to win the game.
Captain Davies was ecstatic after the comeback: “I’m just relieved,” she added: ‘We’ve not won anything all Roses so we needed this. We always believed the comeback was on.”
The Men’s Volleyball was unfortunately more of a dressing down than a match up, as York began with a bang and appeared to thrive on their opponents uncertainty. Failing to make it over the net from key positions cost Lancaster early on and after York took the lead they never looked back.
After claiming the first set 25-17 they again took the initiative in the second despite Lancaster making a closer tie of it. There was certainly endeavour and determination among the Lancaster ranks and an early lead in the third set was testament to this. But sadly they had to admit defeat to a stronger and more vocal York side who came from behind in the final set to seal victory. Lancaster Captain, Martin Joynson admitted his team were beaten by the better side but remained upbeat in defeat. He said: “I’m not disappointed to lose the game. We knew they were a good team, we had a good laugh and we did the best we could.”
After an even opening, Lancaster began to pull away in convincing style. Lancaster’s number 11 and Men’s captain Martin Joynson led the charge, blocking well on a number of occasions to deny York any chance of retrieving the set which ended 25-16 to the home side.
The second set followed a similar pattern of play to the first; a tight opening which gave way to a spell of Lancaster dominance with which Lancaster took an irretrievable lead. The commitment from the Red Rose was all too obvious, with Erika Pedersen typifying their style with a number of desperate, diving attempts to keep the ball alive.
With the second set tied up, it looked as though the game would be finished in time for an early lunch as long as Lancaster carried on performing. However the next two sets saw a regenerated York make a strong bid to stay in the game with narrow 25-18 and 25-23 wins.
The final set opened as narrowly as the earlier four and it looked impossible to separate the sides until York began to pull away with a succession of vital points. The visitors claimed the set and the game with a 15-8 win.