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Despite winning both their men’s and women’s matches, Lancaster University Volleyball Club (LUVC) unfortunately lost out 3-0 to York in the mixed volleyball. LUVC were also unlucky to have lost one of their players Andre Honorato to a twisted ankle in the warm up just before the game.
The York team started the first set very strongly, securing 7 consecutive points. It took the Lancaster team, who hadn’t competed together before, a while to get into the game. A York shot that hit the net earned Lancaster their first point, followed by an excellent serve by Bre Wong, making the score 7-2. Gradually, Lancaster started to ease into the game, bringing the score to 8-4. However, York remained the stronger side, scoring another point. A great spike from Changxing Hong made the score 9-5. Despite Lancaster starting to play more confidently, York managed to secure another 7 consecutive points brining the score to 17-5. Although Lancaster managed to get a few more points, the rest of the set was dominated by York who ended it 25-14.
In the second set York were again the stronger side. Although Lancaster won the first point, York went on to score nine consecutive points, despite them losing a player to a suspected twisted ankle. But after a time out, Lancaster came back with an excellent spike from Emanuele Celani, making the score 9-2. An excellent serve from Yaa Ofori saw another point go to Lancaster, who were starting to creep up on the York side. Lancaster were working better as a team, scoring 5 consecutive points, making it 9-6 to York. However, the side started to lose a few points by not defending strongly enough, meaning York were able to stay ahead at 15-7. A few mistakes by York gained Lancaster a further three points making the score 15-10 and it was looking promising for the away team. While Lancaster were attempting some excellent shots, the York defence was very strong and the set started to slip away from Lancaster and York managed to secure 21 points to Lancaster’s 14. The set finished with the same score as the first at 25-14, making the overall game score 2-0.
The third set was the deciding set and Lancaster came back much stronger than they had played in the first two. York led the game 3-1, but the play was much more level. Lancaster’s defence got better and the result was even at 3-3. The points continued on in this manner until the two teams were even again at 10-10. York slightly had the upper hand from then on and with some successful shots, which brought the score to 17-12. Lancaster’s play started to weaken slightly and York managed to gain 20 points to Lancaster’s 13. In a turn around, however, Lancaster caught up, making the score 21-19, with another spike from Celani. At 22-20 the teams took a time out and York only needed 3 points to win overall. York scored the next point with a spike, making it 23-20. However, Lancaster fought harder earning themselves a point, making it 23-21. Stilyana Stoyanova secured Lancaster an important point in an excellent shot, bringing the score to 24-23 to York. Lancaster scored another point which made the teams even at 24-24. Unfortunately, York won the last two points meaning they won the set and therefore the game 3-0.
Overall, it was a well fought match by Lancaster. Although it took them a while to get into the game, they played some excellent shots and had some good defence. It was unfortunate that they just missed out in the last set as it would have been great to see them battle for the points in a further two sets. However, York were a strong team with a great defence which they maintained throughout. Alex Buttol, a member of LUVC coaching the game, told SCAN “we had a great weekend so we’re really really proud of how it went. We decided to give space to those people who show commitment throughout the whole year, so it was kind of a reward for them.”