UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 3 vs. UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD FIRSTS 0 (Best of five)
Men’s Volleyball, BUCS Northern Conference 1A, Wednesday 26th November 2008
A straight-sets victory for York against a distinctly average University of Sheffield side saw the men’s volleyball team back to winning ways in BUCS after a disappointing showing in the England Student Cup last Sunday.
The win was all the more impressive given the dangerously cold conditions of play in much-maligned (and with good reason) Sports Centre tent.
“It was like a bloody freezer in there,” said a visible frustrated York captain Jack Butcher after the game, unhappy to have been scheduled in an innappropriate venue. Volleyball is a game that requires a warm atmosphere to minimise the risk of broken fingers: a distinct possibility today given some of the heavy hitting produced on York’s side of the net.
A slow start had a few of the brave supporters who’d risked the journey to the dark arctic confines of the tent worried, and York allowed their opponents some easy points making for an unnecessarily tight first set. But it was clear from the off that the gulf in talent between the teams was heavily weighted in York’s favour – the accuracy of their spiking the most visible example of the difference between the two – and they closed out the first set 25-20.
It was an efficient performance from the men’s
first against Sheffield today in the BUCS league
The second was a routine affair, ending 25-11 with some outstanding hitting from left-hander Josh Chipman keeping Sheffield constantly on the back foot.
The away side found some fighting spirit in the third and the set went point for point for a good period of time before York wrapped up the victory to make it 3-0.
“It’s very hard to create atmosphere or rhythm in attack when the game is so disjointed,” said Butcher with reference to the poverty of opposition, “which makes even the easier games tough. It’s also especially difficult to get pumped up in the tent. It’s really a shambles for us to be playing here.”
In spite of the difficulties, York’s significant improvement after a difficult weekend of competition was visible. The team looked relaxed and seemed determined to enjoy the game, even bringing out some trademark celebrations as they racked up the points.
Butcher was pleased with the win: “We were a bit more fluid than on the weekend, played the key points better, and we were even able to introduce some players without much first team experience into the side.”
In truth it was a game that York were expected to win but the job still needed completion and it was an efficient performance that will bode well for the forthcoming fixtures.