UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 3
LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY 1
BUCS League 1A – Wednesday 27th January 2010
York men’s volleyball firsts survived going a set down to beat Liverpool John Moores 3-1 in their final BUCS game of the season.
It has been a difficult season for the firsts, losing six of their eight previous games this year in straight sets. Yet last week a walkover against Hull secured their place in the division and today they gave a performance that showed, as captain Joshua Chipman said after the game, that they “belong in division 1A with the big teams.”
After a close first set, where York surrendered set point to lose 27-15, York played excellent volleyball with Jonas Pollex in particular performing outstandingly. It was his two excellent shots at the end of the game which overturned a 24-23 Liverpool lead in the tight fourth set and gave York match point. The visitors hit the ball into the net and York took the deserved victory.
Liverpool showed York that they were to be difficult opponents from the start, as the teams played out a competitive first set which set the tone for what was to be a thrilling match. The home side stormed into an early 3-0 lead but soon found themselves 9-4 down as their opponents began to play some first class volleyball. At 13-7 down the set seemed to be heading to the visitors but some excellent play from York, inspired by Pollex, meant they had soon clawed back to 15-15.
From there York pushed on and soon found themselves 24-21 up – the first of a few remarkable comebacks. They seemed to have taken the set when Amedeo Santoro pushed the ball over the net, but the umpire somewhat controversially judged the shot to be out after taking some time to deliberate over his decision. Liverpool took inspiration from their close shave, and went on to take the set 27-25.
Yet York were not to let the game go easily. Again they stormed into an early lead in the second, going 6-1 up before mistakes allowed their opponents back in. Despite this they had soon built a 16-7 lead through some good blocking play by Alex Taylor. Liverpool fought back to 16-12 but, after calling a time-out, York regained their confidence to finish off the set.
Once again York flew out of the blocks in the third and, with a 14-7 lead, it looked as if Liverpool had let the game slip out of their hands. But they were to again remind York of their ability to make them suffer, dominating the home side to bring the score back to 17-16. Once again a time-out was needed for York to regain their cool and they won eight of the next ten points to finish the set and move just one step from overall victory.
After the game Chipman, standing in as captain for the injured Janis Koknevics, said that at times this season they had “not lived up to the skill contained within the team” yet today they “had played well as a team for periods, and did well to come back from behind.” York will be happy at how they managed to remain in control even after their slow start, looking strong favourites to take the tie from the moment they levelled the scores.
They were to be victims of a late flourish by Liverpool as they fell 8-4 behind early in the fourth. As the visitors moved 17-11 ahead the game looked destined for a fifth set but, in arguably their best period of the match, York fought back to level the scores at 22-22. It fell on Pollex to seal the game and give York a win that ends a season of low points on a resounding high.
York line-up: Joshua Chipman (c), Amedeo Santoro, Jonas Pollex, Jan Vohryzek, Thomas Blackpool, Rahul Kanchi, Alex Taylor, Saad Siddiqi, Ekasith Srichawla, Michal Kovac, Lukas Theoni
Liverpool John Moores line-up: Lee Tyler, Ross Moore, Phil Bloor, Renato Prenos, Ali Tomlinson, Mitch Welling, Aaron Tang