UNIVERSITY OF YORK 3-0 NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY
BUCS Northern Conference 2B
Images: Agatha Torrance
The White Rose recorded a comprehensive whitewash against Newcastle in a fiery encounter on and off the court at the Sports Hall as the visitors fell afoul of some tenuous refereeing decisions.
A heated exchange took place between players and coaches of both teams towards the head of the second set; with Newcastle a point away from drawing the match level, the referee penalised them with a net foul – something their players and coach highly disputed, much to the objection of their behaviour by York. York went on the take the set and eventually the match as a whole.
Despite all this, the match started relatively quietly with what was a solid opening set for York. Newcastle were firing too many of their shots out of the boundaries, and the home side quickly built up a 11-3 lead. Newcastle called for a timeout, which resulted in them improving their rhythm as they narrowed the score to 13-10.
Unfortunately for the away team, York reacted well and some pinpoint accuracy and some strong serving from Chris Stent meant they built up a 17-10 lead. Newcastle called for another timeout but this time it failed to rile them like it had the first time round. York extended their lead to 20-11 before closing out what had been a scrappy set with a 25-16 score-line.
Newcastle started the second set well; however their following serve was beaten by the net – it epitomised the match so far and suggested that the standards were not going to improve. Conversely, the game suddenly burst into life.
Some unstoppable smashes from Stent and Harry Pampiglione got the ball rolling for York, whilst Newcastle continued to find success when they tipped the ball into the centre of the York’s court as they continued to defend excellently across the court. Nevertheless, York built up an 8-5 lead that later stretched to 19-12, courtesy of the powerful right arm of Stent.
But the visitors weren’t going down without a fight as they pulled the score back to 20-17 and York rightfully called a timeout. This was not enough, however, to stop the flow of Newcastle as they soon pulled the score level at 21-21. The team’s remained inseparable until 24-24, when a Newcastle arm struck the bottom of the net.
Although the player was not going for the ball, the Newcastle defender at the net rose his arm up and inadvertently struck the bottom of the net, something the referee deemed to be worthy of a net foul. This infuriated the visiting team and, in particular, their coach on the sidelines and a heated debate ensued across the entire court. Regardless, the decision still stood.
The dispute had riled both teams up to their limits and at 25-25 both sides were itching to get one up on their opponent. York, ultimately, kept their heads the coolest as they won the next two points and the set via a smash from Mark Woodward followed by a Pampiglione serve that clipped the net cord and luckily fell on the right side of it for York.
The third set looked certain to be fierce and fiery after the uproar, but it was anything but. Newcastle’s heads dropped, whereas York managed to keep theirs focused. York quickly opened up a 7-2 lead and although Newcastle did try and stage a comeback, York’s lead was simply too great as the score stretched to 15-8 and then 21-13.
Polencluc “Noni” Ioah played a clever smash to push the score to 23-14. The end of the set and the match as whole was finished off by the solo efforts of Woodall, whose towering presence so often kept York in the game when he was at the net. He exemplified this in the next point before finishing the game off with a clever pop at the net that fooled the opposition, resting the final score at 25-15.
Team captain Kai Chan told Nouse: “I think it was a really great match, everyone played really well. In our last away match to them we lost 2-3 and we’re happy to win 3-0. We took the pressure and we didn’t let ourselves be intimidated by them so I’m really proud”.
York: Stent, Kelly, Woodward, Chan (C), Ryan, Ioah, Gospidinov, Krzyszycha, Pampiglione.