Disappointing defeat for women’s volleyball seconds

A young women’s volleyball second team, two thirds of which is made up from first years, slumped to a disappointing 3-1 home loss at the hands of a clinical Durham team

UNIVERSITY OF YORK 1 – 3 DURHAM UNIVERSITY
BUCS Northern 3B

Photos: Petroc Taylor

A young women’s volleyball second team, two thirds of which is made up from first years, slumped to a disappointing 3-1 home loss at the hands of a clinical Durham seconds team. However, despite the loss there were some positive points for the York girls to take away with them.

The first set started off with Durham taking control going 4-0 up. However, a good spike by Nat Wu saw York score their first point from open play. Despite this, Durham started to break away winning a quick succession of points to go 10-3 up. York made a comeback with some good linking play, finished off with some fantastic volleying to make it 11-7 to Durham.

However, some clinical attacking play from the away side saw them step up a gear and break away in the set once more. A series of unfortunate unforced errors committed by the home team saw Durham eventually brush York aside, taking the first set 25-16.

The second set started in a similar fashion to the first, with Durham taking an early lead. However, the York team started to look more cohesive and as a result took a series of crucial points from Durham in some dramatic long rallies to go 8-4 up.

York managed to maintain the serve throughout the majority of the set and coupled with some emphatic spiking from first year Maria Agapiou, the York team cruised to an 18-9 lead. Durham replied with a somewhat half-hearted comeback and the York girls eventually saw out the set, winning 25-15.

With both teams having dominated one set each, the third set was destined to be a close one. Durham started in an uncharacteristic fashion, committing several unforced errors.

The two sides were neck and neck for large parts of the set but some more hard-hitting from Agapiou saw York take an early lead. However the inability of either side to hold their serve for longer than a couple of points meant that the set was going down to the wire.

With the York captain Eva Wilmots urging her girls on, York produced a determined defence against a Durham onslaught of attacking play, with York taking the lead in the closing stages of the set. The longest and most dramatic rally of the match, filled with numerous defensive blocks, saw the scores level at 25-25, but Durham held their nerve and took the set 27-25. York, although deflated, did not give up and came back stronger in the fourth set.

However, the Durham team began to assert their authority on the game taking an early 9-5 lead. Durham then stepped up yet another gear and took advantage of some poor communication between the newly formed York team, pulling away to a 16-9 lead.

An ace by Durham looked to be the final nail in the coffin for York as Durham carved out a 10 point lead over the home team. However, the York girls fought back admirably, displaying some clever play and winning three successive points. In the end, Durham proved to be too strong and deservedly took the final set 25-16.

After the match, York captain Eva Wilmots spoke to Nouse saying: “I think the match went really well, we played well together and it’s only our second match. We’re still a new team so we’re getting used to it, but I think overall it was pretty good, [it was a] learning curve [and] we’ll be better next time.”

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