York beat Lancaster 3-1 in the inaugural mixed sitting volleyball Roses match this weekend. This was the first time that a disabled sport has been included in the Roses weekend fixture list. The game was billed as an exhibition match of non-disabled competitors in an attempt to encourage disabled people to partake in the sport. The Lancaster opposition were beginners, and therefore a brief tutorial was given before the start of the game.
The match began with Lancaster in the ascendancy. The Red Rose stole a march on their opposition to race into a 16-9 lead early on in the first set. York responded magnificently, however, with Izabele Cincyte spiking well as the hosts clawed their way back into the game. Serving was proving the most successful method of points scoring with York’s Marta Donati earning aces to her name. The home team took the first set 25-23.
The second began at a much higher intensity. Indeed, there was little to separate the sides as they both shared the points early on. Both teams fought tooth and nail throughout the set with neither able to mount a significant lead. In the end, a Sophie Rudge serve ensured York won the second set 29-27.
Whether it was complacency on York’s part, or rather Lancaster upping the ante, the away team dominated the third set. A string of York errors saw their opponents gain an unassailable lead of 15-5. It was no surprise, therefore, when the set finished 25-10 as Lancaster attempted to haul their way back in to the game.
York refused to wilt and, if anything, displayed their best play in the fourth. The White Rose dominated play at the net while their serving continued to be a fruitful source of points. The set finished 25-14 to York as the hosts claimed the first ever sitting volleyball victory.
Speaking to Nouse after the game, club coach, Jita Jizerova said, “We had a strong opposition considering they have never played volleyball. It was a fun game.”
Meanwhile, York’s Sophie Rudge was hopeful that the match will encourage more people to get involved, “Next year the match will hopefully be for points rather than just an exhibition, so it would be good to get a lot more people involved.”
York: Dubiel, Manso, Donati, Oplopoiou, Cincyte, Rudge, Eldon, Scott.
Player of the Match: Sophie Rudge