Volleyball men smashed by high-flying Northumbria

BUCS Northern Conference 1A

Images: Andy Davis

York found themselves on the receiving end of a thrashing today as Northumbria University swept them aside in straight sets.

Despite a decent spell in the third set, the team from Tyneside never looked remotely threatened, dominating all over the court.

York will now have to dust themselves off before their last match of the season, playing Manchester 2nds in a tense relegation clash.

York looked dazed as the first set began, having to call a time out after Northumbria quickly accumulated a 7-1 lead .

It was York mistakes that had built this score-line, with several misjudged digs marring early play. This continued even after the time-out, with the team in black and yellow enduring a barren spell that only ended at 11-2.

Northumbria had taken a solid grasp of the match by this point, with York in disarray. The easy confidence and smiles of Northumbria were in stark contrast to the frowns that haunted York faces, as the team based in Newcastle took a 19-5 lead into the later part of the match.

York were consistently mistiming their plays, as they limped to a 25-6 defeat.

The start of the second set saw similar problems occurring, with Northumbria finding space in opponent’s half first far too easily.

However, throughout the set York steadily improved, finding an increased fluency in their play and managing to match Northumbria 8-7 at one point.

Unfortunately for York, Northumbria were also increasing the quality of their performance. Their spike was an incredibly potent weapon and almost impossible to counter. They waltzed to the set victory 25-15, leaving York with an extremely difficult task in their search for the win.

The third set began in similar style to the first two, with Northumbria’s clever play and York mistakes rapidly building a 14-5 lead. York decided to take another time out, but it was increasingly clear that this wasn’t to be their day.

Northumbria’s well-organised and disciplined play was exquisitely executed, with every part of the team performing exactly as it should.

However, it was at this stage that York began to play at their best, finally finding the rhythm that they had so far been lacking. It was too little, too late, but they managed to gain double figures as they took Northumbria to 19-13.

Northumbria were still able to comfortably close out the match 25-14, but York could take great heart from the improvement they saw in the latter part of this set.

Captain Chris Stent was upbeat after his side’s defeat, stating, “We can take a lot of positives from that performance, especially the third set. They’re a very good side, and hopefully take this momentum into the last game of the season.”

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