Men’s Firsts slump to defeat

York Men’s Volleyball Firsts were knocked out of the cup following a 3-0 defeat to Huddersfield

University of York Men's Firsts
University of Huddersfield Men's Firsts

BUCS Northern Conference Cup

Image: Alex Byron

Image: Alex Byron

York were knocked out of the BUCS Northern Conference Cup after falling to a 3-0 defeat against a powerful Huddersfield side. Having picked up three consecutive league wins, York were brought back down to earth with their first defeat since October.

The opening set was a tight affair, with the points largely shared. Marco Baratelli was particularly effective for the home team and, on one occasion, blocked a Huddersfield spike to score before his subsequent serve was unreturned. With both teams matching each other and fighting tooth and nail, York were reaping the confidence from their previous victories as they sought to drive home their advantage by winning the first set. However, a tactical timeout was called by the opposition in an attempt to rejuvenate the team. This proved to be a pivotal catalyst as Huddersfield, thanks impart to some unfortunate errors by York, were able to stake their claim as they snatched a close fought first set 25-22.

Huddersfield, buoyed by claiming the first set, showed their class in the second. Mark Woodward was trying his upmost to restore some composure for York as his spikes showed that York were not to be blown over easily. Similarly, Vice Captain Joel Classen blocks and spikes invigorated a York team whose confidence had been knocked by their close loss of the first set. For all their efforts however, lapses in concentration ultimately led to mistakes which Huddersfield keenly exploited. Klassen called a timeout in a desperate attempt to reassert the Black and Gold’s authority in the match, yet Huddersfield refused to allow York back into the game. The set was characterised by York mistakes and it was, therefore, no surprise when Huddersfield took it convincingly, with 25 points to 15.

The third and what turned out to be the final set, nevertheless exhibited why York had previously sailed to three consecutive victories. The set was instigated by an impressive spike by York’s Peter Fisher which was struck low and with devastating power. Baratelli sparked a resurgent beginning to the set as he followed up Fisher’s effort with a spike down the centre of the court. Adam North and Klassen then combined to block and further advance York’s score with the White Rose now in the ascendancy. North then suffered a ball to the face and, with no substitutes to call upon, was patched up to ensure a defiant return to the court. Huddersfield were relentless however, and were soon showing their own capabilities. As the set edged to its to conclusion it was either side’s for the taking. However with North’s block falling wide of the line, it was soon match point to the away team. Huddersfield won the game in emphatic style as a spike was driven into the heart of the court. The final set ultimately finished 25-23 in favour to Huddersfield, despite a valiant York effort.

In spite of the loss, York can take heart from the close contested nature of both the first and third set. With only six players as opposed to a large Huddersfield squad, options were limited and ultimately Huddersfield had the edge to see out the sets. Equally, there were instances of York’s play which will provide real promise for the season ahead and with cup elimination, league promotion becomes the key concentration and objective.

After the game, Vice Captain Joe Klassen spoke to Nouse, “Overall I think we played well considering the circumstances because we are down a lot of players, such as our Captain and Libero. Although we lost three nil, two of the sets were very close so I’m generally proud of how we played today.”

York: Martyn, North, Baratelli, Woodward, Klassen (C), Fisher

Man of the Match: Baratelli