Lancaster only just victorious in brutal Men’s 1’s Volleyball Match


Lancaster pick up four points in the nailbiting Men's 1's Volleyball

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Image by Tom Layton

By Tom Layton

On Saturday Afternoon, Arena 3 in the York Sports Centre was packed with screaming fans, all eager to help their team win The Roses Uni Travel Shield trophy and net some vital points for the competition. After a brutally close match, and despite the roaring chants of York’s supporters, Lancaster took home the trophy by three sets to two, gaining Lancaster four more points in Roses.

The atmosphere was exhilarating: the stands and benches were packed, with frequent chants of “Yorkshire” and “LUVC” amid air horn blasts and loudspeaker yelling. The match began at 3pm with a very even start – ten minutes in the score was 11 all.

The play at the start of the game was frantic, and Lancaster quickly demonstrated a very aggressive serving style, with Lancaster captain number nine “Ed” Edvardas delivering some amazing aces. The rapid play in the first set made for a few mistakes from both sides – plenty of points were lost to dud serves, aces and referee decisions.

Towards the end of the first set York pulled three points ahead to make the score 20-17, but Lancaster quickly fought back. Despite an incredible save by York outside Jake Edwards, Lancaster won the first set by just two points.

The second set went much the same as the first: both teams worked themselves hard, not allowing the other to gain too much of a points advantage. Play slowed down here, and points took longer and included plenty of spikes and bumps - both teams really had to fight to win a single point. Unfortunately for the York supporters, none of this was quite enough to stop Lancaster from winning the second set by two points. This gave them a two set lead – they only needed one more to win the match!

Throughout the match York made constant changes, switching players every few points. The benefits of this began to show themselves in set 3. Lancaster began to tire and conceded a lot of points, while York stepped up their intensity, pulling away from Lancaster after a close start. York’s 25, Sam Ravenscroft, was brought on for the first time, making a powerful serve that helped York to gain the upper hand, putting the score at 9-7. Despite a renewed Lancaster fight-back, York managed to win the set by two points, evening the overall score a little.

York now had a fighting chance, having stopped Lancaster from claiming an early victory. This showed in their play, as they dominated the start of the third set, with the score at 4:35 being 8-2 to York. Lancaster’s aggressive serving style seemed to desert them as York pushed their advantage, making the score 13-4 in the following minutes. Lancaster then showed their resilience by pushing for a brutal comeback, regaining some of their earlier fiery spirit. York resisted this however, with the score creeping up to 18-10. This was the trend for the rest of the set, with York ultimately winning 25-18 and making the overall score two sets all.

The crowd had reached fever pitch by the last set, and the atmosphere was tense – everyone in arena 3 knew that the performance of both exhausted teams in this fourth set would decide the match. Sadly, this set was not the nail-biting close battle for points that the first two had been. Instead, Lancaster achieved an early lead of 4-1 and capitalised, winning the last set by 15-8 to seal their victory.

Despite the fiercely competitive crowd and the worn-out state of both teams, both sides remained respectful after the match concluded, which was lovely to see. Lancaster supporters flooded the pitch to celebrate with their team, whilst York moved in to congratulate and console their players