The Birmingham Women’s Volleyball 1st team won the cup final against the strong University of Derby in an amazing 3-1 victory after a shaky start to the game. Going into the final, Birmingham remained undefeated throughout the whole season playing nine games and winning nine. However, Derby had only lost one out of all the nine games they had played as well as topping their respected league. So the pressure was on for the Lionesses.
The first set did not go Birmingham’s way. Derby from the onset looked the stronger team taking the lead. With Brum calling for a timeout, on their return, they came out hungry for victory with the Lionesses looking more settled. However, Derby themselves were playing well and regained control of the set after capitalising on errors made by Birmingham, with the first set eventually going Derby who were leading 25-15.
Any nerves present in the first set disappeared as the Lionesses’ chemistry flourished as they took a three to nothing lead before Derby called for a timeout in the second set. Derby hoped to bounce back from the team talk but the Lionesses grabbed a hold of the game by making all the right plays. Derby still strong from the first set triee to keep the momentum and won a series of points that pushed the set to a nail-biting finish in which Birmingham won a close 25-22 set.
UoB really set the tone for the rest of the match through their determination and took the game by the scruff of the neck in the third set. The strong Derby team of the first set could not handle the Lionesses as they sailed to a decisive 25-10 to close the set out. Up 2-1 Birmingham only needed this set to win the cup. Taking a 5-0 lead, Derby looked demoralised whereas the Lionesses grew from strength to strength with very few mistakes and winning most rallies. Captain Francesca Cardilli, wearing the number 7, showed great leadership, rallying the team from a loss in the first set to the dominating juggernaut of the 4th set as seen with another dominating win of 25-15 in the final set to win the cup.
The UoB women’s volleyball 1st team deserved this victory. They showed sheer determination to come from a loss in the first set to a decisive victory in the final set. This victory in the cup will be added to their victory in the league resulting in another trophy to the trophy cabinet.
Congratulations to the Lionesses on behalf of all those at Burn FM. You thoroughly deserved it!