The close nature of the teams positions in the league prepared them both for a tough match, Birmingham are currently top of the league whereas Coventry are in second with 2 games in hand so both teams appeared level which was greatly reflected throughout the whole pressure of the match.
Coventry were first to score a point and both teams took a while to show their true strengths, Birmingham’s first point being from a foul serve off of Coventry.
Birmingham strengthened its position increasing the pressure on Coventry despite them remaining a head throughout the first set, Birmingham were able to equalise at several points but strength deflections from the Coventry defence lead to the first set being won by Coventry at 25-21.
The second set however saw a much stronger and more focused Birmingham team come out being first to score and maintaining the lead for themselves, they had much stronger serves and longer rally’s, whatever their coach had said during the break had made a clear impact on the team.
Coventry were also making a lot of sloppy mistakes allowing Birmingham to create for themselves a manageable lead and to equalise the sets by winning the second set 25-19 leaving it 1-1 in total.
Both teams were motivated by a loss and a win for the third set which was abundantly clear in the quality of play which prevailed, Coventry came out strong with high pressure hits and strong positioning giving it there all which did lead to one of their players, number 7, actually running into the wall determined to stop a point against Birmingham.
Birmingham equally matched this however showing great team work and blocking form the number 10 ad 5 who helped massively close Coventry’s lead and put Birmingham in with a chance. Birmingham were able to turn it around closing the gap from 24-20 to 24-24 leading to a high-pressure scoring motivation for both teams to win by the 2-point minimum.
The atmosphere from the players and spectators at this point was tense and excited Birmingham constantly equalising Coventry’s lead till eventually Coventry won the set 28-30. This left Birmingham down for the fourth set and they were unable to make their dominance in the early part count but still remaining close to Coventry at 13-12 half way through the set.
Coventry put together some excellent combinations of play that Birmingham struggled to deal with. It was still a tightly contested match only a few points in it throughout but sadly Coventry took the set 25-23 leaving them with an overall 3-1 win in sets.
Birmingham played an exceptional game and proved that they truly deserved to be in the position they were in the table, but Coventry just had a stronger presence. Hopefully the team can learn from the game and move forward positively into the remainder of their season.