The Women’s Volleyball 1st Team saw out a brilliant 3-2 victory against Anglia Ruskin Women’s 1st in a thrilling game at the Munrow Sports Hall. After last week’s 3-0 win against Cardiff, the 1s were looking for another win to further their progress up the table, with them sitting 4th in the table and 3 points behind their opponents having played an extra game, meaning a win here was vital to any league championship hopes.
Brum started the game well, winning early battles at the net amid numerous defensive errors from Ruskin, and with a series of good smashes sailed into a 12-7 lead. However, Ruskin got back into the game with some smashes of their own, winning a series of points in a sudden swing at the end of the set to make it 24-24. Brum did however manage to hold the set, with a smash and deep serve winning the set 26-24.
Continuing their offensive display, Brum started the 2nd set in brilliant fashion, with early pressure at the net and defensive blocks seeing them into a 15-7 lead and establishing them as clear favourites for the set. Unlike the first set, Brum continued this form into the end of the set, with dominant use of the smash at the net overpowering the Ruskin defensive effort, and clinically taking the set by a clear margin at 25-18
But any ideas that this game was done and dusted were quickly dispelled, as Ruskin found a rich vein of form and it became clear the 3rd set was not going to go as easy for Brum as the set before. Both teams began the set trading smashes and errors, as neither side could seem to establish any clear run of points, with the score at 13-13 at the midpoint of the set. Under the threat of a whitewash loss, Ruskin won a series of points after errors from Brum, and capitalised with some good net play to force brum into a number of defensive mix-ups, and taking the set 20-25 to get back into the game. 2-1.
With the game turned on its head, the opening of the 4th set mirrored the 3rd, with both teams anxious to give away too many points, resulting in a number of long rallies and both teams trading point for point and the set tentatively poised at 12-12. Ruskin needed an attacking edge to even the game, and they found it; some brilliant play at the net saw them to a 6-point advantage, with a brilliant fake-to-drop shot clinching the game 19-25. 2-2.
Ruskin were firing on all cylinders, and carrying momentum from their brilliant comeback at managing to even up the score going into the final set. With both teams needing only 15 points to win, it was clear brum needed to find something quickly, with Ruskin taking an early 2-6 lead. However, with brilliant use of the timeout, this game was once again turned on its head, as Brum came back to win 6 points on the bounce to take the game to 7-7. Ruskin tried to regain the momentum, both teams battling to 9-9, but Brum suddenly found the form that saw them dominate the early stretch of the game, winning 3 points in the bounce on the back of a brilliant defensive effort. At 12-9, Brum maintained their advantage, and finished the game with a set of powerful smashes at the net to win it 15-12.
No doubt the 1s were pushed to their limits in this game, but they’ll go off the back off this game in fine spirits now level on points with Anglia Ruskin, and here’s to hoping this triumphant win will fuel their title challenge for the rest of the season.