A terrific all round performance from the men’s volleyball team saw the Gryphons see off Leeds Beckett in this scintillating Varsity clash, winning 3 sets to 1.
Things weren’t always plain sailing for the hosts as they got off to a sluggish start, losing each of the first eight points. Poor spikes and sets blighted the Gryphons’ game which left them with a mountain to climb in the first set. Uni were having to work hard for their points, whereas Beckett were gifted points by poor play from their opponents to keep their lead intact as they saw the first set out 25-20.
The second set saw a complete reversal as Beckett were the side lacking composure and Uni were the side in control. The visitors couldn’t find an answer to the ferocious serve of Savvas Anthis; the powerful dipping drive drew many a mistake from the returning side. Five consecutive unreturned bullet serves paved the way for a comfortable 25-13 score line in the second to level the scores.
The third set started equally with both sides performing strongly; the spikes from both sides were doing the business with Mark Elgar giving a master class for the Gryphons. With the score line locked at nine apiece, Beckett looked to be putting up a fight for the local bragging rights but Nigel Sibanda’s strong performance blocking at the net put an end to their hopes. The once dangerous looking Beckett attack soon fizzled out and became sloppy and riddled with mistakes which ultimately cost them the third set 25-14.
By the time the fourth set came about the attitude of the visitors had declined greatly; the body language of the Beckett players was evidence enough of their impending fate. Uni dominated in every single area and capitalised on their opponents’ weaknesses to stroll to a 25-11 fourth set victory. With performances like this the volleyball team could well be in with a chance of glory this season; the team will only improve as the season progresses making them a force to be reckoned with. Becoming Varsity champions could just be the start.