Women’s Volleyball Vanquish West Yorkshire Rivals

LEEDS Women’s Volleyball team continued their so-far perfect season with another 3-0 victory on Wednesday at The Gryphon Sports Centre, this time against a struggling Bradford side.

The error-prone local rivals to the Gryphons gave away all of the first five points in the game due to errors, as the home side cruised into an unassailable first-set lead. Impressive efforts from Lara Hudson and exquisite serving from Jenna Machin meant that Bradford, who remained in loud voice throughout the match, never got closer than within five points of the home side. They were lacking cohesive tactics and technical accuracy throughout the first set, whilst Leeds looked sharp and well-rehearsed.

The game became more competitive in the second et however, with the Bradford coach’s words seeming to work wonders on her players, and they found themselves 9-1 up against a slightly complacent but also unlucky set of Leeds players. They regained form after a much-needed time-out however, and got the score back to 12 points all thanks to more sterling play from Machin.

From that point on Leeds refused to let their local rivals take a grip on the set, emerging victorious from a couple of the game’s longest rallies as Bradford’s tactics seemed to fall apart once again, as in the first set. They fell victim to quality serving from Manon Demoyen and skilful strikes from Yvonne Chiang, as Leeds closed out the set 25-21.

At the beginning of the third set it seemed like Leeds might run away to win the match easily, especially after some top notch play during an acrobatic rally to make it 4-1. Both sides experienced spells of bad luck, with Hudson putting in much of the work as Bradford crept up to get back into the set at 8-11.

After the ensuing time-out there was some sloppy play from Bradford, who seemed to have left their often excellent spell in the second set behind them, as they threw away the lead to leave Leeds to lead 20-15. Despite their enthusiastic chanting their morale was clearly dented, and they only managed one more point as Leeds went on to close out the set, and the match with a 3-0 scoreline.

Leeds deserved their victory from a game where they were mainly dominant, other than snatches of the second set. Bradford, in contrast, seemed by far the more disorganised side, and though the home side’s concentration lapsed on occasion, the Gryphons found the holes in their opponents’ game plan and exploited them to full effect for a well-earned win.

John Gibby

Featured Image: The Gryphon

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