EUVC 1s – 3
UCL – 2
EUVC men’s 1s qualified for their first ever BUCS Premier quarter final with a hard fought 3-2 home victory over UCL.
Heading into the game, both sides were level on points and aware that a win would secure fourth place and a quarter final berth. The game got off to an even start. However, Exeter gradually gained the upper hand, with Captain Jarvis Lam in particular coming to the fore. He mixed a combination of deft touches and powerful slams to take the first set away from the visitors, EUVC eventually won it 25-15.
The second set began in much the same fashion with a now confident Exeter bossing the early exchanges and racing into a 12-8 lead. However, UCL began to find their feet and forced Exeter into making more mistakes. Despite some powerful blocking from Giedrius Kartanovic, UCL fought back and the score went to 22-22. Under pressure the visitors shone through to win 25-23 and level the match.
Exeter responded magnanimously in the third set, regaining their early momentum. Libero Bert Wozniak scrambled superbly providing the perfect defence, which allowed both Lam and Nikita Polishchuk to provide a plethora of winners. Much to the fans delight Exeter won the third 25-17.
Then perhaps surprisingly, EUVC rang the changes, as some of their squad members entered the fray and their successful starters took a breather. This was to the detriment of their momentum, as UCL gained sustained dominance for the first time in the game. Sloppy mistakes meant UCL eventually took the set 25-16 and took the game into a decider.
Exeter’s strongest line up returned to the court and appeared galvanised after their rest. Ivan Minkov showed fantastic judgement with his setting at the net, which allowed the hitters to exploit UCL’s defence. Oozing confidence Exeter added extra intensity to each point ultimately leading to a 15-8 victory, which they ecstatically celebrated.
The win marks a superb debut season for EUVC in the BUCS Premier South, in which they have finished fourth. They will now face a tricky away quarter final against BUCS Premier North champions Northumbria. who remain unbeaten this season.
Freddie Turner, Online Sport Editorbookmark me