With the drum of the balls deafening any conversation being held in the UEL SportsDock centre, everyone knew Volleyball Varsity was about to begin. UCL’s crowd were a lot more rowdy than ours, but chants were from both sides were being sung. King’s won the toss and began the game, unfortunately with a serve which went straight into the net, which was received with a serve from UCL that was out of bounds; great start from both teams. UCL looked incredibly strong in the first set, pretty much dominating by blocking most of King’s’ shots and sending over powerful hits too fast for our Ladies to handle, but it they soon started making a comeback and reaching only a five point deficit. It remained fairly even for the rest of this first set, but ultimately UCL won it 25-23. The second set was one to forget for out Ladies, as UCL dominated it in its entirety. King’s had a fair few points here and there, but UCL were up by more than 10 for most of it. There were signs of a possible comeback from the Red and Blues, scoring a flurry of successive points from great shots in the corners of the court, but the final score for set number two was 25-15 to UCL. In the third set, KCL started a lot more stronger than they had been in the previous sets, with nº20 being a star scorer and blocker. They had a lead of seven points for most of the set until UCL tied it up to 15-15, but the KCL Women’s team were still looking strong and ready to fight for the win of this set. UCL lucked out for the remainder of that set, struggling to score as King’s dominated with their blocking at the net, and unable to reciprocate with their own defence. The third set ended 25-17 to KCL, showing that a Varsity win was still very much believable. However, this was not the case, as UCL dominated the final set with too many powerful shots going KCL’s way, especially from nº14 who had an arm like a cannon, setting up a 10-0 lead. It was more of the same throughout, and ultimately that set ended with UCL women’s winning it 25-11 and Women’s Volleyball Varsity.
The Men’s game was a feat to watch, with a lot of action and great attempts to keep the ball in the air. Both sides were very string teams which made the game very back and forth in terms of points won. The first set saw the two teams tied for most of it, although a little controversy followed a decision to award a point to UCL despite one of their players seemingly touch the ball before it went out of bounds. Points were not scored quickly, and many exchanges of possession were witnessed by the fans, proving how tense and tough of a first set this was. It ended 26-24 to KCL, giving them the advantage and hope that there would be at least one King’s Volleyball win at the SportsDock. More of the same play from both teams ensued in the second set, with both proving to be very strong sides due to their powerful hits and well timed blocks at the met. UCL seemed to be struggling more that set, and were trailing by five for a lot of it. This didn’t stop UCL’s momentum as they produced a wonderful comeback, first bring the set to a tie game with points going back and forth and eventually a win of the set at 25-23. In the third set UCL started on the strong foot, scoring many points fairly quickly and KCL were struggling to get passed their opposition’s blocking. The UCL team and their crowd was very loud now, with many chants every few minutes. The purples dominated the game massively, compared to the tied game we had been watching previously and after fifteen minutes in they were 20-7 up. At this moment one of the King’s players suggested to quickly play out this set and focus on the fourth to make a comeback, and thus the third ended 25-11 in UCL’s favour. The final set was once again a battle between the two teams, with points for either side been scored left right and centre. A couple of kicks from either side were displayed, which are perfectly legal in Volleyball and amused the crowd due to their flair and success of keeping the ball inbounds. Our Men stopped UCL at match point and tied the set at 24-24, giving much hope in the team’s hearts as well as those of their supporters. Unfortunately for our side, UCL proved to be the better team at the end of the day, and finished the set at 26-24 and the game at three sets to one, also winning Varsity.
I would like to congratulate the UCL teams for winning both the Women’s and the Men’s Volleyball Varsity games, and say commiserations to our KCL sides, who despite brilliant play were outmatched at the end of the day.