Newcastle Women’s Volleyball faced hometown rival Team Northumbria on BUCS Wednesday on 15 November. The match took place at Northumbria University’s Sports Central and featured an exciting back and forth affair. The game was off to a strong start with both sides making exciting plays. In preparation for the league’s top team (and an undefeated one at that), Team Newcastle had to step up their game and execute on both sides of the net. Despite a spirited effort, the hosts defeated Team Newcastle and claimed the BUCS points for the evening.
The first set of match play featured a 20-20 tie and could have been anyone’s set. After a handful of hard-fought points, the Northumbria women came out on top with a score of 25-23. During the second set Team Newcastle faced adversity with a handful of players dropping out of the game due to injury. The Newcastle women were down 15 points at one time during the second set, bought fought back to drop the set by a respectable score of 19-25.
With heads held high the Newcastle women headed into the last set of the match battling for every point, but unfortunately were unable to come back from such a heavy deficit, and dropped the third game.
Chloe Mathis, an outside hitter and team captain, said despite some struggles throughout the match, the team stuck together. She said each player was proud to compete with one another and represent Newcastle University. She said although the team lost, they gained confidence that they would carry that confidence into their match against Edinburgh.
The visitors made quick work of a shorthanded Edinburgh squad last Wednesday with a positive attitude and plenty of energy
The Newcastle women responded quickly to their loss to Northumbria by dominating Edinburgh University. The visitors made quick work of a shorthanded Edinburgh squad last Wednesday with a positive attitude and plenty of energy. Despite a delayed start caused by scheduling issues, Team Newcastle used a balanced attack and powerful offense to take down the home team 3-0. At times, Edinburgh seemed confused and discombobulated as Newcastle came out of the gates with a head full of steam.
After a cold and rainy drive up North the volleyballers got right down to business. They wasted no time gaining a huge lead and kept the pressure on throughout all three sets. Setter Petra Jerabkova was smooth throughout the evening, providing the Newcastle hitters with plenty of scoring opportunities. Hitters Chloe Mathis and Alyssa Koenig were sparks for Team Newcastle – they powered shot after shot past the Edinburgh defence and challenged their opponents almost every play.
In addition, the game proved to be another positive for those who don’t get as much playing time for Team Newcastle. Because the starters did such a great job pushing the lead, every teammate on the team had the opportunity to play and contribute to the team’s victory, which led to a jovial bus ride home for Team Newcastle.
Moving forward, Newcastle women’s volleyball has a duo of matches before the Christmas break, including matchups against Nottingham and another faceoff against Edinburgh. They are currently in the middle of the pack in the Premier North Division and would benefit greatly from two victories.