The Women’s Volleyball team took on Sussex in a crucial must-win match at the Jubilee centre on Wednesday. After finishing 4th in the league this year, they had to beat Sussex to remain in the running for the Division One play-offs. The Volleyball side are a part of the newly formed Athletic Union focus sport’s programme and would be expecting to put on a strong display.
The match was best of five sets, with the each set won by the first team to get to twenty-five points. Southampton started the match strongly and despite the fact that Sussex were unwilling to go down without a fight, they nevertheless won 25 – 21. The second set was even tighter and came right down to the wire, however this time around Sussex took the win 25 – 23, leaving the overall score tied at 1-1. Fresh off winning the second set, Sussex continued to impress. Individual errors from the Southampton side began to undermine their game plan and gave Sussex the opportunity to take the lead, with the set ending 25 – 19.
With their season in the balance, Southampton came back out for the fourth set with a point to prove and began to play some of their best volleyball of the night. Soon enough they pulled away with the penultimate set finishing at an impressive 25 – 12 as Sussex struggled to come up with a response to the reinvigorated Southampton team.
With the match tied at 2-2, the final, decisive set was shortened; with the teams now targeting a reduced 15 points the margin for error was even smaller. Southampton began as the stronger of the two, leading 4-1 early on. Both sides threw everything into some impressive rallies, with both sides showing great determination and athleticism to keep driving forward. However, Southampton’s victory in the fourth set perhaps gave them the psychological edge as the comeback was complete and they secured the win, with the final set scored at 15 – 8.
Captain Hannah Warren said: “Huge well done to the team for all their effort and to the support we’ve been given throughout the year. It’s been a big season for the volleyball club so far and we’ve also entered the national league, so all of the extra matches and commitment has paid off.
“Every year get an enormous turnover of players with graduates leaving, new fresher’s joining and foreign students doing Erasmus just for six months, so we’ve had a lot to cope with.”
1st Set – 25 – 21 – Southampton Win
2nd Set – 25 – 23 – Sussex Win
3rd Set – 25 – 19 – Sussex Win
4th Set – 25 – 12 – Southampton Win
5th Set – 15 – 8 – Southampton Win
Women’s Volleyball Squad:
Hannah Warren (Capt), Evelyn Goder, Sasha Pedchenko, Sabine Lagarde, Sarah Keen, Katie Keen, Emma Freeman, Fabrina Wissing, Nicole Attoe, Chloe Baulch, Rachel Gilbert, Paulina Jakubek, Heloa Husebo, Meggie Hudspith