Coming off the back of a clinch victory against Warwick the UEA men looked ahead to the game against Derby. Hopes were high as the opponents were snowballing into a losing season having lost their first two matches.
The highly anticipated match started with a shaky start from the UEA men. However, after a tense point by point battle at the start of the set, UEA began to pull away. From here, UEA started to really gain momentum. Despite a tough attack from Derby, the solid defence from libero TJ and first-rate setting from Captain Nick Morris led UEA to finish the set victorious, 25-17.
The first set loss seemingly dashed the hopes of the Derby Team as they dragged themselves back onto the court, the fear of a third defeat in a row clear on their faces. Up against the newly emboldened opposition, they stood no chance as UEA took an uncharacteristic early lead. This trend continued despite Derby occasionally showing promise and the possibility of a comeback, before the hitting power of Tomas Benes and Nathan Dupanloup firing on all cylinders crushed all hope, and saw the UEA men winning the second set convincingly again, 25-17.
A heated team talk didn’t do anything to change the Derby team’s fate, as the third set looked certain to follow the same tune as the previous two. Against the odds, Derby dug deep and threw everything they had at the UEA 6 with a strong run of serves and blocks.
The tide showed signs of changing, but the lead UEA had carved at the start of the set was too great, and the match, much like a fresher’s beverage at a social (alcoholic or not), had to be finished. UEA came out on top again winning the final point with a huge hit from the Czech powerhouse Tomas Benes, the final score 25-21.