Item: Narrow Escape for LVC Men in 5-Setter
Author: Andreas Wicht
Date: 23 September 2007, 9:32:10 AM

It was an up and down for both teams throughout the match. Leicester started the first set with many unforced errors and Leeds took full advantage to build up a 5-point lead right from then start. Despite a good come back by LVC it was just too much to close and Leeds took the first set 27-25. Leicester gradually found their rhythm and were in the lead for most of the 2nd set before Leeds turned it around to win it 25-20.

A similar story unfolded in the 3rd set where LVC build up a 5-point lead at the start. Leeds managed to curtail that lead halfway through the set but this time Leicester’s men held their nerve to take the set 25-23.

Inspired by the proof they can compete with Leeds, LVC was all fired up in the 4th set and stormed into a huge lead. It appeared as if there was nothing Leicester could do wrong and Leeds could do right: LVC made no mistakes, while Leeds made them all. At 20-9 Leicester must have thought the set was over and relaxed too much allowing Leeds to cut the lead down to 3 points before they won the set 25-22.

It was now crunch time and Leicester started the set with a display of controlled volleyball matching Leeds’ play. With LVC in the lead the teams changed ends at 8-6 and Leicetser had 2 match points at 14-12. But the excitement got the better of Leicester’s men and the resulting errors levelled the match and even gave Leeds match point at 16-15. Leicester saw the match slip away and showed mental toughness taking the 5th set 18-16.

Both teams played well in patches and LVC was the lucky winner in this encounter. It was another great team performance and, especially, the lack of substitute players demanded of LVC’s men to play for one another.

Coach Tim Shaw said after the match: ”It was an important win and it also showed that there is a lot we need to work on.”