On Saturday morning the 18th of March, the volleyball varsity for the women’s took place between De Montfort University (DMU) and the University of Leicester (UoL) at Leicester arena.
In the first set, it was already clear that the teams were very well matched on talent and skill. Either team fought very hard to try and get past the 25 points first and create the two-point difference they needed to win this set. Only because the teams were so closely matched, that difference was a struggle to achieve. Tension ran high as both teams fought for the win in the first set, but in the end, the DMU Dragons managed to win the first set
In the second set, the ladies from DMU struggled a little with communication and made a few mistakes. UoL took advantage of this and scored plenty of points in succession. Their crowd grew confident and started chanting to urge the UoL team on. Rosemary from UoL had a long serving streak. Once UoL reached the twenties, the girls from DMU started catching up. It only proved to be too little too late, because soon enough UoL scored their 25th point and they won this set. (25-20)
In the third set, it became really obvious that DMU was missing their coach, who was absent for this year’s varsity game. In previous years DMU has done really well in the volleyball varsity, but this year the teams seemed more evenly matched and the Dragons from DMU even struggled to keep up with UoL in this third set. At one point, UoL was even leading with an 11 point difference, leaving DMU a big mountain to climb. This they did not manage and the gap widened even further, leaving UoL to win the third set with an 18-point difference. (25-7)
In the fourth set, DMU knew they needed to win this set to even have a chance at winning. This, they seemed to realise and they fought hard to achieve just this. DMU managed to get an 11-point lead in the fourth set and win it. (25-14)
They were on equal playing fields once again, both teams having won two sets. It was clear that now the nerves started kicking in and both teams made some mistakes. This they could not afford, since this time around they only had to go until 15 instead of 25 points. UoL took the lead with 8-5 before they switched courts one last time. DMU immediately started catching up and they manage to tie at 10-10. In the end, UoL managed to win this set with 15-11.
Final result: DMU won the first and fourth set, while UoL won the second, third and fifth set. Making UoL’s team the winners of the women’s volleyball varsity this year!
(c) Photography by Kirsty Blackwell