Warwick 3-2 Anglia Ruskin
Location: Main Hall, Warwick Sports Centre
Warwick pull through to maintain perfect record
The Women’s Volleyball 1s triumphed over their Anglia Ruskin rivals in a five set thriller last Wednesday night. The momentum swung back and forth throughout, but Warwick delivered when it mattered to continue their perfect season so far.
The 1s began the match in the privileged position of holding the joint best BUCS record at Warwick this season
The 1s began the match in the privileged position of holding the joint best BUCS record at Warwick this season: played four, won four. This was shared with the Women’s Basketball and Men’s Lacrosse first teams, though neither of these were at home – Boar Sport doesn’t do away days. The contest was set up to be a classic. Just seven days earlier, Warwick had faced the same opponents in the league, with both teams then boasting a 100% record. You can guess what happened next. A convincing 3-0 away win gave Warwick the early season edge, with Ruskin seeking rapid revenge.
War cries over and it was time to begin. A sparse viewing balcony created plenty of noise to make up for the lack of numbers, cheering every point and providing regular renditions of “Let’s go Warwick, let’s go”. Some early spike winners from captain Veronika Vohlmuthova saw Warwick race into an early lead, but their opponents fought back. With number 11 Clara Hopmann leading the chants, Warwick kept their noses in front. The will to win was clear; players from both sides let their eagerness get the better of them on multiple occasions as they conceded points for touching the net. The home side began to take charge as Ruskin lost their composure. Once Warwick gained the lead they never looked back, winning the first set 25-14.
As the halfway point loomed, you had the feeling this could go all the way
The second set began with different personnel but the same spike winners from Vohlmuthova. Successive blocks at the net helped Warwick into the lead once more, but three unanswered points put Ruskin ahead for the first time in the evening. This didn’t last long – five Warwick points in a row forced the visitors to call a tactical time out. This topsy-turvy pattern of play continued. Ruskin’s number one – in number and ability – grew in influence throughout the set. A Warwick time out was called with the score at 14-20, but despite threatening a fight back, Ruskin won the set 18-25. As the halfway point loomed, you had the feeling this could go all the way. A boost in the atmosphere was matched down below as Warwick sought to regain control. A marathon rally at 8-4 ended when Ruskin breached the confines of court – could this be the turning point?
Yet suddenly the scores were level at 11-11. The ability of both teams to keep smiling, even with chants of “How far out? THIS far!” ringing in their ears, was commendable and they continued to fight. Yet the home side were clinical. From 17-17, Warwick won 25-19 – Zofia Garajova making the difference to win the final point. Ruskin led again in a scrappy opening to the fourth set. A thumping cross court winner from their number 10 was neutralised by Warwick’s Eleonora Sodini. A fault on the Ruskin serve was followed by the same error from Warwick. At 11-15 down, another long rally was won by the home side when Enrica Damini did just enough to get the ball over the net. Unfortunately, they never quite got back in it – 25-20 with everything to play for in the final set.
With the clock showing quarter past nine, the decider began
With the clock showing quarter past nine, the decider began. Each rally was more protracted, neither team daring to risk too much. A perfectly judged spike by Kristine Lam emphatically ended the longest of these as Warwick crept closer to the target of 15 points. Another well-placed shot from Damini put Warwick on the brink, but consecutive Ruskin points showed it wasn’t over. A time out was called to compose the home side and it did the trick. The Ruskin serve flew agonisingly wide, giving Warwick a 15-9 final set victory.
Two wins over their strongest competition in seven days, one 100% record still very much intact.