Sport

Teesside Volleyball Team Survive Relegation In Narrow Win

Teesside University’s men’s volleyball team defeated Lancaster University to survive relegation in the final game of the season.

In the final set with the scores close, Stuart Gibbin became the man of the moment providing the winning point for Teesside.

Stuart said: “We all knew the importance of this game, when I came back on in the final set I knew I would get my chance to help the team and to get the winning point was fantastic.”

The overall course of the match saw back and forth action, with neither side dominating.

Despite a limited attack Lancaster’s defensive was strong, with effective blocking providing vital points.

The third set was by far the most crucial with the scores tied at 1-1.

Tension was evident throughout the game as many points came from individual errors.

However Teesside’s two main players Harley Clarke and Nathan Wallace stepped up when needed at vital points.

The situation before play was that a win for Teesside would guarantee safety.

However a loss would have meant that Teesside would be paired with the loser of the fixture between Lancaster and Durham with relegation decided on the lowest number of points gained in sets during the season.

Despite the pressures and with home advantage Teesside were confident that they could win.

Before the game Vice-Chairman James Campbell said: “We beat this team away a few weeks back and I am sure if we keep our heads together and play like we know we can, then we will win.”

The first set was very close, with neither side gaining any real points advantage.

Towards the end of the set Teesside started to slip, shots were not hitting there mark and Lancaster looked the most likely to gain the initiative.

However Lancaster lost concentration and made similar errors that led to Teesside winning the set 25-23.

Nathan Wallace with an overhead volley.

Teesside’s good play continued into the second set with effective volleying from Nathan Wallace and Josh Taylor ¬†earning a six point lead for Teesside, which led to a much needed time out call from Lancaster.

The break in play seemed to settle the nerves of the opponents, numerous blocks at the net gained point after point for Lancaster who sailed ahead.

Teesside initiated a fight back, Stuart Gibbin produced a number of good shots to peg back Lancaster, however it proved too be too little to late with Lancaster winning the set 25-22.

End to end action.

With the scores tied winning the third set would be crucial.

Both teams came roaring out the blocks and like the first set the scores were close.

However unlike the first set both teams produced little in the way of errors and there were numerous entertaining rallies.

Teesside’s Harley Clarke was dominant in this set earning three individual points with numerous spikes, which helped Teesside to win the set 25-23.

Teesside’s James Campbell with an effective block.

Teesside again had the advantage and if they could win the next set the game would be won.

The pressure on Lancaster could be seen as five of Teesside’s first ten points came from errors.

Defensively however Lancaster were very good, producing effective blocks at the net that produced vital points to keep the game close.

Roles were reversed in the later stages of the set with Teesside this time producing the errors,  shots were either hitting the net, or serves were going wide.

With the possibility of a fifth set, Nathan Wallace took the game by the scruff of the neck and produced two beautifully placed spikes to edge Teesside ahead.

Then with the scores at 24-23, Stuart Gibbin kept his nerve to earn the match winning point and keep Teesside in the top division for another year.

After the game club Chairman Mike Campbell said: “This game was close, a lot closer than we expected.”

“Lancaster played well and gave us a game, but we played well and came through and we can now look to build for next year, well played everyone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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