Superior UEL defeat Exeter

UEL's men were too strong for Exeter

UEL's men were too strong for Exeter - Credit: Archant

Straight-sets win for volleyball men

The University of East London men’s volleyball team have still not dropped a set in three games in their first BUCS South Premier League campaign after sweeping past Exeter last night.

UEL claimed a straight-sets win, 25-14, 25-17, 25-10, at SportsDock to the delight of head coach Tomasz Morawski, who said: “Another game, another win for us, so that’s a very good start of the season.

“So far we are keeping a clean sheet. I need to congratulate our team. We were very good in all elements. Very strong on the serve, first of all, which helped us set up the game the way we wanted it to go.”

Scott Weninger set the tone for UEL at the start of the match. He scored the first four points for the squad, including two aces, and UEL never looked back in the first set as they played an agile game, diving for digs and making powerful blocks.

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Exeter, down 16-6, tried to out-general an athletically-superior UEL team by dropping light kills close to the net.

UEL was fooled by the first attempt, but Mohammed Tighsazzadeh dove to get the second and foiled Exeter’s tactics as the hosts cruised on for a 25-14 first-set victory.

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The second set opened the same way as the first, with a massive kill from Weninger.

Exeter showed some life early on, however, drawing level for the first time at 2-2, and then again at 4-4.

But UEL quickly pulled back into the lead and Exeter called a time-out to rally their team after Lee Hamilton made a solid block to put UEL 8-4 up.

The visitors won the first point after the restart and began to stay close to UEL, with another point leaving them just three behind at 16-13.

But UEL used their solid attacking and blocking skills to pull away and take the set, 25-17.

“[Exeter] gave us a challenge in the middle of the second set, which was nice to see,” said Weninger.

“It was nice to see our guys be able to push away from just a three-point lead. Exeter gave what they had in the second set. We just needed to weather the storm.”

Exeter scored to open the third set, giving them their first lead of the match, but UEL quickly took back the advantage.

The visitors moved 3-2 up after UEL made a few player changes, which Weninger said contributed to their slow start to the third set.

“The two guys that came in, it took those three points to get back into the group,” he said.

“Once they felt comfortable and the group all were one again, we took it another step, another level.”

While a fit UEL squad was playing at a high level, Exeter was beginning to struggle with two of their starters on the bench and grew fatigued as their team made several poor plays on defence.

Exeter’s offence was nearly non-existent as UEL went on a 13-1 run to take a commanding 15-4 lead.

The sides traded points after that, before Hamilton scored an ace to win the set, 25-10, and clinch victory for UEL.

“Exeter did not pose much of a threat to us,” added Morawski. “It was a good game. We defended well, because we set everything up with a strong serve.”

UEL play Cambridge at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre next Wednesday (November 5) at 5 p.m.

“I think we’ve got to go to Cambridge with the same mindset and take three straight again,” said Weninger.

“I don’t think we need to go in there thinking it’s going to be a four-setter or a five-setter. We’ve got to go into every game thinking we’re going to win three straight. It won’t be an easy match, but I will say we want to win in three sets.”

“We’re definitely looking forward to it,” added Morawski. “It’s our first away game, so that will be a big difference, playing away from home, seeing how the guys cope with that.”

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