UEL advance to BUCS Trophy Final
- Credit: Archant
Women’s volleyball take hard-fought victory over UCL
University of East London women’s volleyball team struggled at times against University College London, but recovered their form to win in straight sets and advance to the BUCS Trophy final.
UEL were relatively comfortable in sets one and two, but struggled in the second before finally recording a two-point win to succeed 25-17, 28-26, 25-19.
UCL kept close in the first set, until home captain Alex Vajdova served several aces to break out a 13-3 lead.
The visitors responded with three straight points, but then were unable to return a kill from Beth Gunter, sending the serve back to UEL.
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UCL continued to come under pressure from the hosts and East London secured a 25-17 first set victory.
University College London scored the first point in the second - which was the largest lead either team would have for some time.
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The sides traded points until UCL obtained a 6-4 lead. But Gunter won a long rally for UEL, and East London then tied the set.
UCL and UEL traded points once again until the hosts pulled out in front 11-9.
But the away side fought back with three straight points to take the lead.
UEL began to find better form after that and built the largest lead of the set at 16-13, but University College drew to within one point.
That forced UEL to pull away again and go four-points ahead, but once again UCL stormed back and scored five straight points to reclaim the lead.
After UCL extended that lead to 24-21, UEL fought off three set points to draw level.
University College London took a timeout and scored after the break, but then Vajdova came up with a huge kill to save another set point.
The East Londoners had to face a fifth set point at 26-25, but once again Vajdova was the hero with a great kill and they took the next two points to win the set.
The third set was back and forth early on, before UEL took a four-point lead.
UCL refused to go down without a fight and battled back. With UEL up 10-9, Carrie Beck and Vajdova miscommunicated, allowing the visistors to tie.
UEL pulled back into the lead, and although UCL stayed close, the East Londoners never trailed again and won the set, 25-19.
Captain Vajdova admitted her team made too many errors in the second set and anticipated an easy game.
She said: “We were just slacking a little bit. We already beat them three times this season so we’re kind of expecting to win. So I think a lot of the points we gave were our mistakes.”
UEL will now advance to the BUCS Trophy Final against the University of Liverpool on March 24 in Loughborough.
Vajdova added: “We are feeling positive. Hopefully we can manage to win the final.”