This past weekend, the Men’s Blues team competed in the BUCS Final 8’s tournament along the beautiful beaches ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶a̶l̶m̶ ̶t̶r̶e̶e̶s̶ ̶ of ̶C̶a̶l̶i̶f̶o̶r̶n̶i̶a̶ ̶ Bournemouth. Of the top 8 teams in the country which participated in this tournament, our pool contained powerhouses Durham, Hallam, and Bournemouth. In our first match against Hallam, we did our patented “forget how to serve receive because it’s the first game of the morning” for a set, which improved in the second set but still resulted in a disappointing 0:2 loss. Against Durham (who will be playing in Wednesday’s BUCS championship match), we took them to the brink in a second set which featured beautiful all around play from the team, paced by steady setting by Will, solid finishes by Greg, a heavy dose of fast tempo middle hits from Urban and Rob, and even a free ball kill by Webster. However, we faltered in the crucial moments of the game, resulting in a 24-26 set loss and 0:2 match loss.
On Sunday, after a night of romantic sunset beach walks, food, and rest, we came back once again with a rather flat morning start against Bournemouth (but we attribute it to Bournemouth holding a home court advantage over us), losing 0:2. Having finished last place in the pool, we played one final match against Nottingham in a battle for the coveted BUCS 7th place trophy. The first set came down to the wire, as the Blues men exhibited their nerves of steel by swatting away four set points to win 28-26. The second set would also be well-fought by both teams, but this time, Pawel, Cambridge’s own Polish Hammer, took matters into his own hands, singlehandedly (by that I mean with the help of good passes and setting) crushing the opposition into submission. With a 2:0 win, we ignored the jealous look of all other teams as they envied our 7th place finish. As we look ahead to next year, the stars shine bright and the sky is the limit for this team of talented men who will undoubtedly continue to work hard towards perfection (i.e. a 6th place BUCS finish).
Written by: Webster Guan