Blues 0-3 Birmingham University (21-25, 18-25, 10-25)
New Gym, 25/11/2009
Team: Petra (capt), Anna, Ariane, Tina, Maddie, Helena, Alex
The Cambridge team were limited in their choice of squad for the return fixture in Birmingham, but confident by the ease of the home win, were able to send a strong team still. Cambridge looked strong in the warm-up, but noted a couple of new faces on the Birmingham side that seemed to be competent at the net.
With Anna substituting into the middle alongside Ariane and Tina and Petra on the outside, Alex was sole setter with Helena on opposite. The first set immediately surprised the visitors (as did the characteristically low Birmingham ceiling), with Birmingham going out to a 5-0 lead. After some time-out encouragement the Cambridge team got into their stride, leveling the score. Strong attack from Anna and Petra put points onto the Cambridge score, but these were matched by the left-handed Birmingham swing-hitter, and by errors on both sides of the net. At 21-21 two Cambridge serve-receive errors put the set into the hands of the home team. A switch of Maddie for Tina in the second set started the Blues with renewed confidence, but the fragile initial lead was soon clawed back by the home side and the Blues were left trailing after numerous receive errors. With some long rallies at the opening of the third set the Cambridge side seemed demoralised by the ability of the Birmingham players to pick up every attack thrown at them, eventually forcing the Cambridge error. A collapse at the end of the set saw the home team running away with 5 or 6 serve aces in a row and a well deserved win.
Match was reported in the Birmingham student press RedBrick.
Report by Jon Clarke
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