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Men's volleyball bring in another four points for the White Rose

Whether the bigger Roses picture is sunny or gloomy, it seems York can always rely on the men's volleyball team to deliver the goods. As in 2009 and 2010, they stormed to victory. (Thumbnail credit Image: Peter Iveson)

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UNIVERSITY OF YORK 3 (25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20) - 1 UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER



Images: Peter Iveson

Whether the bigger Roses picture is sunny or gloomy, it seems York can always rely on the men's volleyball team to deliver the goods. As in 2009 and 2010, they stormed to victory - the only difference from those last two years being that Lancaster this time managed to muster a set.

Possessing the superior power, the superior mental strength and the superior BUCS pedigree, York always looked the favourites to collect the four points available, and they didn't disappoint, with captain Jonas Pollex showing the way.

Given recent form, it came as a surprise when Lancaster won the game's opening five points and York were genuinely struggling to combat the strong shots of Shaun Barber. Finally, thanks to a characteristically unstoppable shot from Pollex and a unique backwards shot over the net from Febian Matzke, they gained a foothold and would soon turn the set on its head.

York hit the front when Chris Stent mercilessly planted a smash in the face of Lancaster's Pakowski, blowing him off his feet. It wouldn't be the last time Pakowski would receive punishment. Soon, all the momentum was with the home side and two more cross-court rockets from Pollex started a procession to a 25-19 set win.

Unlike previous years, Lancaster showed some teeth and came from behind in the second set to level the match. York had started brilliantly, harnessing the strong finish to the previous set as Michal Kovac stole a couple of points out of nowhere. There was even another moment of pain for Pakowski, when Pollex blasted him in the eyes.

But a couple of scorching shots from Lancaster's Andreev signalled a fightback and they gradually seized control, leading 15-8 when York called a time-out for a breather. The White Rose were resurgent on the serve of Stent, while Harry Pampiglione sent a great shot down the centre court, but with Lancaster already on 23 points, it wasn't long before they closed it out with the influential Andreev applying the finishing touch.

Having delivered his team-talk, Pollex led by example at the start of the third, producing three vital blocks at the net. His enthusiasm was infectious, and when Stent put over a wonderful shot for 12-7, expressing his delight with a chest-out celebration, York's finest form was clearly returning.

Another hot streak pushed York within sight of the overall lead, but there was still time for poor old Pakowski to be sent to the deck - this time, Stent's powerful smash hit him square on the nose. It wasn't the Pole's day and it wasn't Lancaster's moment, as their rivals secured the set 25-17.

Encouraged by a sizeable crowd, York kicked on and made a purposeful start to the fourth, establishing a four-point lead on the serve of Ekasith Srichawla. Lancaster responded initially but were handicapped by silly mistakes and inaccuracy in some of their shots to the sides of the court.

They did manage to get the score back to 16-16 at one point, thanks to a staggering shot from Barber, but York were determined not to allow the match to slip into a fifth set and immediately restored their lead. They saw out the match 25-20, picking up another deserved success and four more points for the York cause.

University of York squad: 4. Jonas Pollex (c), 6. Harry Pampiglione, 9. Jan Vohryzek, 12. Ekasith Srichawla, 10. Bartek Krzyszycha, 13. Panayiotis Ne, 18. Oswin Van, 16. Chris Stent, 3. Michal Kovac, 1. Febian Matzke, 8. Sebastian Blumel

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