Following a crushing 0-3 defeat against Durham, last year’s BUCS Volleyball Champions, on Sunday 26 October, prepared themselves for their first Premier League home game of the season versus Glasgow University on Wednesday 29 October. The match was especially significant as the Saints were hoping to redeem themselves after being beaten by Glasgow on home turf last year in a close 2-3 game. The match turned out to be an extremely close one again, with both teams working hard throughout each set, but the Saints eventually secured the win at 3-1.
The first set saw a slow start for the Saints who fell behind by five points. Emma Fox helped change this with a great serving rally that brought the team head to head with their opponent at 13-13. From there on, the game was extremely close with Glasgow and St Andrews switching lead at practically every point. However, in the end, the Saints were able to clinch the set, winning 25-22.
The second set started in the complete opposite fashion of the first with the Saints taking an early lead. However, this didn’t last long and the Saints fell prey to their own errors, including missed serves or serves that went straight to the other team’s libero. While the Saints still fought hard throughout the set, they were unable to complete their plays, losing the set 20-25.
The third set saw the Saints ready for a comeback and was once again a close contest between the two teams, with the lead switching every few points. The Saints began completing their plays and hitting Glasgow’s open spots, with Sydney Maxwell and Danila Gasperini leading the way with some great attacks. Besides that, the Saints also began to understand their opponents a bit better, reading what Glasgow were going to send over and reacting much quicker, including a great up by Hannah Berwian when Glasgow sent the ball to the far corner, instead of a short tip. It was still a close set but the Saints edged it 25-23.
The fourth set saw the Saints motivated and playing strong, aggressive and ultimately successful volleyball. The Saints were hitting Glasgow’s weak spots and fighting hard through every rally, with great hustle and energy from their setter Alexandra Smith. Serve receives from the players, including libero and captain Jeannette Viens, were also on point in this set, allowing hitters such as Kirby Mateja to pummel the ball at their opponents. This set truly showed the Saints as the better team as they showcased their strengths and smarts, winning 25-18.
As a result of this game, at the time of writing the University of St Andrews Volleyball Team are ranked 3rd in the Premier League North standings. The club is hoping that the victory can provide a springboard for more success this year with the team’s eyes now set on hauling back the Durham team who are early pace-setters.