The University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) men’s volleyball team capped off their season by finishing fifth in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships over the weekend of March 16-18.
After suffering two defeats in their opening two pools matches the UBSport team bounced back in style to register an improvement on last year’s performance which saw them finish in seventh place.
The opening match saw them pitted against Loughborough, where they lost 25-19 and 25-15. This was unfortunately followed by another defeat against Edinburgh. Once again started the encounter quickly and this time managed to take the first set, winning it 25-21, but after being pegged back to lose the next set 25-22, they were unable to claim victory, instead losing 15-11 in the third set.
It would have been easy after those two narrow defeats to lose the final pool match against Southampton, but a spirited performance saw them claim a 2-0 victory and progress to the fifth-sixth placed play-off against Bournemouth.
Birmingham made a positive start establishing a 9-2 lead. However, some mistakes allowed Southampton back into the game to level at 12 all.
Birmingham struggled to find top form but did enough to regain a slender advantage which they maintained before accelerating way with a flourish of three quick points to win 25-0.
In the second set, captain Carl Butcher warned his team that they need to up their game, keeping greater pressure on the serve and ensuring their passing remained accurate. Despite this the second games remained a scrappy affair with numerous unforced errors for both sides. UBSport managed to show some improvement however, eventually winning the set 25-17.
With all chance of medalling gone, UBSport decided to field a younger squad in preparation for next season, but this did not stop them ending on a high with an impressive comeback victory. After falling behind 25-20, they rallied to win the next set 25-13 and claim the final one 15-8.
Speaking after the match Carl said, ‘It was an impressive display from the Birmingham lads who definitely deserved today’s victory. Some of the fringe players stepped up to the plate and played very well, beating a talented Bournemouth team who won their southern division this season.’