Our Blades Men Volleyball team are celebrating victory after defeating the University of Liverpool at the University of East Anglia to win the National Student Cup for the second year in a row.
Despite missing several players, the Blades Women Volleyball team were runners up after a terrific final against Bournemouth University.
Head Coach Alex Porter said: "I'm really proud of both team's performances throughout the weekend, replicating last year's successes at this competition. Our weekend's achievements reinforce the University of Essex's Performance programme status as one of the best in the Country for developing players, with both of our squads being predominately undergraduates."
Karolina Doubkova, a Masters student in Molecular Science a new team member of Blades Women said: "Both guys and girls teams are simply awesome and together made an incredible volleyball family. Even though I haven't been training with the squad long, I felt accepted and as the tournament flowed I just flowed with them."
Full match report
After a very competitive first day of competition Essex Men qualified as group winners without dropping a set defeating City, Teeside and Liverpool. The Women followed suit with equally impressive form defeating UCD, Bristol, and Sheffield. Day 2 saw the Men defeat Warwick 2-0 in the quarterfinals, before dispatching Sheffield without dropping a set. The Women defeated Newcastle 2-0 in a tight encounter, before overcoming Oxford 2-1 despite dropping the first set.
The Women's Final was arguably the game of the weekend with both Essex and Bournemouth showcasing phenomenal hitting and impressive defensive displays with plenty of long rallies for the crowd to enjoy. Bournemouth held their nerve when it mattered with a succession of strong serves and eventually took control of the match by winning the first set 29-27. The second set was make or break for Essex, as they had to win to have any chance of becoming champions. Ultimately though, their efforts were fruitless as Bournemouth were determined to write their name on the trophy and that was exactly what they did due to some strong serving early on which created a lead that they never let go of. Bournemouth claimed the win with a 25-18 second set victory.
The Men's Final between Essex and Liverpool was a real battle with both teams looking to get their name on the trophy. The first breakthrough was made by Essex who took the first set 25-17. The second set proved to be a test of mental strength as both teams traded points. In the end it was Essex who held their nerve, taking the second set and the title 25-23.