The University of East London’s women’s volleyball first team got their season underway in the best possible manner, as they beat Cambridge women’s first team in straight sets at the UEL SportsDock on Wednesday afternoon.
UEL are hoping for a replica of last season where they won the BUCS Premier South division, with nine wins and only one loss.
After beating Cambridge twice last season, UEL were expected to be the better side and they showed their dominance from the start.
UEL’s Kellisha Harley got the first set underway and UEL scored the first point of the set.
The east Londoners showed their authority throughout the first set, Ashley Headen and Allie Davenport both scoring with numerous spikes in the set to give UEL some valuable points. UEL took the first set 25-9.
UEL continued their domination in the second set as multiple mistakes by Cambridge made light work for UEL. Headen performed some great blocks in front of the net which earned important points and Headen’s block at the end of the set put UEL in to a two-set lead.
The final set was no different to the first two sets, as UEL once again continued to outshine their rivals.
Annie Bierman scored vital points in the set to give UEL a comfortable lead. It was once again Cambridge mistakes that were gifting points to UEL.
Fran Smith-Daye sealed the victory with a powerful spike that gave UEL the match in straight sets.
After the game, UEL volleyball coach Jefferson Williams was pleased with the performance, “It was comfortable. Coming in to a match like this where we don’t really know the opposition, I just made the girls aware it was going to be more about us and as soon as we saw them warm up we realised it was going to be easy. So, what that meant is we were able to establish a bit of a level when we can give all the players a chance to get on the court and show what they can do.”
Williams then went on to speak about the importance of the win especially on the first day of the season, “It’s always good to start on a positive note, especially as it is a new team and we need to get that winning feeling. We had a tournament in Essex a couple of weeks ago and we won as well, so we kind of know where we are. We’re establishing a level and we just want to make sure we’re always on top of the opposition, we know we’ll play tougher matches in the weeks ahead, but we’ll come prepared.”
Next up for the UEL women’s volleyball team is another home tie and this time they will be hosting Bournemouth University Women’s first team.
Williams spoke about this game and said, “Having not seen them, but just looking at their team sheet we realise they also have some American players, so they’ll be a higher level than the Cambridge side. I still don’t expect them to be as good as us, or at our level.”