The stranmillis men’s volleyball team, aka StranCats, made their way over to the PEC tonight to take on a strong Queens side. This was the second time that these two teams met in the CUSAI league with the first meeting resulting in a 2-1 victory to the Stranmillis side. With a few changes to both teams since then, both teams were aware that the match could go either way.
The Stranmillis spectators showed up in force. It wasn’t long until there were well over 40 waiting to see what both these teams had in store.
Queens started the first set extremely well. Some very consistent serving from Han Lu resulted in Queens getting a strong 14-2 start and Stranmillis were forced to take a time out. StranCats came back on court strong with some super offence from John Robb, Dave McComb and Andy Martin and some beautiful pick-ups from defensive specialist Andrew Johnston. Unfortunately the Stranmillis lads just couldn’t pull back the 12 point lead and lost the first set 25-13.
The second was pretty even the whole way with some great hitting from QUB’s Brian Cox and Stranmillis’ Jeff Scott. Stranmillis managed to crawl a few points ahead with some great serving from Brian Lowe and Stranmillis’ President elect Jonny Harper, but queens quickly came back. At 22-22 the tension was getting unbearable. A few well placed serves from queens and a great spike to finish meant the QUB boys took the second set 25-22.
StranCats decided to mix it up a little. Steven Park and Mark Barber started the set, bringing a much needed change to the Stranmillis team. Some super passing and hitting from the boys helped the StranCats take an early lead. Unfortunately too many backcourt attacks from QUB’s Patrick Crooks found the floor allowing queens to run away with the set 25-16 and the match 3-0.
StranCats and Queens will meet for the final time on Wednesday 16th February at 4pm at Stranmillis. With both teams currently joint first in their pool of the CUSAI league both teams will be looking for the win to ensure they have a place in the Finals day next month.
Stran’s Jeff Scott thanked Jenna Coriddi for refereeing the match and gave a huge thanks to all the Stranmillis spectators who came along and created a really great atmosphere.