Cambridge VC and Anglia Ruskin University vs Black Country Men 2 and Ipswich Men
Vs Black Country Men 2: 3 – 2 (23-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 15-10)
Vs Ipswich Men: 2-3 (19-25, 25-20, 14-25, 26-24, 8-15)
Team: Kaminski (C), Lai, Menden, Krusche, Antichi, Vytoldas, Saatcogliu
Saturday 1st October 2016, Cleobury Mortimer Sport Centre
Despite the imposition of International Transfer rules, Cambridge managed to field seven players for their first league matches of the season. This minor administrative victory was only partially matched on court, the team ending on one win and one loss after an exhausting ten sets of volleyball.
Cambridge were looking stranded just 24 hours before tip-off, with only five cleared to play. But then a little help from the volleyball Gods outweighed the hindrances of the Federations, seven players were declared eligible to play and an anti-climactic double concession was narrowly avoided.
Old hands Kaminski (captain), Lai (libero), Menden, Krusche and Antichi were joined by new signings Vytoldas and Saatcogliu for this away triangular, against Black Country 2 and league newcomers, Ipswich.
The vagaries of the triangular match day system means this will be the first of two trips to the Welsh border. At the same venue last season a drawn out first match against the other travelling team took the sting out of Cambridge’s attack and a costly loss to the hosts ensued.
This time round Cambridge defeated the hosts first but also took five sets to achieve it. As the second match also ran to five sets several players run out of gas and the decider was just beyond them.
Cambridge’s next league games will be played at home, fingers crossed that more of the squad will be available for this derby day spectacular: Cambridge take on their closest National League neighbours Peterborough and Newmarket.