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Students conquer in impressive comeback: 2-3 Herriot Watt
Picture above - the QUB student team
Following on from their NI intervarsity success, QUB defeated former BUSA finalists Herriot Watt in the final 16 stage of the BUSA Cup.
The match began with the Heriot Watt taking the upper hand. Buoyed by home support the Edinburgh side took a 2-set lead, with top hitters Ricci of France and Jogvansson of the Faroe Islands finding top form. Heriot Watt led 25-19, 25-18.
However Queens University were not to be bowed and bounced back into the match. In the third set David Hamilton, a Great Britain International totally dominated the Watt attack, even finding clinical blocks against Anders Jogvansson. An aggressive series of serves from Mike Duffy and serve receive approaches from Dwayne McGothigan gave the Belfast side a range of hitting options and their commanding lead in the set was converted to an easy 25-15 victory.
Set four continued in the same vein with dominating blocks from Hamilton and Campalani suppressing all attacks from the Edinburgh side. A power hit from outside attacker David Laird, a student at Stranmillis College demoralised Heriot Wattís home side and their nervous defence leaked a few points causing Queens to force a decider winning 25-22.
Once again Queens University lifted their game in a deciding set, chasing every ball and overcoming difficult referring calls to take an 8-4 lead at the turn. Setter Alan McKnight found top form at just the right moment finding top hitter Hamilton in space to quell a Heriot Watt comeback. A psychological break came when an outside attack from Captain Phil Crockett secured a 15-11 match win.
Head Coach, Alan Wright, Former University Coach of the Year was delighted with the teamís performance. ďItís great to see Queenís reaching this stage of the British Universities Championships for the first time. Weíre looking forward to the finals in Loughborough and to an exciting future. Most of these guys have several years further study here and itís great to carry our all-conquering league form into these matches. Our 100% record in 2007 will last a bit longer and Iím looking forward to the future of Northern Ireland volleyball as only Polish power hitter Kacper Rekawek isnít home-grown.Ē