Women’s Volleyball: Blues Suffer Second Defeat

BCUS league looks over for Cambridge volleyball ladies, but hopes still remain high for the rest of the season.

Alice Hsieh Ana Tufegdzic Vidakovic cambridge loughborough Cambridge volleyball Christiana Smyrilli Katharina Bitzan varsity volleyball womens blues volleyball

The women’s volleyball team started the second half of its season with a defeat to Loughborough. This is the second time the ladies have been unable to outperform their opponents in 2013, despite having high aspirations.

Cambridge womens volleyball team

Having trained only once following a six-week break, the volleyball girls had to compete against much stronger opposition, who train more often throughout the term, both as a university team and in the National League. With the side falling short of central players, Blues coach Jean Jacquet had to play around with the formation, switching several players between positions. He started the first set with Alice Hsieh in the middle, but the team were quite slow to get into the game. As serve receive improved, along with attacks (in particular some beautiful skills from captain Christiana Smyrilli), the score difference shrank. However, after a few lost serves cost Cambridge, the first set ended with the score at 18-25.

In the second set, Ana Tufegdzic Vidakovic played in the middle instead of Alice Hsieh, who was now able to attack with force and bring some crucial points to the team. With an active defence and some aces from Katharina Bitzan, the Blues managed to keep up with Loughborough and even took the lead at one point, but eventually lost the second set 22-25. The third set did not prove to be successful either, ending all hopes of a much-desired victory.

It looks like the team will finish second in the BUCS league this year. This will be confirmed after the last league match against Nottingham takes place next Wednesday in Cambridge. The knock-out match will follow in February, determining whether the team will qualify for the BUCS finals in Sheffield in March. Having finished fourth and third in the past two years, Cambridge ladies hope to continue this tradition and achieve even better results this year. This requires more practice and intense competition against stronger opponents – the Student Cup Finals on the second weekend of February provide a good opportunity to do just that. The annual Varsity match against Oxford will take place in Cambridge on February 16th.