The DCU men’s volleyball team lost out by two points in the Intervarsities Plate final in a neck & neck match with Dundalk IT last Sunday in NUI Galway.
The metropolitan college started the tournament off on the wrong foot losing their opening two group games, which prevented them from entering the Cup competition and were instead put into the lower Plate division where they were grouped to play DKIT and Tallaght IT in two set matches.
Both games were a tight affair with DCU coming out the better on both occasions as they progressed to the semi-finals. Due to the way the fixtures fell, DCU once again came up against Tallaght IT. With the semi-finals playing the best out of three sets and the first to 25 points. DCU got off to a rocky start losing out on their first set, but recovered well to squeeze past Tallaght IT in the second and third set to progress into the Plate final where they once again came up against DKIT.
DCU volleyball club chairperson Anna Colwell said, “I’ve never seen as many women screaming in my life at a sports match, the ladies’ team were eliminated on the final day so every ladies player was down supporting the men in their final. We play Dundalk every year and it’s always a tight affair.”
Like the semi-final, it was the best out of three sets, first to 25 points and you had to win by two points. DCU were put on the backfoot early losing the first set on a score of 26-24. However, like the semi-final they came back strong in the second leg, edging past DKIT by 3 points on a score of 25-22.
It all came down to the final set, which was the first to 15 points and you had to win by two points. DCU were winning well until they got points deducted due to a technical foul involving the positioning of the players. That proved to be the defining moment of the match and from here DKIT took full advantage winning the Plate final by a total of two points on a score of 17-15.
“We were all so proud of the men. To get to any final is a massive achievement and they represented DCU so well,” said Colwell.
The DCU women’s team on the other hand consisted of a group of players who haven’t played together. DCU volleyball are reliant on their international students to play, but when they leave the university, DCU volleyball struggle to make up the numbers, so many of the women’s players were beginners who never played.
With all the chances stacked against them, DCU still managed to win all their group games which placed them in the Cup, beating Waterford IT and NUI Maynooth all in straight sets.
The second day didn’t go as well for the ladies’ team losing out to a much more experienced UCD and NUIG team.
Colwell summed up the tournament stating: “It was a great weekend hosted by NUIG. It’s fantastic to say we got to a final in the men’s and we competed in the Cup in the women’s competition. Our mind set all year was to breed new members into the club, bring a sense of enjoyment and be competitive. Even though our new coach Gerry White wasn’t at the tournament, he has been excellent all year around and brought a fresh approach to the University.”
Image Credit: DCU volleyball