Sheffield Hallam Volleyball Club narrowly missed out on a victory to start their Super 8 League season last Saturday.
Despite welcoming Great Britain London 2012 Olympians Dami Bakare and Joel Miller into the squad Sheffield were beaten in five sets (25-18, 18-25, 21-25, 25-16, 13-15) by London’s Malory Eagles at All Saints Sports Centre.
Sheffield’s women’s team also suffered their first loss of the season in the North division against Black Country Redhill Tigers (19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 17-19).
But the ‘Badgers’ responded on Sunday with a convincing victory over Cambridge (25-12, 25-9, 25-17).
Trailing 2-1 Sheffield sent the game into a deciding set 25-16.
However, the fifth and final set of this season opener was always going to be a test for both teams so early on in their campaign.
Changing ends at 8-5 down they managed to close the gap to just 14-12 before both teams took their last points of the game, leaving the final set’s score at 15-13.
The Ladies were without head coach Steve McKeown, who was absent all weekend due to illness, but they put in two very creditable performances under the guidance of Assistant Coach Sue Williams.
Sheffield threw away three match points before yielding to Birmingham based Tigers at their second match point.
The following day Cambridge, who just missed out on promotion last season, were the visitors.
A tough match was expected but Sheffield had recovered from their loss against the Tigers and swept away the ‘light blues’ in straight sets.
* Men’s squad: Jim Miller, Alex Jenkins, Dami Bakare, Joel Miller, James Goodwin, Richard Yates, Dave Roberts, Jordan Dalrymple, Stewart Ross, Sonny Chaney and Ryan Heath
* The next match for Sheffield Hallam will be on Saturday October 19 at All Saints against Team Northumbria (4pm).
* Women’s squad: Kate Kelly, Rachel Clayden, Grace Burton, Yvett Talas, Chloe Edwards, Charlie Sprague, Sahime Ayouba Ali and Rheanne Lord.
* Next Match: Saturday October 19 against Nottingham Rockets, All Saints SC (1.45pm).