History repeated itself as Sheffield Hallam’s volleyball side fell to a narrow defeat to Northumbria University and missed out on a BUCS Championship gold medal.
BUCS Big Wednesday saw hundreds of students from 14 sports descend on the University of Bath for an action-packed day of sport.
The event saw the culmination of the team sport competitions, with teams from more than 800 leagues having battled it out for a berth in the season finale.
Hallam got off to a good start in the men’s badminton final, taking the first set before Northumbria hit back with two of their own.
But Hallam took the fourth to force a decider, and looked the likely winners when they led 9-5 in the first-to-15 contest.
Northumbria, however, went on a 10-3 scoring run to take the set and the gold medal, leaving Hallam captain Alex Calpin with a sense of déjà vu.
“It was a disappointing result in the end for us, it literally happened in the league to us two or three weeks ago as well - we took them to five and lost it in the fifth again,” said the 21-year-old business and financial management student. “They are a good team, I do feel as though we had them at some points but that is the way it goes sometimes.
“I don’t really know what went wrong. Obviously, they played well, to be honest I think it was a really good game of volleyball. Both sides brought it.
“They were better on the day. That’s all there is to it.”
But despite the loss, the third year student was happy with his BUCS experience this season, and will be back for more next year in an attempt to add a second gold medal to his collection.
“Big BUCS Wednesday is an awesome event. All the sports going off, the atmosphere is buzzing,” Calpin added. “You’ve got everyone here, all the high level athletes are competing at a really high level all round. It is really good to see.
“This was my third year now as part of BUCS. I won it in my first year with the Sheffield boys, I was in first year then so I didn’t get a lot of court time, but it was a really good experience.”
* There was heartbreak for Doncaster’s Robbie Spence as he missed out in the football final as his Northumbria University side conceded twice in the last ten minutes to go down 2-1 to Cardiff Met.
The former Trinity Academy pupil, who is studying for a masters in strength and conditioning, lamented the decision to send off one of his teammates in the first half, but still gave credit to their dogged opponents.
“I’m gutted, for the first quarter we were on top and we were the better team, we got in front,” he said.
“But then there was that big decision with one of our men getting sent off and there was nothing we could do.
“But credit to Cardiff they put pressure on us and managed to score two goals and win the game.”
* British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. BUCS has over 800 leagues across the country.