RAF Harriers volleyball triumph hoists York up to second place

York Press: York Volleyball Club’s National League squad York Volleyball Club’s National League squad

YORK moved into second place in division three north of the National Volleyball League as they bounced back from a 3-0 defeat to leaders Team Loughborough with a 3-0 victory over RAF Harriers.

The top three teams clashed in the latest round of fixtures at Loughborough College, with York leapfrogging the Harriers as a result of their triumph.

York, fresh from a National Shield win over division two team South Birmingham, were prepared for a tough match against Loughborough, having lost 3-0 to them earlier in the season.

York travelled with only eight players, missing setter Gerard Lowe due to injury and outside hitter Bartek Bakowski due to work commitments.

However, they were strengthened by new signing Adam Kowalski, making his debut in the English National League having played previously in Poland.

Loughborough opened up a four-point lead but York’s trio of Polish outside spikers – Slawek Sokolowski, Adam Meszczynski and Adam Kupka – eventually started to fire and they claimed the lead at 22-21.

York then looked like taking the set as they served at 24-22, but they lost 26-24.

Loughborough made a strong start to the second set, but York pulled back to 12-12.

The hosts turned up the pressure, winning 13 points from their next three servers en route to a 25-14 win.

At 20-11 down it looked as if the third set would slip away meekly, but four serves from York’s most valuable player, Sokolowski, brought a degree of respectability at 25-16.

Against the RAF, York trailed 18-9 and then 22-18 before four serves from Kupka helped to pull them level. York took the lead for the first time at 24-23 and snatched the set 26-24.

Five serves from Kupka at 9-9 put York in control of the second set and they took it 25-21.

York saw a 17-12 lead disappear in the third set as the RAF levelled at 23-23.

However, Kupka, their most valuable player, produced two unstoppable spikes to seal the set 26-24.

York take on Nottingham Rockets 2 and Darkstar Derbyshire at York College tomorrow.

Darkstar will travel to York in the National Shield quarter-finals on Saturday, February 1.

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