Out at Linton again for the last BUSA qualification match of the season, the Blues needed a 3-0 victory over Nottingham to ensure a third position finish in the league. A full-strength team, with the exception of Captain Fiona Danks, was present; setters, Joyce Wu and Mary Chlouveraki, utilities, Wendy Tsang Man Pun and Karolina Lada, libero, Cynthia Lim, outsides, Laura Diaz-Anadon, Jill Aitken and Sarah March, middles, Dani Maggiorano, Uta Wieland and Sarah Payne.
The noticeably weaker Nottingham team started out shakily, getting used to the more cramped conditions at Linton. First serve was dealt a perfect pass from Dani, allowing Joyce to set a nice metre ball for Sarah to hammer home unblocked. Poor Nottingham serve and passing allowed the Blues to get an immediate upper-hand in the set and the team started to show their true potential. Joyce was covering behind the block and picking up balls that Wendy could set to the outside. Nottingham were always on the defensive footing, just about getting the ball back to Cambridge, who were setting up attack after attack until the ball was grounded. Mary served the set out with an ace.
Karolina replaced Wendy in set two and Sarah M was to get onto court also. Good serve pressure from Dani and Sarah P again took the game away from the visitors, although both Mary and Joyce were beginning to struggle to get the ball to the outside effectively. However, the pressure from the Cambridge team was eventually enough, especially after Sarah P hit the hardest middle attack of the match to the stunned stares of the Nottingham defenders.
MVP Sarah Payne
Report by Jon Clarke
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