The University of Sunderland men’s Volleyball side put in a convincing and controlled performance to defeat Lancaster 1sts in straight sets at CitySpace.

The victory ended a run of three straight defeats for Sunderland and ensured an important second win of the season.

Likewise, Lancaster had only won one game before Wednesday’s clash at Sunderland, and it showed throughout the tight opening stages of the match. Sunderland began to take advantage of the occasional error from Lancaster to edge 15-12 ahead before the game’s first technical timeout.

Sunderland took control once the sides returned to the court and took the first set 25-18. Ryan Yuk put in an epic offensive display, taking the game to Lancaster with some impressive kills.

Sunderland coach Gino Spasov was keen to address Sunderland’s serving ahead of the second set, and their service noticeably improved afterwards.

The Wearsiders started the second set on top, in similar fashion to the way they ended the first. Lancaster continued to lose points from avoidable errors, and their frustrations looked to have got the better of them as they slumped 14-5 behind.

However, Lancaster won the game’s next point after some impressive, last-ditch defensive play. The point was met with a huge roar of relief from the team and from there, Lancaster won nine consecutive points to level the scores.

An emphatic winner from Sean Fortuna edged Sunderland back in front, and the team regained their composure to hold out for a 25-22 win.

Lancaster’s hopes of any result in the match appeared to pin on their second set comeback. After falling two sets behind, they looked drained for the majority of the third.

Sunderland captain Georgios Tsagakis put in several fantastic kill blocks to frustrate Lancaster who, to their credit, did well to stay in the match.

Sunderland were comfortable throughout the third set, and despite a late flurry from Lancaster, took the final set 26-24 to claim a deserved straight-sets victory.

The win lifted Sunderland to 4th place in the Northern 2B division, leapfrogging their opponents in the process, and will hopefully inject some much-needed confidence into the side.

Their attention will now turn to next Wednesday’s Northern Conference Cup match against Durham 2nds.