The University of Sunderland’s Men’s Volleyball captain, Georgios Tsagakis, says the team haven’t done as well as he’d like this year, despite their good run of form.

Tsagakis does hope that the team can push on from January, and even go on to win the Northern Conference Cup.

The team have endured a mixed set of results so far this season, but are heading into the Christmas break on the back of three successive wins.

Sunderland currently sit 4th in the Northern 2B BUCS Volleyball league, and are also still in the Northern Conference Cup. For a newly-promoted side, on paper, that would appear to be a good return.

Not for Sunderland’s captain Tsagakis, who had higher targets for his team this season: “We wanted promotion this year, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. So I’m not as happy as I would like to be,” said Tsagakis.

“Sure, we won promotion last year but we thought we were good enough to do it again. We know we are good enough as well. We’ve had a little bit of bad luck in games, and in others we’ve let ourselves down a little. It’s frustrating.”

Sunderland started the season with a win over Leeds Beckett 1st’s at CitySpace, but then lost three in a row to Teesside, Sheffield Hallam and the University of Leeds.

Sunderland responded well to the dip in form by winning three in a row, two of them in straight-sets.

When asked if Sunderland had a problem with consistency, Tsagakis wasn’t so sure.

“As I said, I think we’ve been unlucky in some games. Against Teesside, it finished and we lost 3-2, but we played well and I don’t think we deserved to lose. We were unlucky.

“The other two losses have came against the two teams at the top of the table, their confidence was high. We got the win against Lancaster and then got our own confidence back, and we’ve done very well since.”

After the game against Lancaster, Tsagakis had accused his side of not being “mature” enough. It showed in the following game against Durham as the side showed signs of complacency when winning comfortably.

As it stands, Sunderland have five fixtures to look forward to when they return from their break, starting with a trip to Sheffield Hallam on January 31.

They will also face Manchester Metropolitan 2nd’s in the next round of the Conference Cup on February 14.

Their opponents are competing in the Northern 2A league, the division above Sunderland and currently have a 100% record.

“It will be tough, for sure,” said Tsagakis, regarding the upcoming cup tie.

“But we are confident right now, and we believe we can win. We want to win the cup. While we are in it, we want to win it. Manchester are doing well in the league so they may be focussed on promotion. Our only goal is the cup. Who knows?”

Tsagakis and his Sunderland side clearly look eager to return to action in January, and will expect themselves to carry on their good run of form.