The University of Sunderland men’s volleyball 1sts have been crowned BUCS Northern Division 3B winners despite losing 3-2 in their final game of the season against Bradford 1sts on Wednesday.

Bradford were the nearest challengers for the title but played their last game today knowing that even if they won it wouldn’t be enough to catch the Sunderland team.

Sunderland started their season fantastically well, defeating their local rivals Durham University 3rds 3-1 before confidently putting away York St John 3-0 in York.

They then faced title rivals Bradford in the first of two games between the two, running out 3-1 winners at CitySpace. They then faced their second trip to York in two weeks as they faced York 2nds, but Sunderland continued their winning run with a 3-1 victory.

Hull were Sunderland’s next opponents in the league before their first cup game of the year against Edge Hill University, who play in a tier above Sunderland in the Northern 2A. However, both teams were unable to resist Sunderland who ran out 3-1 winners in both games.

Sunderland’s first loss of the year came in unexpectedly away against Durham 3rds, falling to a 3-2 loss as Durham avenged their loss in the first game of the season.

Over the Winter period of December to February Sunderland only had two games, both of which were home fixtures against York & York St Johns respectively as they dispatched of St John’s 3-0 and York 3-1 on their home turf.

Sunderland cemented their place at the top of the table after defeating Hull 3-1, which meant even if Bradford won their remaining two games, it was impossible for them to catch the league leaders.

After the season was won Sunderland were still in the cup and still had one more league fixture remaining – Sheffield Hallam 2nds in the cup and Bradford 1sts in the League. Sunderland were subsequently eliminated from the cup losing 3-0 to their Northern 2B opposition before losing 3-2 to Bradford in what could be regarded as the toughest game of their season.

Sunderland’s last game of the previous season was awarded to Leeds Beckett with Sunderland unable to field a full team – they finished the campaign with only one win. But the performances this season have ensured that the only way Sunderland are looking is up.