Durham crowned Super 8 Champions
6th May 2018
(Main pic Credit: Stephen Batey)
Team Northumbria came out fighting after their poor performance yesterday and held an early lead going into the first time out lead by captain Jurja Vlasic. Durham managed to fight back at the business end to the set with big blocking from Claire Ellis and attacking from Elizabeth Culpepper.
The second set was like Groundhog Day for Northumbria as they found themselves 8-1 down by the first technical timeout after a superb service run from Sara Sternard. Samantha Chalk had a strong service run to get Northumbria into double figures but couldn’t bridge the gap and fell short 25-20 to go two sets down.
Northumbria looked down and out, having a six-point deficit against them, big hitting from Cash and outstanding defence from Annie Reiswig clawing it back to 22-19. Durham failed to convert two championship points with Ellis getting shut out at the net by Leah Best to bring up Northumbrias third set point, winning their first set of the weekend.
In the fourth, Durham found themselves on the back foot after go to girl Yulia Tokarenko started swinging full power causing problems for their defence. An injury to Vlasic looked like Northumbrias momentum could have been lost at 17-14 up, but Sarah Kjos made a fantastic impact on the game getting a solo kill block on her first touch. Northumbria kept the pressure on a struggling Durham team to take the set 25-21.
The deciding set to crown a champion, or force a golden set was a close affair with Northumbria taking momentum in and pushing ahead to force a deciding Golden Set.
Durham came out fighting with big swings from Bruna Bond at the net putting Northumbria under pressure. Servign substitute Kayla Bastian gave Northumbria a three-point advantage but they fell short after hitting errors from Tokarenko brought the score level before Durham took the deciding point, golden set, and League Final Title.