Volleyball: Melton Lions off the mark in National League with Sunderland win

Melton Lions were formed earlier this year EMN-160410-180445002
Melton Lions were formed earlier this year EMN-160410-180445002

Melton Lions faced a long road trip for their only double header weekend of the season against Sunderland and the University of Durham.

Having suffered two narrow losses to Darkstar Derby and Nottingham Rockets, the Lions were determined to record their first league win of the season.

Melton Lions chalked up their first National League win of the season EMN-161115-160012002

Melton Lions chalked up their first National League win of the season EMN-161115-160012002

With an early start to get to Sunderland for the noon match, Melton began the game as you might expect from a team after a four-hour journey.

They also weren’t helped by Sunderland fielding a recent England international, and a team with a good blend of youth and experience.

Melton dug in, however, and fought back to level at one set all, thanks to a big improvement in the serve receive and pass.

And once the visitors were in gear they proved far too strong for Sunderland, and did well in the third set to take a 2-1 lead.

Melton then ran away with the fourth set for a 3-1 victory with Sudhir Jetwa, a back court specialist libero player, the man-of-the-match following a good afternoon of passing.

After an overnight stay in Durham, Melton played against the table-topping University at their new Stockton Riverside campus.

The afternoon served up a great game with both teams playing some top level volleyball.

Melton made a great start, winning the first set 25-15, before Durham’s American setter started to take control and they took the next two.

The Lions fought hard against a very fit, athletic team to win a very tight fourth set 28-26 and level the match.

Unfortunately Melton ran out of steam in the fifth and deciding set, as the University of Durham marched on.

Overall Melton picked up four points from a possible six on their road trip, moving them up to sixth in the National Volleyball League Division Two.