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UEL on a mission to make volleyball history

Sport

Only Northumbria stand in way of UEL’s first BUCS volleyball title

The University of East London’s men’s volleyball team have the chance to make history on Wednesday (21 March) by winning the University’s first ever national volleyball title.

The team face the University of Northumbria in the final of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championship in Nottingham.

UEL qualified after winning the Championship semi-final with a 3-1 victory over Durham University.

But they face a tough challenge against Northumbria, who are chasing their third Championship title and have retained their Premier North .crown.

For UEL, Wednesday’s final is the culmination of a year of hard work and development in an attempt to become the first ever UEL team to win the title.

Ian Legrand, the UEL men’s volleyball coach, has led the team to two Championship victories over Durham University and one victory over Nottingham University.

He said, “Other than some injuries, the results have been good and over the last two weeks we have played progressively better, which is always a good sign when going into a Championship.

Legrand has taken a relaxed approach to coaching the men in the lead-up to the final.

He said, “We’ve tried to do the same as what we have been doing up until now - trying not to overcomplicate things. We’ve got a match plan and we are going to execute the match plan.”

Despite Northumbria’s impressive track record in recent years, UEL Sports Management master’s student Jonny Whitman is confident that UEL are well prepared.

“After last week’s match we are giving our bodies some rest to give 100 per cent to Wednesday,” he said. “We’re working on specific things in preparation for Northumbria.

“Going into a national championship match, you have to do everything you can to prepare.

“We are watching film of them. Luckily, our local volleyball club, London Lynx, played them Sunday so we got to see them a little bit more. That’s how we have been preparing.”