In a hard-fought three-set match on Tuesday night, the UTM division 1 Volleyball team confidently came back from a one-game deficit to defeat the Faculty of Physical Education and Health.
Captain Justin Nguyen guided the squad to victory despite battling an ankle injury suffered in the first game. “My initial feeling was shock,” said Nguyen. “I thought I injured it really badly.”
Nguyen persevered through the injury that threatened the Eagles’ comeback plans, even after dropping the first set 25–22. “After the first set, Coach asked me to pick up the team,” he said—and that he did, paving the way for a 25–18 thrashing in the second set, followed by a hard-won 15–10 final set that bagged them the match.
The comeback win seemed to come as a delightful surprise to some of the players; the team had been suffering from unity issues as of late. “We still have to work on our morale. Once we get down, the team gets down,” said the coach. But on Tuesday, the team looked as unified as ever. Any locker room troubles seemed miles away when, at one point, the home team Eagles were leading the second set 12–2. The ease with which the Eagles disposed of their opponents did not seem to come as a surprise to Justin Nguyen. “We were a lot better than them anyways,” he said with a grin.
The expectations are undoubtedly high for this veteran squad, who didn’t take too much encouragement from this first game of the season. When asked what the team could do this season, one player’s response seemed to speak for the whole team: “Go to the championship, of course—and we’ll win it!”
The team plays against University College this Tuesday in the RAWC at 8 p.m.