Coming from 0-2 behind in sets to ultimately win the game 3-2, the Rotterdam student team pulled off the kind of comeback that must have been the stuff of dreams to the team’s dedicated fans.
There was a buzz in the air even before the game started, since Erasmus Volley’s women’s second team and women’s fourth team had also been in action at home. The supporters had therefore turned out in force. However, there was not much to celebrate in the first two sets, as the home team rather quickly fell 0-2 behind.
It seemed as if the visitors from Brabant would enjoy an easy victory, but there would be a twist in this particular tale. Determined and buoyed by the support of the home crowd, the Erasmus Volley team managed to fight its way back into the match. An exciting third set saw the team claw one back, and with 1-2 on the scoreboard, the hosts’ spirits lifted. The ROWI players, significantly older in terms of average age than their Erasmus Volley opponents, seemed to be tiring. The Rotterdam team took maximum advantage and equalled the score with a strong fourth set.
In a nail-biting fifth and final set, the Erasmus Volley squad was clearly in a winning mood. The 0-2 deficit had been overcome and the home team could smell blood. The ROWI team was on the ropes and emotions were running high. Riding the crest of home support, the Erasmus Volley players won the final set 17-15 to secure victory in what had been a very heavily contested match.
Keeping it real
Although coach Richard de Kogel was happy about the final result, he was not happy about the game itself. “We didn’t play at the level that we’re capable of playing and we didn’t play our own game. I don’t think that we’ll be very proud of ourselves when we get together on Monday.” De Kogel, who is in his fourth year as coach of the men’s first team, added that his players still needed to get used to the higher level of competition. “We became champions last year, which means that we’re now playing in a tougher league. Last season, we knew that we were better than the opposition. That’s not the case now. The squad therefore lacks confidence at times. While respecting the capabilities of our opponents at all times, we have to stop being overawed by them, because we’re very strong as a team.”