Horndean on the up after dramatic victory

29/09/12  sport''Horndean in light blue take on Wessex M2 at the Mountbatten Centre in a national league volleyball match. Nasser Ssemuwemba (left)  and (right) Willard Hans Shongue in action.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123180-3)
29/09/12 sport''Horndean in light blue take on Wessex M2 at the Mountbatten Centre in a national league volleyball match. Nasser Ssemuwemba (left) and (right) Willard Hans Shongue in action.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123180-3)
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HORNDEAN recorded their first back-to-back wins in National League division two south with a hard fought 3-2 victory over SGTV Solent II.

The Deans, who easily triumphed over Cardiff Celts last week, had to grit their teeth to take victory at Highbury College.

It was the visitors who stormed out of the start blocks first, winning the opening set 26-24.

Horndean struggled to string together any meaningful attacks without their skipper and first choice setter Stuart McCulley.

But they swiftly made some changes, bringing on outside-hitter Festus Nfor to assume the duties of a setter from Ivan Popov.

They also introduced middle player Mark Harvey, in place of outside-hitter Haakon Lie, to allow Marcus Russell to attack at will.

The move paid dividends as Russell stamped his authority on the game.

His solid blocks and powerful spikes helped Horndean steamroll Solent 25-19 and 25-22 in the second and third sets respectively.

Solent, who had beefed up their team with two players from their Super 8 outfit, put up a spirited fight to level terms 25-22 and take the match into a decider.

Back-court defence skills came to the fore and the most memorable daredevil effort was from Horndean’s Willard Hans Shongue.

He dramatically climbed the Highbury College Sports hall side wall to retrieve a high loose ball and win a point for his team.

‘It is a big shame that this move was not recorded somewhere on camera,’ said volleyball fan Terry Stokes.

‘Had it been caught on tape, it is a move that would have been played back so many times – to mainly youngsters, to show them how determined some players are to win their team a point.’

Russell, who was named man of the match, added: ‘I’m not saying that this match was won because of Hans’ ball rescue manoeuvre but one pick up like that could just be the difference.’

Maciej Kubis and stand-in captain Stephen Metherell also starred in the final set to ensure a 15-9 success.

Horndean have now won three games out of six matches.

They return to action on Sunday, November 18 when they travel to face Guilford International.