All is not lost for Horndean after Flaming Aces sent them tumbling out of the National Cup in round one.
The Deans will now launch a bid for glory in the National Shield.
All the teams who bow out in the first two rounds of the cup are entered into the shield competition.
Horndean were defeated in straight sets by a strong Aces outfit, who included a number of former Super Eight players in their ranks.
However, it was the visitors who started stronger at Battersea Sports Centre.
Good blocks from middle player Nasser Ssemuwemba and powerful spikes from newly-signed Norwegian hitter Haakon Lie saw them stun the hosts and open up a 6-2 lead. The Aces fought back, though, to take the set and win 25-20, 25-20, 25-10.
Horndean vice-captain, Stephen Metherell, said: ‘We looked at the size of the team they had assembled.
‘We thought it was going to be one of those games where we were easily rolled over. And considering the fact we’ve been slow starters in all our previous games, it was kind of a surprise to find ourselves in top gear straight away.
‘The lads seem to raise their games when it comes to playing top teams.
‘We now need to transform that sort of aggression and attentiveness into our national league games.’
Horndean find out their shield opponents after round two of the cup is complete.
In the meantime, they host Cardiff Celts in the National League division two on Saturday at the Mountbatten Centre.