It was a weekend of mixed emotions for Horndean players after scoring more success off the court than on it.
Hours after celebrating progression to the second round of the National Cup without serving a ball, the Deans crashed down to earth with a 3-1 loss to Richmond in the National League division two south at Highbury College.
The Deans looked disjointed and lacklustre at the back despite winning the first set 25-22.
Horndean changes in the second set handed the momentum to Richmond, who went on to level with a 25-21 score line.
Horndean head coach Nasser Ssemuwemba said: ‘We looked majestic in the first set.
‘And having beaten them twice last season, we thought that it would still be easy.
‘We then decided to rotate it a bit in the second by introducing some of our new signings.
‘But the move backfired and we went on to lose the set.’
The Deans brought their big hitters back on court for the third set.
But the visitors were so stable and confident they picked up everything that the home side threw at them.
‘They really served hard on us,’ said Horndean’s outside spiker Maciej Kubis.
‘It was a bad day at the office for some of our usually very good service receivers.’
Richmond won the set 25-18, then took the fourth set 25-22 to seal victory.
Dean’s universal player Benoit Royer said: ‘There were a lot of hot heads out there on court for us and this did not help in our quest to level the match.
‘All we needed to do was to keep our cool and make good use of what we had in our control.
‘Overall, it was a good game to watch because it involved a lot of rallies, mostly in the fourth set.’
Haakon Lie was named man of the match.
On Saturday, Horndean travel to Essex to face Estonians.
Meanwhile, in the cup they will play host to in-form Super 8 side Solent 1 in the second round on Saturday, November 2.
Their first-round tie at University College London was cancelled after the hosts failed to fulfil requirements in time.
So Horndean were given a place in the next round.