Leandros Tsikras was unable to set up victory on his return to the Horndean fold last weekend.
The Greek star was back in the Deans ranks for the National League division two south clash with Exeter Storm.
But even his setting wizardry could not prevent the struggling outfit from suffering a straight-sets thrashing in an ill-tempered contest.
Tsikras’ return was supposed to soothe anxieties at Priory School.
But any hopes the relegation-threatened Deans had of ending a difficult spell started dwindling right from the first set.
A series of contentious refereeing calls against the Greek setter left the hosts incensed.
And despite the Deans looking formidable in the first phase of the match, a three-point penalty for the various challenges helped Exeter take the first set 25-16.
After looking like they had got back on track in the second set, a raft of hitting errors and blocks allowed the visitors to surge ahead and win it 25-21.
The Deans’ misery was complete in the third set when captain Tsikras was sent off for questioning the referee’s decision to overrule a line judge’s call.
Although up-coming setter Matthew Jackson came on to rally his side, it was too late to stop Exeter taking the set 25-17 and enjoying their first double over the Deans.
The loss leaves Horndean just a point above bottom-placed Arun-VC, who remain the only team they have defeated this season.
Tsikras said: ‘We started brilliantly.
‘We were ahead and everything was going well before the referee started to spoil everything.
‘Every time we tried to ask him to explain to us why he was making some of his calls, we were booked and a point was deducted off our team.
‘It was a shame because I came for this match hoping to help my team win.
‘I’m going to miss the next couple of games because of a trip to Greece but I will be back to fight with the team in order not to go back to division three.’
Horndean’s Tyler Everitt was named man-of-the-match for the second consecutive fixture.
Nasser Ssemuwemba’s team travel to London’s Ernest Bevin College to face Malory Eagles II on Sunday (12:30pm).
Malory are level on points with the Deans but have two games in hand.