Two from two for Horndean

Maciej Kubis in action. Picture: Sarah Standing (113933-7915)
Maciej Kubis in action. Picture: Sarah Standing (113933-7915)
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Horndean are celebrating back-to-back National League division two south victories after a 3-1 home win over Guildford International.

But much like their opening triumph over Wessex BU, the Deans had to come from behind to secure all maximum points after a slow start at Highbury College.

They lost the first set 18-25, following a series of individual errors in defence.

‘We always make it hard for ourselves,’ said Horndean skipper Stuart McCulley.

‘We had the same problem last year.

‘For some reason, we cannot get going in the first set.

‘One day we’ll be able to win games in straight sets.’

But the Deans bounced back in style – winning the second set 25-15, with hard-hitting Haakon Lie and Maciej Kubis doing most of the damage.

Lie, who won his second man-of-the-match award, was unstoppable in attack as Kubis, who replaced debutant Jakub Chruscicki, steadied Horndean’s back-court play.

This gave the Deans momentum to spring ahead in the third set 20-16.

But the visitors were far from beaten and forced Horndean to call a time out after fighting back to lead 21-20.

‘We switched off,’ admitted Marcus Russell, who provided technical assistance from the bench after being ruled out by a stiff back.

But Horndean fought back to regain their lead with tight blocks from Nasser Ssemuwemba and Edvin Dudinskij to ensure a 26-24 set triumph.

A thrilling display of back-court defence followed in the fourth set.

Well-placed spikes from Lie and Kubis were unable to prevent Guildford taking a 24-20 lead as they looked set to force a decider.

‘We called for a time out to distract their flow,’ said player-coach Ssemuwemba.

‘And the move worked as we managed to break their serve.’

Guildford began to buckle under the pressure and after the hosts’ libero, Benoit Royer and newly-signed Lithuanian opposite player Dudinskij produced some incredible back-court saves, the Deans levelled the set.

The referee allowed both teams to catch their breath after such a long rally.

And when they returned Horndean took the set 26-24 to seal the match.

Horndean travel to Cardiff in the league on Saturday.