With the 2017 Varsity series fast approaching, excitement is building around the University of Nottingham. The men’s and women’s Volleyball Varsity matches take place on Sunday 26th March between noon and 5pm in Lee Westwood Sports Centre on Nottingham Trent’s Clifton campus.

Impact caught up with Michelle Simone from the Women’s Volleyball team, to talk about the upcoming Varsity series.

Confidence is high for Michelle and both the men’s and women’s teams, but why wouldn’t it be? They go into the fixture having won 5 Varsity series’ on the bounce and they believe there is little to suggest they won’t beat their Nottingham rivals once again to take both victory and the pride of defeating their bitter inter-city rivals.

Varsity is the only time that the University of Nottingham face off against Nottingham Trent, as they are not currently in the same division in BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport).

The ‘Green and Gold’ have made relatively mediocre progress over the course of the campaign, with the men’s 1sts finishing 4th and just falling short of progression in the Super Championship 8s play-offs. Meanwhile, the women’s firsts narrowly escaped relegation in Premier North A and finished fourth in the play-offs like their male counterparts.

But despite their inconsistent season, the team are confident they can condemn Trent to defeat on court this Sunday. When asked if they think there is any chance that Trent could cause an unlikely upset and claim victory in this Varsity series, Simone proclaimed, “I wouldn’t think so; Trent really aren’t on our level. We have faith in the team, faith in the coach and are 100% confident of victory”.

Michelle’s sheer confidence could be mistaken for arrogance, but with no wins in the last 5 attempts for Trent, there is every reason to assume a win could be a forgone conclusion.

When I went on to ask if playing in Varsity added more pressure to the team, given the rivalry and the increased support, I was met with the response, “not really, Varsity will be a walk in the park”.

UoN Volleyball have had a mixed BUCS season, but can they topple Trent in Varsity 2017?

It certainly seems as though they have absolute no worries about claiming victory over Trent in the upcoming fixture. When questioned if there was any apprehension going into the encounter with their rivals, the UoN Volleyball player said, “the team synergy is great, we can’t fault anything to be honest”.

It certainly seems as though the University of Nottingham Volleyball team believe that all they have to do is turn up on Sunday and victory will be theirs. Whether this is something that Trent can take advantage of remains to be seen, but it should no doubt be a thrilling encounter.

Given the form and confidence of the University of Nottingham players, it could well be a gargantuan task for Trent. Whilst victory for Trent will no means be equal to that of Leicester City’s Premier League triumph last year, by the sounds of things, it may be every bit as hard for Trent to achieve.

With such consistent victories in recent for years for Uni of against Trent in Varsity, they will be thinking that this is a virtually guaranteed victory for them. Only time will tell whether the Volleyball players are underestimating the ability of their Trent counterparts or their confidence is just deserved.

Joe Mackenzie

Image courtesy of University of Nottingham Sport

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