Former Great Britain international Yassir Sliti and the University of East London firsts eliminated Kingston men’s from the Volleyball cup.
Kingston fought hard but Tomek Stepien’s amazing performance could not overcome Sliti and East London’s superiority, which led to a 1-3 loss in a quarter final match at Kingston Arena.
“We’re out of the cup but we are still on top of the league table,” said Kingston’s captain, Omid Samadi. “We are disappointed but we played really well. The opposing team was really good as they are undefeated in their league at the moment.”
The first and third set saw East London imposing its will and they were easily on top, taking a 15-25 and 11-25 lead. Kingston got a few good points thanks to Stepien but mostly relied on East London’s errors.
In the second set, Kingston made a strong comeback, pummelling East London with a score of 25-14. The visitors made a lot of mistakes such as having two players going for the ball at the same time and executing bad serves.
However, Sliti’s Man of the Match performance in the other sets ended Kingston’s dreams of advancing to the semi-finals.
The fourth set looked easy for the visitors but Stepien and Samadi led the fight back. The home team managed to turn the score to 19-22 in the closing minutes of the match but lost 19-25 shortly after.
“It was a tough game, I was expecting it to be difficult but I’m very happy because we won one set,” said Stepien. “It was a very good performance by Kingston University but unfortunately two of their players are from a very high level.”
Kingston now look forward to perhaps this season’s most important match against Brunel in Uxbridge next Wednesday. This match may decide the league’s first place as Brunel is second three points behind Kingston.
“I am sure we are going to give a good fight and I think our chances are quite good,” added Stepien.