All-conquering Eagles add premier sports uni to list

North Riding Eagles on their way to victory against the prestigious Loughborough University
North Riding Eagles on their way to victory against the prestigious Loughborough University

Whitby’s North Riding Eagles added another scalp to their impressive haul – against England’s premier university for sports, Loughborough.

It was only back in December when sporting legend Steve Cram was telling the Eagles players about the excellent sporting facilities and world class coaching embedded at Loughborough University.

It is the prime training location for most of Great Britain’s Olympians and has a well-deserved reputation for sporting excellence and achievement.

Maybe the Whitby girls did not know any of this – the Eagles destroyed Loughborough University 3-0 in sets with a total points score of 75 for and 42 points against.

Head coach Anthony Laffan reflected on how much the North Riding players had improved this season.

“Last season Loughborough were the better side, knocking us out of the shield 3-1 and I would have been happy if we had closed the gap this year.

“To have not only caught them up but clearly to have become a better side than the famous Loughborough University is very exciting and a testimony to the hard work our players have put into training.”

While the Eagles are in good league form, it is back to the national shield competition for their next match and they are hoping that their run of victories in the league continues in the shield.

This means a long journey over to Bristol for the Eagles for their next fixture, which is the quarter-final clash between two national league teams who have never played each other before.

Both teams are in form. Bristol have only lost once in the past three months and have a very experienced and cosmopolitan squad – and a huge height advantage.

All the official volleyball clubs in the country play in the cup,which is divided into the shield for the bulk of the country’s clubs, making it the largest volleyball competition in England.

The cup is played out mainly among the country’s elite teams from the top league.

So if the Eagles can pull off another surprise win as underdogs and take yet another big city scalp, they will be one game away from English Volleyball’s big 2015 finals day at Kettering.