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“It’s redemption” – University of Gloucestershire men’s volleyball star sends warning call to University of Worcester ahead of Varsity clash

Men’s volleyball outside-hitter Xander Howgate has sent a stern warning to the University of Gloucestershire’s arch-rivals, the University of Worcester ahead of their grudge Varsity match next week.

The sides will cross swords on the volleyball court, where UoG are hoping to redeem themselves after last year’s heartache defeat.

“I’m buzzing for it, after last year itโ€™s a big redemption up for us,” said Howgate. “All the boys want to prove what we can do. We were the better team last year and we have improved massively. We have gotten rid of certain players that held us down and we have brought up some better players and the development has been good. Itโ€™s our chance to really show the university what we are about, as last year was not a 3-1 score and it will not be that this time,” he added.

(UoG volleyball Instagram)

The team are busy preparing ahead of the big day at the Arena Court in Worcester, however the 20-year-old has been absent from their six-week training camp. “I hit a volleyball and my whole arm was suddenly in pain. I thought it was tennis elbow, but I went to a physiotherapist, and they said that it is a muscular tear from my peck to my shoulder. I have been rehabilitating and Iโ€™m feeling good now and Iโ€™m ready for the game.”

Howgate isn’t the only member of the squad who has been sidelined with injury and the final-year student has suggested that training plans may need to be altered somewhat. “I had to tell them to calm down. Unfortunately, we have had a couple more injuries. One who is ruled out of Varsity, and another has tennis elbow, so we are going to have to be cautious with that. However, as a team regardless of injuries we are looking good.”

(Howgate on the team’s injuries)

The psychology student understands that he must be careful coming straight back into the side after spending most of this calendar year injured. “I was confident that I wouldnโ€™t be able to play, but my mindset was never that, I am more than happy to push through, until the point where Iโ€™m bringing the team down.”

Howgate believes the team needs no more motivation and should feel immense pride playing for the university badge. “Itโ€™s a lot of these boysโ€™ final years and I can guarantee you they (UoW) are going to be in for a tough match, it’s going to be a very difficult game for them. I have been waiting for this for a long time and I think they know this after my reaction after last year’s loss. They need to be worried; they can take us as a pushover, but itโ€™s not even close to that. If you come and watch our game you will realise, as we have been competing in every single match.”

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