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NVL Super 8 : Orcas pipped by Polonia
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2017/11/12 12:00:00 (25 reads)

Single London Super8 match (Women’s Super8 - National Volleyball League)
Brilliance in Battersea
It being a knockout cup weekend few Super8 games were scheduled this weekend but, women's fixtures being organised for Sunday, our two London women's sides decided to play each other today (Saturday 11th November) before cup games tomorrow against Polonia IMKA and Richmond respectively, both away.

So to Caius House Youth Centre for an important encounter; who can claim to be London's top women's side? In an enthralling match played in front of a capacity crowd that was vociferous in its support and appreciative with its applause after a respectful minute's silence for Henry Budzynski, a club stalwart and volleyball enthusiast. Polonia took the honour.
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After half a dozen even rallies, they took the initiative in the opening set before moving to a three point lead at the first technical time-out. Then, in the first of many exciting periods of play, Orcas pulled back to 9:all with a great block by Roberta Carissime and their captain Federica Vitali after two impressive point-winning spikes by Amber Jenkins. After that, Polonia looked the better side with Katarzyna Plucinska and captain Hristiyana Koleva catching my eye, both players benefitting from good passing by setter, Gaia Canevari. At times Orcas showed their force with some brilliant attacsk but were prone to rather too many errors and from 10:11 were never again in contention during the set.
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What a difference in the second! We reached the first technical time-out and Polonia had not yet scored a point. As the spell unfolded they seemed to be trying too hard but coach Mark Kontopolous settled them in his talk and they competed well for the rest of the set although they never got closer than 18:13 and they were still nine points adrift when the set ended. It was all change in the third set; Polonia were the more accurate side and Orcas let themselves down with more errors. Indeed the team's only run of successive points came rather as a consolation after the set had become pretty well unwinnable at 12:24.

Almost déjà-vu as the fourth set got under way and Orcas won the first four rallies with accurate serving by Angelika. Polonia then settled and, some good hitting by Hristiyana Kolva, Arielle Love and Duygu Yetkincan catching the eye, very slowly drew closer to their opponents as excitement mounted. At 16:15 their noisy followers at the riverside end of the sports-hall reached fortissimo but a superb hit off the block by Daniela Zuanigh stopped Orcas' slide and confidence seemed to return as they steadily pulled further ahead to give their supporters the tie-break set they so deserved.

Orcas began it with menacing force and were almost immediately 3:0 in front but, after a time-out, Polonia played magnificently and forced the change of ends at 4:8 with a massive block by Angeliki Kollia and Arielle. In a nail-biting period Orcas secured a slight edge and levelled the scores at 11:all to create a thrilling climax which, appropriately, Arielle converted into victory will a skilful hit off the block on the right flank.

It was to be Polonia's night.

Results
Saturday
Women
Pulsepoint Orcas lost to Polonia Sideout, 17:25 25:16 16:25 25:20 14:16

Caius House Youth Centre, 11th November

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