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London Volleyball : Stunning Women's Cup success for Malory Eagles
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2017/12/4 14:40:00 (84 reads)

Knock-out Cup and Shield (men's and women's English Volleyball Cup)
No men left in Shield
The weekend of 2/3rd December was used to stage a decisive round of the national knock-out competitions with the exception of the men's which has already reached the last eight stage that will be played on 27th January.

The women of Wessex and Polonia Sideout played each other in the Super8s yesterday and today, Sunday 3rd December, were both at home. Wessex got the better of London Inter while Polonia Sideout beat Cambridge & Anglia Ruskin University taking a little while to overcome spirited opposition. Orcas were in ruthless mood against their visitors, Reading Aces and swept them aside in three brief sets.
When the team currently placed 5th in the Super 8s takes on the 8th placed team in Division one, with a spot in the National Cup quarter final at stake, the result should be pretty easy to predict. But as Birmingham set off down the M40 to take on Malory Eagles they knew that they would be in for a rough ride. Eagles' lowly league position is due to having played fewer games than anyone else and prior to their 3rd Round cup game they were yet to drop a set in all competitions. Right from the off Eagles' superior firepower was obvious with Allie Davenport and Annie Bierman making the most of a blocking mismatch through four. Having taken the first set comfortably 25:14 Eagles made a poor start to the second with a succession of unforced errors allowing Birmingham to take and maintain a lead for most of the set. Eagles refocused to regain control to closed it out 25:18. In the third set Malory introduced a number of the junior squad with Burcu Usla, Zsofia Omoshebi and Anna Bempedelis all getting valuable court time. Despite the drop in average age Eagles maintained their superiority to take the set 25:10 and now look forward to a quarter final showdown with another Super 8 team and near neighbours Orcas early in the new year.

In the women's Shield two London teams faced two London teams so half our representation was bound to go. It turned out to be Premier League Bears were made to compete hard in the first and third sets against London first division Polonia Sideout Academy although, after taking the second comparatively easily, they always looked confident. In the other match between Wapping Wabbits and Dulwich, Tuskers triumphed in four sets after taking the first two fairly easily.

The previous day both the remaining London teams in the men's Shield were eliminated. Baks were at home to Newmarket and as a men's division 2 south team should have been favourites against a challenger from division 3 central but, after a close opening set and the encouragement of winning set three, were eliminated at the end of the fourth. The team is disappointed. In winning the Eastern Region's Cup in Norwich they beat Newmarket six times. However, two weeks ago one of key players broke his little finger so is off for six weeks and, to make matters worse, last Tuesday in training one of the center blockers twisted an ankle is off for 4 weeks so the club had to use some BAKS 2 players. A not dissimilar story from London League first division Onyx had a much greater challenge away in Tendring from the National Men's League, division 2 South and did well to take them to four sets, winning the opening set to worry their hosts. However, Onyx was not at their best and ended up playing short of key players. One of its blockers was playing with a broken finger, whilst some other players had colds. The problem was compounded because few second team players were available to ease the pressure on the invalids. Nevertheless, Rocio Trujillo added, the other team was a good challenge for our team and it was a great entertainment and great match that pushed our team to the limits.

Results
Saturday
Men's Shield
Baks lost to Newmarket, 23:25 16:25 25:22 16:25
Tendring beat Onyx, 19:25 25:15 25:18 25:19

Sunday
Women's Cup
Polonia Sideout beat Cambridge & Anglia Ruskin Uni, 25:20 25:16 25:15
Wessex beat London Inter, 25:19 27:25 25:20
Malory Eagles beat Birmingham, 25:14 25:18 25:10
Pulsepoint Orcas beat Reading Aces, 25:11 25:13 25:10

Women's Shield
Bears beat Polonia Sideout Academy, 25:19 25:11 25:18
Wapping Wabbits lost to Dulwich Tuskers, 14:25 12:25 25:21 21:25

St Benedict's School, Castle Green S C, Caius House Y C, Chestnut Grove Academy, Ernest Bevin College, Island Sports Trust.

Includes material kindly provided by Carlos Johnson, Sigitas Kaziliunas and Rocio Trujillo

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