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NVL Super 8 : Tough weekend for London men
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2018/1/29 11:30:20 (32 reads)

Single match London (Men's and women’s Super8 - National Volleyball League)
Orcas home to Birmingham, Sideout away in Oxford
Two of London's men's sides will be spending the week-end in the north, Lynx and Richmond Docklands both playing twice, each against Sheffield and Northumbria. The other two teams will have a week-end off while our women's sides each have one game: Orcas at home to Birmingham and Polonia Sideout away in Oxford.

For the men, all four fixtures will be tough and the preparation for them daunting. Northumbria have only been beaten once all season but it was Sheffield who overcame them in five sets as recently as two weeks ago. Although Richmond Docklands' league record is superior to Sheffield's, the Londoners went down in four sets when they met at the Arena and again in the Sup semi-finals with a weakened squad so are looking to show their true capabilities. They will need to be at their best. Northumbria ought to be an even tougher challenge but, having fallen for the first time so recently, Richmond Docklands will see this as an opportunity as well as a test for the sides meet again in the league in London on 10th February

It has been a miserable season for Lynx so far and they will want to bring their troubles to an end, however tough the enterprise. Richmond Docklands were taken to four sets and to five in their two meetings so they know they are not far behind. With Northumbria slipping up two weeks ago, now should be a good opportunity and they will recognise that Sheffield's overall record of four wins in seven games is not a frightening one.

Birmingham gave their visitors a difficult second set when they played Orcas at home in November and, although Orcas eventually won easily, they will want to do better especially as they will now know their opposition rather better. Orcas, for their part, will be looking to win to consolidate their league position ahead of their last two games which will be at home to Northumbria and away to Polonia Sideout. It's the only top game in London over the week-end but worth supporting the team in Battersea on the match's own merit.

Oxford have not won a league match all season, indeed they have won only two sets so Polonia Sideout would be excused for feeling the trip down the M4 should take them to an easy fixture. However, Oxford made Orcas work a couple of weeks ago and, next weekend and the weekend after, Sideout's league fixtures will be against the improving Tendring who had worked them hard in the Cup quarter-final. They will want to use the meeting to prepare for tougher games.

It's going to be an interesting weekend.

Fixtures
Saturday
Women
Pulsepoint Orcas v Birmingham, Caius House Y C, 18.00

Men
Northumbria v Lynx
Sheffield Hallam v Richmond Docklands

Sunday
Women
Oxford v Polonia Sideout

Men
Northumbria v Richmond Docklands
Sheffield Hallam v Lynx

Caius House Youth Centre, 2 Holman Road, SW11 3PG (nearest station Clapham Junction) 3/4th February

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