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Men's Div. 2 B : Lionhearts open up division at Osemka
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2018/3/13 10:20:00 (171 reads)

K S Osemka 2 lost to Lionhearts Pride (Men’s D2B - London Volleyball League)
21:16 15:21 21:23 19:21

Gap closes at the top
I've never seen an English volleyball league table like it. Despite only eight teams, the best record reads, "Lost 3" and there are three teams like that after this pulsating match. Later, Pride's coach Tsy Toquica whispered, "These were three hard earned points. A very hard game indeed against an experienced and tough opponent".

The opposition, playing at home, suffered the disadvantage of having just seven players and one of those, Tomasz Stefanowicz, dedicated himself to coaching. It had worked well in the first set. The talent and experience of the squad performing superbly around the skilled and intelligent setting of skipper, Witek Muskus, proved unstoppable. They immediately opened up a small lead and, from 8:7 powered away to take the first set comfortably.

Against the same line up Pride started to read Osemka's moves better and better as the second set progressed moving ahead at 8:9 before gradually pulling away. The loss of the set spurred Osemka to raise their game in the third and, in magnificent form, they raced to a 7:0 lead helped by great serving by Witek after an initial service failure by Pride. A thrilling period of play followed in which Pride gradually closed on their opponents and eventually took the lead at 13:14. The set remained tight but Pride's confidence had been restored and from 21:all Sam Yang first won side out and then produced a set winning serve.

Osemka continued with the same rotational order that had nearly brought third set success for the fourth but it initially looked rather jaded as it failed five times in a row to add points to sides-out as their guests moved ahead to 5:10. However, the time-out at 4:10 produced a slightly delayed but positive reaction and everyone began to play at their best once again. As a result the spectators enjoyed a thrilling finale as the home side strove to stay in the match and Lionhearts battled to create a shock. In the tensest of finishes they just kept their noses in front and from 19:all produced the result that gives London volleyball a finish to the season that everyone will be watching.

Lionheart Pride still have four games to play: against Giants on 18th March, Fireball on 8th April and the return match against Osemka on 15th April, all at home, before finishing the season at Lynx on 23rd April. Apart from Pride, Osemka have to play Lynx home on 24th March and away on a date still to be scheduled. Fireball, the third team in the equation, as well as the fixture against Pride have to face Dynasty on 21st March and EBC Greenhouse on 7th April both away.

Incredibly, not only does that mean that any one of the three could be divisional champions at the end of the season but so could either Dynasty or Red Rebels if any slip up more than once. Have we ever seen anything like it?

*in the match between Rebels and Dynasty, result received after this posting, Dynasty beat Rebels in three sets.

St Benedict's School, Ealing, 10th March

Players:
K S Osemka 2
Starting Six: Darek Krajewski, Leszek Lecnar, Lukasz Micek, Witek Muskus (captain), Damian Skrok, Karol Zawistowski.
Libero;
Other players: Tomasz Stefanowicz,
Coach: Tomasz Stefanowicz.


Lionhearts Pride
Starting six: Daniel Chong, Janaazie Coppin, Efenikos Erdongan, Sebastien Gerber, Paolo Montalbano, Matej Sprla (captain).
Libero: Dino Vo.
Other players: Alessandro Quaranta, Hyun Ki (Sam) Yang.
Coach: Tsy Toquica.

Referee: Fiona Cotterill.

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