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NVL Super 8 : Triumphant Polonia and Giba stretched by Sheffield
Posted by Media Team on 2019/4/16 14:20:00 (99 reads)

Over 1,000 watch London teams' final league games (men's and women's National League)
Richmond end season with three wins from four games
Open in new windowIBB Polonia rightly anticipated a strong challenge from Sheffield when choosing Crystal Palace and its greater spectator capacity for their last league match of the season and their introduction of Brazilian international star, Giba. The visitors produced some excellent volleyball to show that even fifth best is not far behind the best. While Polonia underlined the fact that they are best.

They had made a wise decision in moving this men's Super League match to Crystal Palace for the significance of the match and the presence of so famous a volleyball star attracted over 1,000 paying spectators to the venue. Polonia began confidently and took the first set relatively comfortably. Dropping the set galvanised the Yorkshiremen and a thrilling second set followed. With the spectators, the usual mixture of British and Polish augmented with many Brazilians, in full voice, Sheffield took a slender lead. Then they hung on to it to level the scores. Coach Simon Loftus settled his players well for the third set but, with that won, faced an apparently rejuvenated Sheffield. Open in new windowKnowing they could win a set, they went all out for another but Polonia held their nerve and came through to attend the medal ceremony that followed the match doubly deserving the gold they were collecting.

Richmond's brave tilt at the men's second division title came to an end in a very close match in Kingston on Saturday, beaten by the competition leaders, City of Bristol. In an excellent match the visitors demonstrated why they deserve to compete at a higher level next season. Richmond's final match of the campaign next day against New Forest would make no difference to the final standings and New Forest forced them to battle hard to reinforce that third place, just two points behind first and second places, pushing them to five sets.

The club's women's team needed to win one of its two last fixtures to guarantee second place in their second division and made sure of the honour at the earliest possible moment. Ashcombe Dorking challenged hard for two sets but after the Richmond side had battled to a two set lead, the visitors posed less of a challenge. In their final game on Sunday Richmond wasted no time is dispatching New Forest to emulate their men in ending the season two points behind the winners, in their case, Oxford.

A sprinkling of matches in a fortnight's time will finish off the league season. None involves a London team and no result can change the position of a London club in its league table. Eyes turn towards the Cup Finals next week-end and playing outdoors in a summer of beach and park at the end of a good season. London clubs record:

Final positions
Men's Super League
1. IBB Polonia
6. Malory Eagles
7. Richmond Docklands
Women's Super League
3. Orcas
5. Malory Eagles
7. Polonia Sideout
Men's Division One
4. Aces
Women's Division One
5. Inter
Men's Division Two
3. Richmond
Women's Division Two
2. Richmond
3. Dartford
Men's Division Three
4. Dartford
6. Baks
Women's Division Three
1. Lionhearts
7. Richmond 2

Week-end Results
Division Two
Richmond lost City of Bristol, 21:25 23:25 22:25
Richmond beat Ashcombe Dorking, 25:23 25:22 25:16

Premier Division
IBB Polonia beat Sheffield Hallam, 25:15 24:26 25:18 25:23
Division Two
Richmond beat New Forest, 25:15 23:25 25:21 21:25 15:10
Division Two
Richmond beat New Forest, 25:15 25:16 25:15

Crystal Palace NSC, Kingston College Arena.
13/14th April

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

Additional material from IBB Polonia V C

Photograph, @mossfoto

From the side-lines

Giba and IBB Polonia London - Champions of England
The final English Volleyball Super League match of the season concluded in a very successful manner on Sunday the 14th April 2019. Home team - IBB Polonia London despite the knowledge of a guaranteed first place position, fought hard against Sheffield Hallam and, just like two years ago, beat their rivals and stamped their authority on the match winning 3:1 (25:15; 24:26; 25:18; 25:23) and adding the final three points to the league table.

Simon Loftus' players raised the bar of British volleyball significantly in the 2018/2019 season. The team simply had no equals. There was no opponent able to beat the team from the capital of England meaning there was a big zero in the "L" column in the Super League table against their name! Over the sixteen games, only three points were lost out of a maximum which gave a thirteen point advantage over second-placed Durham Palatinates. All of these facts culminated in yet another championship for The Team.

The final game concluded with a medal ceremony. In addition, a very well known face of World Volleyball was present to take part in the fun. Giba expanded his not insignificant medal haul (to accompany a large number of Olympic, World Championship and World's MVP trophies and medals) with the Volleyball England Super League 2019 medal.

"I am overjoyed, that after seven years, I have returned and played in London; the very same place where I ended my career with the National Team. Said Giba. I felt that surge of adrenalin once again. The game provided so many emotions. It was a beautiful thing, to be able to come here, join IBB Polonia London, and to hang some more gold around my neck! I am pleased that I could be a part of this event and that my name attracted fans to the arena. The Club is doing its best in promoting the sport and is showing Britain our beautiful game, and I am very optimistic that volleyball will develop even more in London and the whole Britain," added the legendary Brazilian outside hitter and IBB Polonia London player.

"The match wasn't easy, I’m sure the venue added to the pressure. The seats were packed with over one thousand fans; the TV was there broadcasting worldwide, but we rose to the occasion and coped with the situation. The most important thing is that we won and finished the campaign undefeated. Every win is unique, but this season's tastes even sweeter having someone like Giba in our team," commented Bartosz Kisielewicz, IBB Polonia London Captain.

"I returned to coaching a club after a break of six years, and I can say it was a hard year. We worked very well together and understood the common goals and ambitions; the fun we had together produced the results and the title," said Simon Loftus; Head Coach IBB Polonia London.

"I can say one thing about this season: it went according to plan. I'm very proud, that I can support such a club. This is exactly how sport and business relationship should look. The Team is everybody; players, coaches, sponsors, and management who work unnoticed every day. We feel togetherness and must support each other and also develop long term together. Just as Giba said, everything that is done behind the scenes is displayed on the court. I am delighted with the season; we secured the first ever European trophy - NEVZA CUP - for the British team. We aim to keep pushing in this direction. We had the title of England in the bag some time ago, and this is why I'm overjoyed as much with the result as with the number of fans who came to witness the moment. The seating was filled with international fans; not only Polish: but above all British and Brazilians!" said Jacek Ambrozy. owner of The Club's sponsors IBB Builders Merchants.

There were many elements to the event and to the match: the main attraction was the world class Brazilian who was warmly greeted by his friends in the team as well as by the masses of fans on an afternoon at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

"Giba was outstanding for us during the match. He was so positive and enthusiastic. He is a true professional and gave our players lots of advice. His presence, undoubtedly, helped to promote the event and drew the fans from far and wide. The show was spectacular! We are honoured that such a person was on our team. I hope that in the future, IBB Polonia London will attract similar players." concluded Simon Loftus, Head Coach.

"Giba gave us advice and calmness. He spoke during training about tactics and technique. We notice only positives since he joined us. The event was amazing and totally professional. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart, who made this possible: sponsors, management, fans and players," added Kisielewicz.

The atmosphere in the arena and on the court was electric. The supporters rose to the occasion; there were over one thousand tickets sold. The fans had a great time and supported the whole team as well as each individual. The pictures of happiness will live long in The Club's memories.

Despite the conclusion of The Super League, the players don't have time to rest. After the Easter break, there is the small matter of the National Cup to regain. On Saturday, 27th April 2019, Simon Loftus' players will fight for the final title of the season. Until now, IBB Polonia London has won everything they have contested including the NEVZA Cup, the Super League title. Now they must focus on the final prize of the season and take back the Cup.

"The season is a historical one for us, and winning the national Cup will be the cherry on the cake. The game may just be the hardest one of the season as everyone will put us as favourites. The opposition will be training hard and we can expect a tough fight against them" added Kisielewicz.
Katarzyna Strag

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