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Sitting League : Sitting Volleyball League
Posted by Charlie Orton on 2011/12/5 11:00:00 (898 reads)

The inaugural London Sitting Volleyball League took place this weekend at the home of the Great Britain Sitting Volleyball teams, Roehampton University. With the three London based teams coming together over a series of days from December to February, with on each day, all teams playing each other in five set matches to determine the winner. The competition is set to be a hotly contested one as it includes the two finalists from the 2010-11 Volleyball England Grand Prix Series and the newly formed London Malory Eagles Sitting Volleyball team, all fighting it out to decide who will become the first ever London Sitting Volleyball Champions.

With the clubs containing their own regular club members as well as other invited members from the Great Britain Squads, it is looking to establish a London competition that both provides additional matches to the clubs involved as well as increase the number of matches in England in this pre-Paralympic year.

The first match was a classic and hopefully set the tone for the whole competition with Surrey Gators coming from two sets down to beat East London Lynx. Lynx started off strong with some great play at the net from Captain Anton Raimondo and Muzaffar Jabber but Gators started to dominate from the service line with particularly strong service runs coming from Isabelle Collot and Emma Wiggs and managed to pull the game level by winning some close sets in three and four. Gators then started well in the fifth set and managed to side out despite a spirited comeback from Lynx to win the set 15-7.

The second match of the day was equally as exciting with London Malory playing their first ever competitive match, and going set for set with Lynx but then losing the fifth set by four points. Lynx dominated the first set with Vicky Widdup passing well and setter Karen Hung spraying the ball around to all hitters but Malory responded well with Justin Phillips stepping up and leading his team to the second set with some strong play across all areas of his game. Lynx then bounced back to control the third set through some strong blocking by John Worrall and some excellent serving from Martine Wright, however Malory were determined not to be beaten and Jess O’Brien stepped up with some excellent attacking play to take the match into a fifth set. The teams both went point for point before Lynx took control towards the end and came through to win 15-11.

The third and final match of the day was between Surrey Gators and Malory Eagles, and with the teams merging for the Grand Prix Series this was always going to be a hotly contested match for a number of reasons. Surrey pushed on, refreshed from their game off and Andrea Green had a great run of serves to build a lead that they managed to take through to win the first set. The second set was a similar story despite some good combinations between fellow Welsh players Olga Jegorova, Amy Brierly and James Roberts for Malory. The third set was a lot closer and the teams went point for point until Gators took control at the net with some great passing and setting from Sanne Bakker, to eventually win the set and the match 27-25.

The next round of matches are planned for January so now the focus turns to the Volleyball England Grand Prix Series this coming weekend. Thanks to all for contributing to the day, especially to London Volleyball and Charlie Orton for their support and guidance in making this happen – a great day was had by all, with some fantastically competitive matches through the day showing off where Sitting Volleyball is now in this country.

For full results please go to here.

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