Polonia strengthen place, Orcas' challenge continues

Date 2018/11/26 10:30:00 | Topic: NVL Super 8

London teams' success and disappointment (Men's and women's National League)
Malory men and women put in shade
They had to battle hard, especially in the first set, but IBB Polonia overcame Malory at home on Saturday to remain unbeaten in the league and stay top of the table. At the same time, Malory women were facing Orcas in Battersea and suffered the same fate in an even closer match as Orcas took the second place that was available to whichever side was to win.
Richmond Docklands had been away in Southampton earlier in the day in the men's Super League and struggled in the opening set that went the way of the home side before turning on the power and playing some excellent volleyball to take the second and third sets relatively easily before facing and overcoming another Southampton challenge. IBB Polonia and Malory Eagles had attracted a huge crowd and as noisy an audience as always despite being slightly subdued as Malory threatened to take first honours and never looked subdued even though the remaining sets were less close and went to the home side, helped by its good blocking,

Polonia Sideout disappointed yet again in the women's Super League, rarely looking as though they would challenge a Wessex squad whose results so far this season do not suggest a contender for honours. With Tendring, one of the top two challengers their next opponents, improvements are urgently required. The game at Caius House Youth Centre, by contrast, was one of quality with both Orcas and Malory showing off their class. With Malory battling hard to the end and thrills galore, Orcas shaded the first set and had to work hard to secure the next two. Orcas next fixture will be against league leaders, Durham at home on 8th December where a victory would be invaluable. Loads of support is sought: six o'clock warm-up, 6.30 start.
On Sunday Malory Eagles played again, this time at home in Tooting Bec and demolished Bristol to go third in the table albeit with the benefit of having played one more match than Tendring below them.

Aces cemented their position in the top half of the table in men's first division with a battling performance at Lambeth Academy against Black Country who shaded the first set. However, Aces raised their game to take the next two set fairly comfortably before failing to handle the Midlands' side's excellent fourth set fight back then winning the thrilling encounter 15:9 in the fifth.

Richmond men lost for the first time this season in men's second division (South) when visiting mid-table Oxford Students. Always the sort of side that will improve as the season progresses, the students won the first two close sets before Richmond levelled the score in two even closer sets before the hosts rejoiced at 15:13 at the end of the fifth.

Richmond women had a fairly comfortable win in Southampton in women's second division (South), a change in tactics making things a little easier for their hosts in the third set while providing valuable lessons for the Londoners. Meanwhile, Sussex Dolphins beat Reading. 3:1 to leave the division with three teams each with a single loss to date: Oxford, Reading and Richmond.
Dartford enjoyed a tremendous win in Dorking against Ashford, until then with a single defeat, winning in five sets after losing the first two. A performance that showed increasing confidence as they fought their way back and that should hold them in good stead as the season continues.

Super League
Southampton lost to Richmond Docklands, 25:23 14:25 12:25 21:25
IBB Polonia beat Malory Eagles UEL, 28:26 25:17 25:19

Division 1
Aces beat Black Country, 23:25 25:17 25:20 20:25 15:9

Super League
Orcas beat Malory Eagles UEL, 25:23 25:20 25:21
Polonia Sideout lost to Wessex, 15:25 15:25 13:25

Division 2 (South)
Oxford Students beat Richmond, 25:21 26:24 21:25 22:25 15:13

Super League
Malory Eagles UEL beat Bristol, 25:13 25:16 25:18

Division 2 (South)
Ashcombe Dorking lost to Dartford, 25:22 25:15 22:25 20:25 7:15
Southampton lost to Richmond, 14:25 12:25 23:25

Brentford Fountains Leisure Centre, Caius House Youth Centre, Ernest Bevin College, Lambeth Academy, St Benedict's School.24/25th November.2018.

From the side-lines
IBB Polonia v Malory Eagles
The winning streak for IBB Polonia London continues and the team is still undefeated this season. On 24th November, the next successive victory was notched up on the home court against local rivals Malory Eagles 3-0 (28:26, 25:17, 25:19).
"The match was pretty even from the outset, with both teams taking the lead in turn. After the second technical time-out, two points down, it was our turn to take the lead. Sadly we then made successive errors and handed the lead back to the opposition. In the end we managed to pip them to the post and take the set by two points. That motivated us to start the second set strongly and take a few point lead which we extended throughout the set. The third set was the same as the second and it was good blocking that helped us over the winning line with a six point margin." commented IBB Polonia Captain, Bartosz Kisielewicz.
It is not only the win that IBB Polonia London will consider as a success. They proved once again that they are able to organise a top class spectacle and the mission of Volleyball 2.0 continues to realised. A bespoke Taraflex court was laid down and musical entertainment, a live announcer and live internet television with instant replays on Polsat (on Polsat Sports News) continued the Club's philosophy from last season of building the first fully professional club in the UK.
"The game was organised at the highest level. The fans could watch a truly professionally organised spectacle and the atmosphere was red hot! Thanks to the DJ, there was music throughout and as a result, the whole event was a lot of fun for both players and spectators alike." added Kisielewicz.
“Felt good to be playing in front of our passionate fans again they always create an amazing atmosphere! I think that IBB Polonia is really pushing volleyball forward in the UK, as a spectator sport with the crowds at matches and making it available globally through broadcasting.” commented Seain Cook; receiver for IBB Polonia London.
In the coming weekend, Simon Loftus's players have a break in their matches and will take time to focus on specific details that require attention during their trainings. The next match will be on 8th December which will be the final one of the year on their home court. The game will be against distant visitors from the north Durham Palatinates.
Katarzyna Strag

Southampton v Richmond Docklands
Richmond Docklands have secured their third Super League win in a row against bottom placed Southampton. So far this season the team from the south coast had only won one set in the Super League so Luis Bello’s side started the game as favourites.
But Southampton provided stubborn resistance at the start of the match. Richmond Docklands’ passing unit were struggling to adapt to the temperature and ball flight so the service to Javier Bello was inconsistent and his side’s offence subsequently lacked rhythm. Southampton were ahead by 1-2 points for most of the first set and at 22:19 up were seemingly in control. However, Javier Bello had other ideas and his service pressure turned the tables to help Docklands lead 22:23. Neutral observers would have expected Richmond to close out the set but some uncharacteristic hesitancy in the backcourt gave Southampton a second chance and they took it with a 25:23 first set win.
Richmond managed to adapt to the conditions in sets two and three, taking an early lead in each set and controlling play with some ruthless net play. Captain Panos Karagiannis was leading from the front again ably supported by Jonathan Anderson and Vuk Kosanovic. Richmond Docklands took a 1:2 lead with 14:25 and 12:25 set wins.
At 7:10 up in set four it looked as though everything was rosy in the world of Richmond Docklands. But a run of probing serves by Cristian Dobranszki put Docklands on the back foot and helped take Southampton 13:10 ahead. The home side did enough to maintain their lead forcing Luis Bello to call his second time out 21:19 down. The delay helped Docklands compose themselves for one final push and Southampton had no response. Anderson sent over a series of quality serves and Docklands block and defence frustrated the Southampton attackers. Richmond Docklands scored six unanswered points to seal the match with a 21:25 fourth set win.
The lost set may prove crucial in deciding the positions when it comes to splitting the league after Christmas but if Richmond Docklands keep on winning they still control their own destiny. They next face old rivals Malory Eagles UEL in a must win game at Kingston Arena on Sunday 2nd December at 14:00
Black Knight: Jonathan Anderson, Docklands MVP: Javier Bello, Southampton MVP: Cristian Dobranszki
Andy Hopper

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

This article comes from London Volleyball Association

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