International Flavour at Sitting Grand Prix
19th November 2016
The third Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix of the season took place at the National Volleyball Centre this Saturday and it was another great day. Amongst those teams playing, was 2014-15 & 2015-16 reigning champions East London Lynx. Also making their second appearance in as many years was Copenhagen Lavia who returned after winning Tier 2 in their only other appearance.
In Tier 1, East London Lynx began the day against a strong Sheffield team. Both teams took a little while to warm up but once they did the volleyball on show was free flowing and played in a great spirit. As has been the recent trend, East London Lynx were able to break down the Sheffield defence with intricate ball movement and powerful hitting and were able to claim the win 2-0 (25-22, 25-13). East London Lynx continued their form into their second match as they saw off the challenge of Copenhagen in a quick two set victory (25-9, 25-18). The matches were coming thick and fast with the match between Lincoln and Copenhagen going point for point during the first set. Lincoln's experience soon shone through and they quickly took full control and won the match 2-0(25-10, 25-15). Lincoln carried on where they left off after their first match with another convincing win, this time against Help4Heroes Phoenix A. the first set was point for point throughout until two strong blocks by Lincoln gave them a two-point lead, which they never gave up. The second set was less of a battle as Lincoln found their groove quickly and made very errors. The eventually ran out winners 2-0 (25-20, 25-14). Help4Heroes Phoenix A were the next team to take on Copenhagen Lavia, the first set was competitive with H4H took an early lead, only to be pegged back by Copenhagen, but despite the fightback H4H hung on to take the set. In the 2nd Set Copenhagen were the early pace setters, but ran out of steam half way through the set as Help4Heroes Phoenix A powered back to take the match 2-0 (25-20, 25-13). Sheffield continued their day in fine fashion as they beat Lincoln, but Lincoln grew in strength in the 2nd set, which they would take forward into the next match. East London Lynx carried on in fine form with a fine 2-0 (25-12, 25-22) win over Help4Heroes Phoenix A, meaning that they went into their final match with Lincoln undefeated for the day. Sheffield ensured a clean sweep for the English Teams against Copenhagen Lavia with a 2-0 (25-15, 25-12) victory. In the final round of matches for the day Help4Heroes Phoenix A needed to beat Sheffield to give themselves a chance of staying in Tier 1 for the next Grand Prix, and they started in that fashion taking the first set 25-21. Sheffield however had other plans as they thought back to take the 2nd set convincingly 25-10, and continued to dominate the final set taking the match 2-1 (21-25, 25-10, 15-9). East London Lynx continued from where they left off and completed a full house of 2-0 wins against their opponents, ensuring that they remain the team to beat in the Grand Prix.
Tier 1 MVP’s – John Munro (East London Lynx), Kye Skyes (Lincoln Imps), Kaytee Beardsmore (Sheffield VC), Claire Stephens (Sheffield VC) and Christoffer Dithmer (Copenhagen Lavia)
Tier two was just as competitive as Tier 1 with South Hants, Manchester Marvels and Essex Pirates all fighting it out for top spot and a place in Tier 1 next time out. With the teams playing each other twice it was a good opportunity for all teams to expose each other’s weaknesses and to pose a greater threat in the second round of matches. The first match saw South Hants take on Manchester Marvels in what turned into a masterclass from South Hants. Manchester Marvels simply weren't able to counter South Hants's powerful hitting at the net. South Hants ran our deserved winners 2-0 (25-12, 25-6). The next match in the Tier was between Essex pirates and Manchester Marvels. As with the first match, Manchester Marvels couldn't find an answer to the experience and quality on show by the opposition. It was a far better performance by them and the closest match of the day so far, but ultimately Essex Pirates took the match 2-1 (22-25, 25-20, 17-15). The third match in the Tier saw South Hants take on Essex Pirates, with both teams undefeated. The first set was very one sided on the Scoresheet, with South Hants taking it 25-4, so it was a little surprising, when Essex Pirates bounced back to take the 2nd set 25-21. Leading to a decider which could have gone either way, however it was South Hants who found their form from the 1st set to take the match 2-1 (25-4, 21-25, 15-8).
In the second round of matches Manchester Marvels came out fighting as they looked to avenge their earlier defeats. In the first set, they battled hard but narrowly lost out 25-23. In the 2nd set South Hants started slowly but came back strong to take it 25-18 and the match 2-0. In the penultimate match of the day Essex Pirates beat Manchester Marvels in a win they required to keep the pressure on South Hants, this result meant that Essex Pirates went into the last match with a chance of taking top spot in the Tier. In the final match of the day South Hants started strongly, taking the first set 25-13, and things looked to be on course for another victory. However, South Hants were determined that this would not be the end of the match, and their chances of promotion to Tier 1, as they thought back hard to win the 2nd set 25-23. With all still to play for, both Teams exchanged points in a tense final set, it was finally the strength that South Hants had shown all day long that saw them through as they took the match 2-1 (25-13, 23-25, 15-9), and with it top spot and promotion to Tier 1 at the next Grand Prix.
*in Tier 2, up to a maximum of 6 bonus points can be awarded per match for each disabled players that is on court for a completed rally.
Tier 2 MVP – MVP votes were shared between 12 players, who all gained 1 vote each.