Men's Weekend Review:
17th October 2017
Catch up with all the action from the Men's game outside of the Super 8s....Remember to check out the Women's Weekend Review too.
Men’s Division 1
Although it is early days for predictions, it does appear as if the division could be one of the most evenly fought leagues in the whole of the NVL.
Having been relegated from the Super 8s last year, Southampton Volleyball Club 1 currently sit top of the pile. They defeated Cardiff Celts at the weekend in three sets (to 21, 18 and 19) to claim a second win of the season. The previous day though, Team Durham proved they will be able to mix it with the best teams in division as they defeated Southampton in a five-set thriller.
Team Durham, who were playing their opening match of the season following promotion last season, were quicker out the blocks notching the first set 25-20. Southampton responded to the challenge to level the match in convincing fashion winning to 16 points. The northerners didn’t waiver in their belief though as they took the third 25-20 and were denied the win in four sets as Southampton edged the fourth set 26-24. The decider looked up for grabs but it was Durham who kept up the pressure to win it 15-10.
The only other unbeaten team in the division are Newcastle Staffs who recorded an impressive win over Leeds RGA VC. While the first two sets were close and shared between the sides, Staffs dominated the next two to win to 15 and 13. It was Staffs second straight victory against a Leeds team who have also had a good start to the season.
Leeds bounced back on the Sunday, to defeat Sheffield 2 by three sets to one. Sheffield 2 had got off to a winning start the previous day as they beat Black Country Men 1. The first two sets were tight affairs that both ended 27-25, with each side winning one apiece. After that, Sheffield found that little bit extra to nudge in front and win the next two sets 25-22.
Men’s Division 2 North
Labelled the five-set specialist in a recent Weekend Review, Polska Przychodnia Intervolley Manchester again lived up to the tag. They made it three wins from three in the league this year, most remarkably all of which have gone the distance! Facing Coventry & Warwick Riga who were playing their first game of the season, Polska gave a hint of what was to come as they won a close first set 27-25. Coventry pegged them back to 1-1, only for Polska to retake the lead in the third. Coventry ensured Polska would have to show their stamina once again as they levelled the match in the fourth, winning it 25-19. Deciders are Polska’s forte and they showed their nerves of steel to close out the match winning the last set 15-19.
DARKSTAR Derbyshire opened their NVL season by putting in a good performance and a notch in the win column. They travelled to local rivals Nottingham Rockets 1 and won 3-1. The Rockets did the double over DARKSTAR last season so the Derbyshire outfit will take a lot of confidence into this year’s campaign.
Melton Lions who had been on the wrong end of a five-setter against Polska in their previous match, enjoyed the euphoria of winning in five this time out. Having won the opener, the Lions were then blown away in the next two sets, losing to 12 and 20. It looked as if Nottingham would coast to victory but Melton showed tremendous resilience. They battled to a win in the fourth 25-22. Having looked as if the game was lost, Melton made the most of forcing a decider. They completed a terrific comeback as they held their nerve to get over the line 15-13.
Men’s Division 2 South
The Bristol Derby was won by Bristol VC 1 as they downed rivals City of Bristol in straight sets. Bristol VC made it two straight victories in their campaign. They won the first set comfortably to 17 points, before the next two went to the wire. VC pinched them both (to 23 and 24) to ensure they had the local bragging rights.
Two promoted sides went head to head as London Baks travelled to Oxford Students. The Students got the win in their opening match, and condemned Baks to a third straight defeat. Oxford took the contest in three sets to 18, 22 and 16.
Tendring VC Men also opened their season with a win. They took complete control of their game against Team Essex Estonians by going two sets up. Essex fought back though to win the next two convincingly to 18 and 15. Tendring regrouped though and denied Essex an incredible turn around, as they got over the line 15-10 in the fifth set.
London Lynx 2 were the third team to make a winning start to the season in Div 2 South. After a fourth-place finish last year, Lynx 2 are expected to enjoy a strong season. They began in style beating Cambridge VC and Anglia Ruskin University 3-1. After racing into a two set lead (to 18 and 20), a Cambridge fight back in the third proved to be just a hiccup as Lynx took the fourth 25-20 and the match.
Men’s Division 3 South
The only division in the third tier to see some action this weekend, Sunday saw six games.
Team Bristol maintained their perfect record and made it four wins from four, and two victories on one day. They swept aside South Hants, who have been no pushovers this season having already amassed three victories. Bristol took the first two sets to 18 and 20, and were in a rush to wrap up the points as they sealed a straight sets win to just eight points in the third.
Cheltenham & Gloucester Volleyball only fared a little better when they came up against the Bristol juggernaut. Again, Bristol came through in three to 20,14,17. Bristol’s next game is now not until Sunday 19 November and it is the one everybody wants to see. Bristol will go head to head with Richmond VB who have also won their first four games.
Cheltenham rounded off the triangle of matches with a win over South Hants. Cheltenham finished one place above South Hants last year, but Hants won the last time these two met. There was to be no repeat as Cheltenham won the first and got better as the match wore on. They won to 23, 20 and 19.
There was another triangle of matches which saw Surrey Spikers, Southampton Volleyball Club Men 2, and Wiltshire Mavericks all face off. The Mavericks lived up to their name winning both of their games. Surrey were defeated 3-1, after the first two sets had been shared. Wiltshire produced a dominant display to win the last two sets to 18 and 14.
Against Southampton, the Mavericks came through unscathed winning in straight sets. A competitive first set was won to 22 but after that Southampton couldn’t match the Mavericks. Victory was achieved with two more sets wins to 13 and 15. Wiltshire rise up to third in the league.
Surrey Spikers got their first win of the season at the sixth time of asking as they defeated Southampton to complete the triangle of fixtures. Despite losing the first set, Spikers levelled and carried on with that momentum to comfortably win the next two (to 14 and 16) to take the match by a 3-1 scoreline.
Team of the week: Team Bristol (Men’s Div 3 South). Two victories in one day to maintain a perfect start. It is hard to think that Bristol will not occupy one of the top two spots come the end of the season.
Check out the league tables here.