Super 8s round-up: Wessex defeat the champions
27th November 2017
There was only one game in the Men’s Super 8s at the weekend and it was a cracker! Reigning Super 8s champions IBB Polonia London continue to struggle to reproduce their form of last season, as they suffered their fourth defeat of the season against TeamBU Wessex.
The opening set was a tight affair but hosts Wessex edged it 28-26. The home side then took control of the match by following it up with victory in the second set 25-22.
These two met four times last season, with Polonia coming out on top on every occasion. So when the away side fought back to win the third set convincingly to 17 points, Wessex supporters would have been forgiven for fearing a Polonia comeback. The Wessex players never entertained that thought though.
Wessex controlled the fourth set winning it to 19 points and took the match. The win continued a revival in Wessex fortunes in recent weeks. After losing their opening three games of the season quite comfortably, Wessex got their season off the mark with victory over Team Essex Blaze on 18 November. The following day, they went down to the juggernaut of Team Northumbria, but much more competitively than they had earlier on in the season. Wessex took a set off Northumbria, only the second set the northerners have dropped this season, and ran them close in the second. Saturday’s win over Polonia was Wessex’s second of the season and they have now climbed to fourth in the league.
Polonia slip to fifth with just one win so far this campaign. Their head coach Piotr Graban said they need to cut out errors if they want to get back to winning ways.
He said: “We gave this result away by handing each set to our opponents in the end phase of each of the four sets. Team Wessex were the underdogs and played the match with freedom having nothing to lose. We were unable to cope with the pressure and we played with little momentum and seemed very tense on court. I can say that we will be training even harder, to prevent this from happening again.”
Polonia were backed by brilliant travelling support and Graban was quick to thank their fans.
“Thanks very much for the support and belief in our team,” said Graban. “Now we need them more than ever. I hope they can be with us on every match as the seventh player to help us to climb the League Table.”
Next week sees a big weekend of action from the men’s Super 8s. There is a London derby as Polonia do battle with Malory Eagles, while Wessex and London Lynx face off, and Sheffield Hallam host Team Essex Blaze.
In the Women’s Super 8’s, Pulsepoint London Orcas surged up the table with two convincing wins in two days. On Saturday, Orcas hosted TeamBU Wessex, who they had already defeated this season in the reverse fixture.
Orcas dominated the match from the outset and Wessex could not even take a set as they had the last time these two met. The team from the capital won the opening set to 14 points. The second set quickly followed with Wessex only able to put up slightly more resistance as the set finished 25-15. Orcas were in a hurry, perhaps keen to rest up for the fixture the following day, and wrapped up the tie by taking the third set to just 10 points.
TeamBU Wessex lie 7th in the table with a solitary victory over Birmingham Volleyball Club, which was recorded in October.
It was Birmingham where Orcas travelled to on Sunday in buoyant mood. The ladies showed no signs of fatigue from the exertions the previous day or the journey to second city, as they raced to victory in the first set to 11 points.
Birmingham, who were promoted to the top division last year, have equipped themselves well having stepped up and already have two victories to their name. So it was no surprise they responded well and the second set was a titanic clash. Orcas dug deep and forced the win by 29-27. That seemed to break Birmingham’s resolve and the match slipped away from them, as the rampant Orcas went on to win in straight sets, 25-13 in the third.
Orcas moved to third in the table, just a point behind Team Durham. Head over to Pulsepoint London Orcas Facebook page to see their top 10 plays versus Wessex or the full match versus Birmingham.
Next week there is just one match from the Women’s Super 8s, as TeamBU Wessex host Polonia SideOut London.