Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix III - round up
10th December 2012
The Sitting Grand Prix returned to the home of the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering for the third weekend in the series.
It was a huge weekend for Portsmouth who made their debut appearance in Tier 1 after earning promotion in Ashcome a fortnight ago. While at the other end of the spectrum, Lincoln Imps were hoping to bounce straight back up to Tier 1 after their defeat to Loughborough Lions relegated them to Tier 2.
In Tier 1, it was Loughborough Lions who got off to the best start, beating 2011 series finalists Ashcombe & Surrey Gators in straight sets. This was superb result for a team who have only played two Tier 1 competitions. Next up for Lions were the 2011 series Champions, East London Lynx. A good start from Lions seemed to shock the champions; however Lynx gradually found their form and in the end took the game comfortably.
Elsewhere Portsmouth found themselves up against, Ashcombe and Surrey Gators in their first game of the competition. Unfortunately for them, the Gators proved too strong for the newly promoted side and took the match in two sets.
The final games of the day saw Lynx take on Ashcombe & Surrey Gators and Portsmouth take on Lions. A win for Lions would ensure a second place finish, while a win for the East London Lynx would see them finish top. First up it was Ashcombe who defied the form book, with an impressive win over East London Lynx however Lynx's first set win proved crucial as it meant that they finished in first place overall.
To decide the reaming places it was Portsmouth’s turn to take on the Lions and determined to get their first Tier 1 win, took a very close first set. In what was an exciting game the Lions then hit back in the second which forced the game into a decider. However Portsmouth secured the victory after a tough final set which saw the points constantly swing from one side to the other, the final set 15-13. However after results were calculated Lions just edged out Portsmouth to take the third spot.
Battleback were unfortunately relegated to tier 2 as they were unable to field a team for all of their matches.
In Tier 2 Imps got off to the start they wanted, beating Essex Pirates last years Tier 2 finals in straight sets. Seemingly disappointed by the defeat; the Pirates hit back in their next game against Kent Wyverns, winning in two comfortable sets.
Due to a late team withdrawal, Tier 2 was left with only three teams competing and this meant that each team faced each other twice giving the losing sides a chance to fight back.
However it was Lincoln Imps who held strong, as they once again beat Essex Pirates and in doing so, secured their place in Tier 1 for the next Grand Prix in January. Essex Pirates were left to play for pride against Wyverns and true to their previous meeting it was Essex who took the points, which guaranteed them second place.
Imps took to the court one final time in an exciting final game of the day against Kent Wyverns. A close first set was followed by an even closer second, as Kent almost took the game into a decider. At 24-24, it really could have gone either way, but two strong serves from Imps closed out the set.
For more information about the Sitting Grand Prix please click here