Fantastic opening to Sitting Grand Prix Series
29th September 2014
(Photograph courtesy of Tim Griffiths)
The eagerly awaited first Grand Prix post Invictus Games took place at the Ashcombe Volleyball Centre in Dorking on Sunday 28th September, which featured many of the players who had claimed Gold at the recent Invictus Games.
Tier 1 of the competition included the top four teams from last seasons Grand Prix series. Defending champions, Battle Back were looking for a strong showing to cement their place at the top of English Sitting Volleyball, but it was in fact East London Lynx who laid down a marker to lead the competition after Grand Prix 1. There were a number of close matches in Tier 1, with the closest matches being between Battle Back A and Lincoln Imps, and Portsmouth and Lincoln Imps. Battle Back A fought hard to secure a narrow victory over Lincoln Imps which set up a relegation decider between Portsmouth and Lincoln Imps. Imps edged that battle in a closely fought 3 set match to ensure that their place in Tier 1 continued to Grand Prix 2. Tier 1 MVP – Darrell Tring – Lincoln Imps.
Tier 2 welcomed some established teams back to the Grand Prix, but it was the debutants Newcastle Staffs who stole the show remaining unbeaten in Tier 2. Newcastle Staffs saw off a spirited fight from Essex Pirates in the last round to book their place on Tier 1 for Grand Prix 2. Tier 2 had a number of tight battles with the match between Canterbury Wyverns and Battle Back B resulting in an epic 3 set match which could have gone either way. However it was Canterbury Wyverns who prevailed taking the 3rd set 16-14. Tier 2 MVP - Danni Hampson-Carroll - Battle Back B.
Jonathan Moore, Volleyball England Competitions Manager, commented, “It was great to have a number of new faces playing and volunteering at the Grand Prix, which is great for Sitting Volleyball and it is something the Grand Prix can look to build upon. The new players will hopefully be inspired by the experience they have gained here today. I would like to thank the volunteers who really do make events like this better, their hard work and dedication is vital to the Grand Prix.”
Sitting Volleyball continues at the Ashcombe Volleyball Centre next weekend, when it will look to host the Great Britain training. A big thank you should go out to the Ashcombe Volleyball Centre, and the Ashcombe Volleyball Club who continue to show their support for Sitting Volleyball.