35 match winning streak ends at Sitting Grand Prix
24th January 2016
The first sitting Grand Prix of 2016 lit up the National Volleyball Centre today with an unexpected story; that of East London Lynx losing their first domestic match since April 2014. The winning streak is certainly the longest in Sitting Grand Prix history and at 35 matches, spanning 2 seasons, would rival any winning streak in all Volleyball disciplines. East London Lynx should be praised for their incredible feat, in that time they have won 1 Sitting Grand Prix Final and the inaugral Sitting Volleyball Cup, however they will undoubtedly be disappointed that it ended in their final match today.
In Tier 1, Newcastle Staffs edged out East London Lynx in a thrilling finale 2-1 (15-25, 25-23, 16-14) to end Lynx’s winning streak at 35 matches and finish the Grand Prix in top spot. Newcastle Staffs were the first team to win a match against East London Lynx in 38 attempts, which follows being the first team to take a set off East London Lynx this season in the last Grand Prix. Staffs will be buoyed by their recent improvements as they look to stake their claim to one of this season’s Semi Final spots. Staffs came out top in the 4th Grand Prix in which all of their matches went the distance, incredibly they chalked up 2-1 wins against Portsmouth, Help 4 Heroes Phoenix A and Lincoln Imps before going on to beat Lynx. Elsewhere in Tier 1, Lincoln Imps edged Help 4 Heroes Phoenix A 2-1 to secure 3rd spot, Help 4 Heroes Phoenix A claimed 4th, and a valiant Portsmouth side twice losing narrowly in the 3rd set demonstrating just how close the battle was for all places. These results will be hard to take for Portsmouth, heading for Tier 2 in the next Grand Prix will make it hard for them to continue their challenge for a Semi Final place.
Tier 1 MVP for the day was Mark Speake, Newcastle Staffs.
Tier 2 welcomed new faces to the Sitting Grand Prix as the University of York joined the party for the first time. With excellent handing skills they looked like they could cause an upset from the beginning, but they were edged out in their first few matches by teams with vital sitting volleyball experience. The University of York appeared to be caught out with their movement on court by the sheer pace of the game, but they soon got to grips with things, and came back fighting, winning their first set in their final match, although they weren’t finished there as they came back from 1-0 down to record their first ever win at the Grand Prix 2-1 against Essex Pirates in a pulsating match.
The battle for top spot and a place in Tier 1 for the next Grand Prix was only decided in the last set of the day with Manchester Marvels A edging out Help 4 Heroes Phoenix B 2-1 (22-25, 25-15, 15-5). The Marvels will be pleased to finish the Grand Prix season in Tier 1. Manchester Marvels B demonstrated that the Club has strength in depth and nearly caused a club upset as they were only narrowly beaten 2-0 (25-23, 26-24) by their stable mates, had a few points gone in the other direction, it would have undoubtedly been the talking point at their next training session. Elsewhere Essex Pirates secured 4th place ahead of the University of York thanks to bonus points*.
*in Tier 2, up to a maximum of 6 bonus points can be awarded per match for each disabled player that is on court for a completed rally.
Tier 2 MVP for the day was Harry Horsman, University of York.
Full results for the fourth Grand Prix can be found here.
Sitting Grand Prix 5 is on Saturday 27th February 2016 at the Sportsdock, University of East London.