Sitting Grand Prix Series welcomes new teams
25th September 2016
The first Sitting Grand Prix of the season, and the first since Sitting Volleyball starred at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, took place at the Ashcombe Volleyball Centre in Dorking on Sunday 25th September. An inspiring day of sport, we welcomed a number of new teams to the Grand Prix for the first time and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Referee Glynn Archibald to our team of Referees for the day.
Tier 1 started with fireworks as defending Champions, East London Lynx Grand Prix debutants, Sheffield, in what was arguably the closest match of the day. East London Lynx got out to a flying start taking the first set 25-13, but where then taken by surprise by a battling Sheffield as the newcomers took the 2nd set 25-16. The third set was an epic battle of will and determination, with the experience of the 2015-16 Champions shining through as they edged the set 17-15. Lincoln started the day off in commanding fashion as they had an emphatic 2-0 (25-7, 25-15) win over Help4Heroes Phoenix A. Sheffield also overcame Help4Heroes Phoenix A, while East London Lynx beat Lincoln set up an interesting final round of games. Help4Heroes Phoenix A had to beat East London Lynx as they battled to remain in Tier 1 for the 2nd Grand Prix, while Lincoln met Sheffield. Sheffield started well taking the first set 25-14, but then found themselves 22-21 down in the second set, but remarkably fought back to win the set 25-22 and the match 2-0, securing 2nd place in the Grand Prix. In the final match East London Lynx made sure of their place at the top of the standings with victory over Help4Heroes Phoenix A, with the result sending Help4Heroes Phoenix A to Tier 2 for the 2nd Grand Prix.
Tier 1 MVP – Simon Gibbs, Help4Heroes Phoenix A
Tier 2 welcomed some new teams to the Grand Prix, with Ashcombe and London Docklands joining forces for the event and South Hants being represented at the Grand Prix for the first time. In the early games Ashcombe and London Docklands were starting to gel as a team, as their performances improved, despite losing to both Essex Pirates and South Hants. In the first match between Essex Pirates and South Hants, it was South Hants to took the victory 2-0 (25-21, 26-24), meaning that they had the upper hand going into the reverse fixture, but given the performance Essex Pirates still had everything to play for in the battle for promotion to Tier 1. In the second round of matches between the three teams, Ashcombe and London Docklands won their first set as they lost a competitive match against Essex Pirates 1-2 (25-23, 16-25, 8-15). Ashcombe and London Docklands then went on to improve the sets scores they achieved against South Hants in their second game against them. The final match of the day saw Essex Pirates face South Hants for a place in Tier 1 at the next Grand Prix. South Hants applied the early pressure in the game, taking the first set 25-21, Essex Pirates fought back to take the 2nd Set, setting the match up perfectly to decide who would be promoted to Tier 1. In the final set, South Hants demonstrated their superiority to take the set 15-6, and the match 2-1, meaning they will be promoted to Tier 1 for the next Grand Prix.
Tier 2 MVP – Raz Toader, South Hants
Richard Stacey-Chapman, Volleyball England Sitting Volleyball Development Manager, commented, “After a good day’s play, and with growing interest from other Clubs, I am confident it is going to be another great season in the Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix. Almost every team had some new players which demonstrates the fantastic development work that the Clubs are doing to recruit new players.”
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.