Sheffield are sitting volleyball champions
6th May 2018
The sitting volleyball Grand Prix Final included four London 2012 Paralympic athletes, with East London Lynx are playing in their ninth consecutive final, and looking to retain their title for the fourth year running. Sheffield Volleyball Club are looking to do the double, as they won the Sitting Knock Out Cup last month.
The first set went the way of the newly established Sheffield Club with fantastic top spin serving from James Rutikanga causing a problem for the Lynx passing unit. Volleyball England’s very own John Worrall made a difference at the net with his big hitting but it couldn’t overcome the gritty Sheffield side.
Lynx dug deep in the second set to level the score with a calm coaching influence from Paralympic coach, Ian Legrand, transpiring into his team. Robert Richardson rallied the team to the set win leading the play at the net, including successful blocking of the Sheffield serve.
The third set saw Lynx take an early lead, soon to be squashed by a nine-point service run from Rutikanga, and brilliant defensive play from Katie Beardsmore. Lead by Kev Tann on the offensive, Sheffield extended their lead to take the set 25-19.
In the fourth set, Sheffield managed to break away with strong serving again from Rutikanga. Lynx saved championship point with a fantastic line swing from Jodi Hill, and took the lead with big blocking from Richardson and Nenad Groj. Saving two championshop points in the process, and on the third time of asking, Lynx took the set with a brilliantly placed second touch on the line from Hill.
A race to 15 points, Lynx get off to the best start opening a four-point lead by the change of ends with big hitting from Vicky Widdcup. It was Sheffield that managed to push ahead and clinch the title 15-13 after big blocking at the net from Rutikanga and Marek Dabrowski.