Polonia and Tendring seal Super League titles
2nd April 2019
(Main pic: Simon Rich Photography)
There will be new national champions of volleyball in England, after the men’s and women’s titles were secured at the weekend.
Tendring VC in the women’s and IBB Polonia London in the men’s got over the line at the weekend to ensure they will be crowned Volleyball England Super League Champions 2018/19.
Women’s Super League champions
Having beaten title rivals Durham Palatinates the previous weekend, Tendring rounded off their campaign on Sunday with a comfortable 3-0 win against London Orcas to secure the title. In what has been an emphatic display of quality, Tendring have lost only one game and conceded just 10 sets this season on their way to the Super League crown.
Tendring chairman Alex Porter is delighted to see his team win a first domestic title since their promotion to the top tier in 2015 and says their progress has been quicker than expected: “The girls, coaches, staff and sponsors have all worked tremendously hard this year. Initially, we set out our plan to be National Volleyball League champions by 2021. We’ve beaten that target by two years – it’s fantastic.”
After finishing 5th in the league last year, Tendring have proven a surprise package but while their Super League title may have been somewhat unexpected, they won it in style. Porter indicated that the support of a growing number of sponsors has drastically helped the club.
“No longer do they have to worry about money or how they’re going to get to games,” says Porter. “The girls now just have to worry about playing. We’ve almost operated like a semi-pro team with more and more video analysis sessions in preparation for each game too.”
He added: “At the beginning of the season, we brought in a lot of new players. It took a little bit of time but they all slotted in perfectly. We set out to be the best team in the league by the end of the year, so, when the business end of the season came around we were ready. We look to get that 1% better after every match, every training session and that paid dividends, our last game of the season won us the title.”
Men’s Super League champions
It’s turning out the be an incredibly special season for IBB Polonia London. This weekend saw them regain the title of national champions, a title they last held in 2016/17, after a closely fought 3-2 win against third-placed Wessex.
With their brilliant performances, the Super League title looked inevitable from early in the season and club president Bartek Luszcz was pleased to confirm the honour.
“It feels amazing to have won the league,” says Bartek. “We always aim for the highest possible standard and it has required a lot of hard work for the players, coaches, fans, backroom staff and sponsors to get where we are now.”
In head coach Simon Loftus’s first season at the helm, Polonia have won the title with two games to spare but will not be taking their eye of the ball. With two games left to play, including a match which will see legendary Brazilian volleyball star Giba line up for them, Polonia will want to maintain their flawless record to be the undefeated champions.
They are also seeking to make it a domestic double with the National Cup Final in April. Nearest rivals Durham Palatinates stand in their way and you can get reduced-priced tickets for the showdown now. That would be a third title of the season after Polonia made history when they became the first England team to win a European title as they claimed the NEVZA Club Championships in February.
Bartek says he is proud of the team but knows they will be keen to make even more history: “The team have almost outperformed this year. It was great to be the first English team to win a European title, but our season is not over. The players are working hard to remain focused. We still have two very important league games left, notably against Durham, and we want to make this season the most successful it can be.”