Help 4 Heroes on top at first Sitting Grand Prix
17th September 2019
Sitting Volleyball was back in some style with the first Grand Prix of 2019-20 season.
A great turnout saw 11 teams head to the National Volleyball Centre to take part and there were some shock results in the opening event.
After winning the Sitting Grand Prix title in the showpiece at last season’s Cup Finals weekend, reigning champions Sheffield VC were in tier one alongside East London Lynx, Help 4 Heroes A, South Hants SVC 1 and Lincoln Imps.
The team from the steel city underlined their quality by winning all of their matches in straight sets. But it didn’t see them top the group though. Sheffield couldn’t field a full team of six players so were deducted points from their team’s total.
Underlining just how inclusive the sport of volleyball is, the Grand Prix embraces participation and allows teams to ‘borrow’ players to ensure everyone can still play. In terms of the competition though, it meant Sheffield couldn’t top the group.
That honour went to Help 4 Heroes A. The Heroes were in fine form, defeating Lynx, Hants and the Imps in straight sets, and ran Sheffield the closest. They head straight to the summit of the overall standings.
South Hants continue to grow and become a force in tier one and took second spot. They eased past Lynx and Lincoln Imps. While Sheffield’s results saw them do enough to gain third spot.
The big shock was to avoid relegation from the top tier. It was a shootout between Lincoln Imps and East London Lynx. The powerhouse of sitting volleyball, Lynx were in the Grand Prix final last season but slipped out of tier one in the first event of the season. Missing some key players, Lynx were below par but credit must go to Lincoln Imps who rose the occasion.
Against Lynx, the Imps took a close first set 25-23 before Lynx levelled the match. In the deciding set, it was one-way traffic as Lincoln made sure they will be in Tier One at the next Grand Prix, winning it 15-6.
The Most Valuable Player award went to Help 4 Heroes Bha Pun.
It was the perfect day for Help 4 Heroes, as their B team topped Tier 2 ahead of Loughborough Fusion, South Hants 2, Sitting Bucks, Essex Pirates and Telford Pirates. It means that the next Grand Prix will see the Heroes A and B teams face off in Tier 1! HelThe Heroes won all their games, only dropping one set to Essex Pirates.
Loughborough Fusion took second spot winning four out their five matches, while Sitting Bucks were third. Having only established the club last year, Bucks are going from strength to strength as a club and had a particular highlight from the opening Grand Prix – with Bucks’ Michael Knight picking up the Most Valuable Player award for Tier 2.
Essex Pirates were fourth, picking up two victories. While Telford Eagles, another club who debuted last season, picked up another win, defeating South Hants 25:15, 25:19. That condemned South Hants to bottom spot.
The next Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix event takes place on Saturday October 19th.