Help 4 Heroes A strengthen lead after Grand Prix 4
23rd January 2020
Sitting volleyball players travelled from all over the country for the 4th Grand Prix of the season on Saturday, 18th January.
Ten teams, split across 2 tiers, took to the court at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering, in the hunt for points at this crucial stage of the season.
Help for Heroes A extended their lead at the top of the table with straight-set victories over Lincoln Imps (25-11; 25;23), Loughborough Fusion (25-16; 25-21), and Sitting Bucks (25-14; 25-20).
The team also secured a win over title rivals South Hants SVC 1 (25-22; 24-26; 15-13), who have been close behind them – and even jointly leading for a while – this season. The loss of the 2nd set, however, was the only blemish on the league leaders’ record at Grand Prix 4.
Although South Hants SVC 1 beat Loughborough Fusion (25-21; 25-15) and Sitting Bucks (25-16; 25-16), a loss to Lincoln Imps (7-25; 20-25) – coupled with the defeat to Help for Heroes A – leave South Hants trailing by 6 points in the battle for the top spot in the Grand Prix Series league table.
Elsewhere in Tier 1, Lincoln Imps, now sitting slightly behind the league’s front two on 64 points, added victories over Loughborough Fusion (27;17, 25:12) and Sitting Bucks (25-11; 25-22) to their record. Loughborough Fusion lost to Sitting Bucks (25-21; 25-22) and, as a result, have been relegated to Tier 2.
Joint MVP Award winners:
- Dan Kitcher, Help for Heroes A
- Richard Osborne, South Hants SVC 1
- Nadia Andreani, Lincoln Imps
- Guillame Grange, Sitting Bucks
In the competition’s 2nd tier, Essex Pirates and Help for Heroes B had to be separated by sets difference in the fight for 1st position. Both sides were tied on points, but the Pirates’ triple straight-set wins over Telford Eagles (25-19; 25-15), Help for Heroes B (25-18; 25-12) as well as South Hants SVC 2 (25-7; 25-11) gave them the advantage. The Essex side’s sole defeat came against East London Lynx (14-25; 19-25). Nevertheless, they have been promoted and will feature in Tier 1 for the first time at Grand Prix 5.
Meanwhile, it took 3 sets for Help for Heroes B to beat East London Lynx (25-21; 25-27; 15-13) as well as Telford Eagles (25-27; 25-16; 15-9) but only 2 to topple South Hants SVC 2 (25-12; 25-12) - quite the turn around for a side who failed to win any matches at the previous Grand Prix.
Telford Eagles finished Tier 2 in 3rd spot thanks to a close-fought victory over East London Lynx (24-26; 26-24; 19-17) and a win over South Hants SVC 2 (25-13; 25-9).
East London Lynx had to borrow players from Loughborough Fusion and Essex Pirates – as is allowed under Grand Prix rules for teams short of players – and they quickly gelled to beat South Hants SVC 2 (25-9; 25-8).
Joint MVP Award winners:
- Kevin Reynolds, Telford Eagles
- Bobbi Clarke, South Hants SVC 2
- Nicole Harper, South Hants SVC 2
The 5th Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix, the final one before the semi-finals, will be held on Sunday, 22nd March and new sitting volleyball teams are welcome to join.