QKX lost to Lionhearts East 24:26 21:23 15:21
Lionhearts maintain title challenge
QKX underlined the competitive nature of the league this season by forcing the very best from their visitors who needed a win to hold on to a share of top spot and to keep a gap between themselves, co-leaders Rebels and the chasing pack headed by Crocs.
The home side began brilliantly racing to a 5:2, then led 12:4 before Lionhearts knew what hit them. They clawed their way back to 13:all only to see QKX win the next three rallies to regain a valuable lead. Still, Lionhearts did not panic and produced some excellent moves to get back onto terms at 21:all and set up a thrilling climax to the set.
Set two was close throughout with scores tied almost as often as one side or the other was in front. Eventually, after a tied score at 20:all, Lionhearts won side out and skipper Angeliki Pisiritzi, after spending one rally on the bench discussing options with coach Jalal El Achkar, rotated to serve and induced the winning rally.
QKX enjoyed a slender early lead in the third but East were back on terms at 8:all from which point QKX fell behind to 14:17. If it looked as though they might recover from there, East were having none of it. They won the next three rallies to show they were in charge after which every rally went to the side receiving serve. It was to be Lionhearts’ day.
Win achieved. Phew!
Starting Six: Patricija Fila, Michalina Laz, Valeria Longato, Michela Loviglio, Beatrice Sukackaite, Hitomi Terakawa
Libero: Soo-Bee Appleton.
Other players: Joyce Chung, Lorena Mirzan
Coach: Nick Appleton
Starting Six: Gloria Francalanci, Amelie Kleiner, Margherita Neri, Beatrice Pesenti, Angeliki Pisiritzi (captain), Cristina Ticchi.
Libero: Paola Bersi, Yuchin Lai.
Other players: Denisa Pastare, Laura Zanella.
Coach: Jalal El Achkar
Referee: Antonio Codrington.
St Augustine’s School, Kilburn, 9th February
Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton