Lynx lost to SQUAD 21:23 23:21 19:21 21:18 12:15 – Men’s Premier Division (London Volleyball League)
Teams face second thriller in a week
Spectators were treated to one of the best matches of the season so far: one that illustrated the high standard of the competition and provided excellent evidence of the overall high quality of London’s volleyball.
After losing the opening rally, SQUAD took a three point lead at 1:4 but the gap was never as wide again as the teams battled through the first set. Regularly there was nothing between the sides and the scores were tied again at 21:all. A composed Daniele Liberatori then rotated to serve for the visitors and his team-mates secured the first set. It was Lynx’s turn to open with a three point lead in the second: this time a rapid 3:0 but once again, the rest of the set was closer throughout. SQUAD led 19:20 late in the set but the home side showed great character to retrieve the situation and level the score.
From 4:all in the third set SQUAD raised their game and their opponents looked to lose some of their drive. Certainly, the visitors moved ahead to 9:12 before Lynx settled and, playing brilliantly again, drew level at 12:all. A period of level play ensued as 14:all was reached but after that SQUAD eased sufficiently in front to look relatively untroubled as they again went a set in front.
They were troubled in the fourth though. Very quickly it was 4:0 to Lynx and they clung on to that valuable lead as SQUAD threw everything at them. Sometimes the lead dropped to three; others it rose to five. Thrilling stuff. Thrilling for the supporters too. They were going to be rewarded with a fifth set: one that all the players deserved too. Lynx won the first rally of the decider. SQUAD then went ahead 1:4 but Lynx led by one when the teams had to change ends. A run of three points took SQUAD to 8:11 and they hung on as the Lynx attack threw everything at them. The difference remained just three as the evening ended.
In summary, this was a really fiercely fought match of top quality that went very narrowly to SQUAD in the end:
The fixture list has the return game exactly a week later, on 23rd February at Bacons College in Rotherhithe. A gutted SQUAD secretary, Jin Ng who was unable to watch this match said, “There’ll be a rematch next week, and I definitely won’t be missing that one!”
Starting Six: Gytis Blazevicius, Leon Chambers, Ugnius Marganavicius, Kryszstof Ozarski, Lance Symister, Mohammed Sliti,
Other players: Gediminas Grigas, Wicktor Szatanolu.
Coach: Antonio Codrington.
Starting Six: Davide Baino, Daniele Liberatori, Marlon Mendes, Liem Phan, Andrea Pizzato, Artur Zapalowski.
Libero: Lucio Fiorin, Sau Khoon Kuah.
Other players: Sam Murray, Nicky Wong.
Referee: K Cepinova.
Leyton VI Form College, Leyton, 16th February
Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton