The final match of the regular season took place with second placed IBB Polonia London taking on bottom of the table London Lynx. Both teams had different objectives for the match: IBB Polonia needed three points to ensure a home advantage in the semi finals of the play offs: Lynx were playing for pride and a final goodbye to the Super 8 division.
„Playing Lynx, you have to expect the unexpected. Our games are always emotional against them. They had nothing to lose, and they really wanted to leave the top division with a memorable performance. It was also a Chance for their main players to show what they are capable of: I’m certain Marcin Konpa and Sonny Chaney won’t find it a problem with finding a new club after their performance against us, be it in England or Europe. Chaney played already two seasons in Belgium and the 23-year-old England International really has great personal attributes: he is tall; well-coordinated and in great shape” said Chris Hykiel IBB Polonia London Director of Volleyball.
The first set began well for the hosts, with excellent serving and attacking from Dziwierek. Shortly afterwards, Lamb: the Lynx setter showed where the majority of his balls would be placed: in the direction of Chaney. With this duo working solidly, the points being shared between both teams. During the third phase of the set, IBB Polonia regained control and took the set by a margin of 4 points.
The second set was similar to the first, but with the difference that it was Lynx who worked harder at the latter stages and pushed through a sleepy looking Polonia. It was one set all, and this seemed to spur Polonia back into action, with a large margin opening up between the two teams. In the time outs Coach Graban could be seen encouraging his charges very vocally. They sprung into action and won the third set 25-14. It seemed as though Lynx had been mortally wounded by the IBB Polonia London warriors.
These thoughts did not exist in the minds of the London Lynx players; they wanted to show that they would not leave the division without a good fight. The set went point for point, with both teams fighting tooth and nail. Sometimes Polonia looked to win a point cheaply, but underestimated the Lynx defence, who controlled the ball and pounded it back at Polonia with interest. The score became 25-25, and then suddenly neither team looked strong enough to take it: there were a series of serving errors and hitting mistakes from both sides of the net. In the end Polonia London took the set and the match 29-27 and 3-1.
“We didn’t play well, because we didn’t train well. All week we seemed to be lacking rhythm. We have an excellent team atmosphere, but before this match, we lost focus a little. We played on Sunday, which took us out of our normal routine. I’m not pleased at all with my own contribution to the game; but the plan worked, and we won. I’m certain that the game was a one off: after a tough start to the season, we were ahead of Sheffield by one point and we needed to win strongly today to keep our second place. Now we wait for the victors between positions 3 and 6 in the Super 8 league table. We will play one of those teams in the semi-finals” said the experienced IBB Polonia libero marcel Sivak.
„The difference on the court was the setter Bartosz Kisielewicz. For the whole match, his contribution allowed strong attacking against a single blocker. I’m sure this was the main difference between the two teams. I love the positive emotions shown on court by Bartosz. That’s the reason why I nominated him as MVP today” said Yaro Kowalczyk representative of Top Renovations that proudly displayed their giant court sticker during the game.
The Easter break is around the corner for the Londoners, a chance to relax with loved ones and enjoy a little time off the court. 14th April in Kettering will be the next encounter against Team Northumbria in the Cup Final. The title has been won and retained over the last two years by IBB Polonia London. The play-off semi-finals will be played on the 21/22 April in London against the winners of Sheffield and Wessex quarter final.