The previous week was a demanding one for the players of IBB Polonia London. Following the Champions League match on Wednesday, the team had two evenings of trainings and two Superleague matches. On Saturday, 2nd November, Richmond Docklands welcomed the English champions to their sport shall, and on Sunday, 3rd November the team hosted visitors from Wessex.
The first match was successful, under the watchful eye of Vangelis Koutouleas, as his charges beat Richmond Docklands in four sets. The first two sets were total domination, but then followed two very messy sets of volleyball, with IBB Polonia London taking the match 1:3 (14:25; 17:25; 25:21; 20:25) which gave three very valuable points for the league table.
“Playing for Richmond Docklands, were a number of players who used to play for us. It is always lovely to meet up with old friends and to send them home with their tails between their legs! Both teams wanted to win and showed appropriate respect towards each other, however there was only one winner. We took the match seriously and had to focus to complete the task” said Dominik Żmuda, 2nd assistant coach for IBB Polonia London.
On Sunday, IBB Polonia London played hosts to visitors from the south coast (Bournemouth). The first set saw an upset with Wessex taking it 23-25. The following three sets belonged to the London team after they found their rhythm and didn’t give the visitors a chance. It was not an exhibition of top quality volleyball, but the Champions maintained their calm and closed the match out 3:1 (23:25; 25:13; 25:21; 25:22). The win gave an additional three points to IBB Polonia London and saw them take first place in the Superleague.
“Today’s match completed a very challenging period for us. We gained two important victories and six points. We did what we had to do and still know that there is work to do to improve our form. We don’t want to relax and to allow our rivals to catch us. We must set the bar high for ourselves and focus on European matches. It is great to allow the younger players on court and to give them valuable experience. Volleyball is much more than statistics. I am looking forward to future matches: especially those overseas” ended Dominik Żmuda.
“Firstly I am very proud of the players, supporters and management of The Club for putting together such an amazing series of events that we could be part of. We lost 3-0 against one of the toughest teams we have played against (in the Champions League), but the final set showed that we have the ability to compete at this level. All that we need is more opportunities to play teams of this standard. Returning to play in the domestic league was always going to be a huge challenge physically and psychologically following such a series of high peaks over the previous two weeks or so: Greenyard Maaseik; Zaksa Kedzierzyn Kozle and two games against Mladost Zagreb. This was a very demanding period of our lives in many ways, and to be able to maintain focus in the domestic league is testiment to the players, coaches and Directors of The Club. Both English clubs had something to prove, but following a couple of shakes matches, we were able to take maximum points from the weekend” said Chris Hykiel, Director of Volleyball in IBB Polonia London.
The previous two weeks was very demanding. Two wins domestically is a big achievement, which brings much positive energy to the club. On 9th November is the next match in the National Cup and sees Tendring Essex visit with the aim of making it to the next round of the competition. The match starts at 4.30pm and tickets are available on line.