On Sunday 24th April, the young players from Pro Volley Academy; the youth section of IBB Polonia London played the grand final of the youth competition; Greg Niski’s players took on Richmond Docklands and after an emotional four set encounter had to settle for silver medals. The game ended 3-1 in favour of Richmond Docklands.
The match started perfectly, during the first set the academy players from IBB Polonia London displayed the top quality volleyball that had earned them the place in the final. In the second set, the players couldn’t continue in the same manner and lost focus and allowed the opposition to level the game. Communication and control let them down and the set fell apart as the opposition reached 25 points with little fight from Pro Volley. In the third set, Pro Volley started to claw back the quality they had shown at the start of the game, but it was once again the local rivals who took the set. The fourth set was very much like the first, with Pro Volley regaining their composure and causing huge problems to Richmond Docklands; however the set was played at an incredible standard with both teams digging deep and making it a spectacular encounter, but in the end Richmond Docklands were the victors 3-1 (22:25; 25:11; 25:15; 25:21).
Despite coming second in England, it was a spectacular achievement for Pro Volley who had never played at such a high level before. In fact they were the only team who had taken a set from the eventual champions and came close to winning the game itself. Congratulations are well deserved by Richmond who have a long standing tradition in youth volleyball.
Taking part in this competition is a great experience for the players; they showed that they travelled to Kettering to compete for the title and not to make up numbers. In defeat they were upset and tears were shed by the side of the court; this showed the emotional effort put into the game.
The atmosphere was electric in the stands, Pro Volley fans cheered the team up and it was the parents of the players who were the loudest throughout the game with their drums and horns. They too felt emotionally drained after the conclusion of the game keeping up a fervent noise from the first point to the last.
„We experienced every possible emotion today; there was delight at the start of the game and there were tears at the end. The sight of our tearful players reinforces the fact they gave everything they had, and they believed until the very end that victory was possible. We are silver medallists at our first attempt and so we can be happy going home. We didn’t win, but this is just the start of our journey. Congratulations to our players and coaching staff, past and present. Congratulations to Richmond, theirs is a club that has been training for years and has many titles to their name. We can be proud that we competed with such an experienced team and could mostly match them point for point. Thanks to our supporters for theirsupport. They are always with us and regardless of the result carry us along with their enthusiastic support.” said Bartek Łuszcz, CEO of IBB Polonia London.
„We started very well. The first set was outstanding; but let’s forget the second set! We will figure out what happened in time. In the third set, we came back strongly but couldn’t quite match the quality of the first set. The final set was also excellent and we were able to play freely once again, but it was Richmond who managed to get their noses over the finish line first. I am very optimistic, that next year we will be victorious. Reaching the grand final is huge for us; I am proud of the players and want to thank them for their hard work and passion that got us to this stage.” Said Head Coach of Pro Volley Academy, Grzegorz Niski.
Moreover, IBB Polonia London also continues to produce a number of off court events and activities. The fifth instalment of „The Volleyball Show” will be aired on BT Sport 3 – May 3rd at 7.30pm. The third episode is now available online. Click here.