Progress to the semi finals of the National Cup

The game on Saturday was eagerly anticipated by the fans, players and staff at IBB Polonia London VC. Following a surprise league defeat to Durham Palatinates caused, in part, by transport issues, revenge was their aim for the Cup quarter-final encounter. One or two injuries caused the squad to be slightly depleted, but the home team took to the court in high spirits, certainly having „won” the testosterone filled battle of the warm up!

Peter Soczewka was to play potentially the toughest game of his career and performed admirably in the first set, looking very at home with much more experienced players on both sides of the net. The scoreline of 28-30 gives a clue to the tight nature of the match, but the home team were rather too generous in giving way too many net serves to the opposition. With their tails up, the visitors took control of the second set and it was over much faster than the first 18-25.

„Sadly we messed up the start of the game and the opposition played better, but point by point things improved for us; we actually had set point, but one error in an attack cost us the opportunity. In the second set Durham stepped it up; especially from the service line and in the blocking” was the summary of the first couple of sets by Captain of IBB Polonia London Bartek Kisielewicz.

This caused much scratching of heads on the IBB Polonia bench and at that point, Niski made a bold decision to move the most effective opposite in the league to an outside hitter. This was a similar tactical gamble to the one that Alekno made in the Olympic final between Brazil and Russia in 2012. At that point, Russia were two sets to nil down and heading home with a silver medal. 

With nothing to lose Maggio was given the job of serve receive and Bentiti was introduced to make an impact at the opposite position. Semi-injured Jibi was rested and the semi-injured injured Mills was given a difficult job in the middle of stopping the Durham giants who has been winning point after point with a series of „thrown” tips in the middle that the referee deemed as legal. The gamble looked to be paying off, and with the relatively untested team keeping the upper hand they took the third set 25-20.

Durham looked visibly shaken and surprised at the loss of a set. The fourth set began with the same winning combination on the court. The set was possibly the highest level of volleyball seen in the Super league for a long time. Both teams played some outstanding volleyball, but IBB Polonia London looked determined to take the game to a decider. And this they did.

The Durham coach was left discussing the mythical notion of losing and gaining momentum with his team during time outs, but sadly for him and the Palatinates, all he could do was watch his team succumb to a powerful display finally succumbing 25-17.

The fifth set was a lap of honour, with the home team cheered on at every ball contact by a fervent home team the match was settled with an emphatic 15-8 result. There is a Polish volleyball saying that loosely translated goes like this: „teams that don’t win in three sets, end up losing 3-2”. And that was the destiny of the game today.

„The third set was played with quite a reshuffle on court; Maggio moved to serve receive, and Mino came on in the opposite slot. From 10-15 we started to look better and better; we improved our attack, sorted out a good tactically aware serve which caused untold problems for the opposition in reception for the visitors. We gained some consistency and dominated to the end in every aspect. The tie break was amazing and I am overjoyed that we gained revenge on Durham for the upset in the league. Most importantly we progressed to the semi-final of the Cup. It is great to think we have the chance to make it to the final in Kettering once again. On behalf of the entire team and club, I want to extend my thanks to the fans who came and who generated an electric atmosphere” concluded Kisielewicz.

Niski and his staff are blessed with a great group of players to play around with. Maggio and  Bentiti are two effective opposite players. Rodrigues was outstanding at libero passing pinpoint to the setter and chasing „impossible” balls. Alves came alive and scored out of every zone. de Oliveira served incredible sequences in each set and made some big blocks when the pressure was on; Mills was back to his best and Kisielewicz did what „Kisiel” does best: gave his hitters single blocks time and time again.

With slightly less at stake than Olympic gold, Niski had once again shown that he has the tactical awareness to make bold decisions in the heat of the game. Russia won the 2012 Gold medal and IBB Polonia London won the place in the National Cup semi-final.

The semi-final is an away match against Essex Rebels Team; they will no doubt make a spectacle of the match and so we invite all of the best volleyball fans in England to come and join us in Colchester on 25th February 2023. The next away game is against Newcastle on 11th February and the next home game is against Sunderland on 18th February. More details about these games will be on the usual social media channels.

Create volleyball with us

This season is special for us. We make the intense efforts to create conditions for the club to raise capital and, as a result:
Create a professional volleyball team by providing the best possible training conditions and attracting the best players
Provide impressive tifo display, live streaming, and broadcasting matches on TV channels
Provide assistance for the Official Club Supporters and helping the organisation develop
Popularise of the development of volleyball in England
Promote the sporting union between Poland and England on the basis of longstanding historical and cultural conditions – to which we can now add sporting ones as well.
Achieving this aims without support is not possible. We invite everyone to participate in the development of new quality – both of our team and volleyball in England as a whole!! Support us and be part of the club.

You can also choose different options to get involved:
Shares purchase - http://polonia.vc/sharesquickfacts/
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities - http://polonia.vc/sponsorship-and-advertising-info/