Blaze at the London Volleyball Cup 2016
On Sunday 11th September, both our Blaze and Trinity teams made their way to South West London to play in the London Volleyball Cup. With a few weeks of pre-season under our belt, it would be interesting to see how we would fare against some top Super 8 teams.
With a Team Essex debut for Chester Searle, a first Blaze appearance for Joe Palombo and a return for setter Cameron Rhodes. Blaze started strongly against London Docklands, a team that finished 5th in last years Super 8’s. The first set was a tight encounter with both us and Docklands looking to make a statement with the other teams watching but it was Blaze that came out on top, winning the first set 26-24. With the nerves calmed after the 1st set victory, Blaze looked to push to a straight sets victory but it was not to be, the experienced Super 8 team showed their authority and claimed the 2nd set 19-25. Coming into the 3rd and final set. Following some wise words of advice and encouragement from Blaze coach Branislav Kovac, Blaze went on to claim the 3rd set and the match against London Docklands 15-10.
Following victory over London Docklands, Blaze went on to beat Division 2 side New Forest 2-0 (25-23, 25-23). And up next was Malory Eagles. Yet again, Blaze managed to push a Super 8 team to a 3rd and decisive set after Blaze won the 1st 25-23 and Malory Eagles bounced back to claim the 2nd set 30-28. With the match well underway and the majority of the crowd choosing to watch us rather than an all super 8 encounter between London Lynx and London Docklands, shows the level of performance of our team. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Malory showed their consistency to win 9-15 in the 3rd set.
Our final game of the day was against another Super 8 team – London Lynx. Despite some great points from both teams, it was clear that the 4th game of the day took its toll on our guys and fatigue had set in. Playing with all they had left, Blaze eventually fell to a 0-2 defeat (19-25, 19-25).
Also, this was the last time (for now) that we will see Lawrence Russell is a Team Essex top and we all would like to thank him for the all the years he has put into playing his best for this club. We wish him all the best up in Sheffield where he is going to university.
Overall it was a 3rd placed finish for Blaze and a huge congratulations is needed for everyone who took part. Also a big thank you is needed for Malory Eagles for hosting such a great tournament.