After a brief break for Christmas and some lower matches in the Shield competitions, volleyball’s Super 8 returns with a final drive towards the play-offs.
As part of Volleyball England’s “Weekend Picks”, the game of the weekend is looking to be in the Women’s Super 8 with the Malory Eagles host Wessex Rocare. The two sides are level on points and hoping to keep up the pressure on nearby rivals Polonia IMKA London. At this point in time, it looks pretty unlikely that either side will catch up to the dominant and unbeaten Team Northumbria to claim the league title, but anything can happen in volleyball.
The two sides met in the first fixture of the season and it was the Eagles that took the game in straight sets, a match that saw Wessex tail off towards the end. Rocare captain is determined to get revenge this year: “Following the Christmas break we start 2013 with a tough run of games. We have really developed as a team since our defeat to Malory earlier in the season – our main focus this weekend is to execute our game plan well and come home with a positive result.” The aforementioned fixture list includes a potential slip-up against Swiss Cottage, before tough matches against the top two teams, where picking up points is essential to obtaining a good finish.
Polonia IMKA London take on Ashcombe Dorking in the other female match of the day. Ashcombe have only picked up one win this season, against bottom side Portsmouth, and have frequently lost 3 sets to 0. They pushed City of Salford all the way last month but it would take a brave observer to bet on them doing the same against Polonia – since they were the team that beat them 3-0 last month.
Over on the men’s side, the other Malory Eagles will be hoping to avoid a potentially tricky showdown with SGTV Solent 1, who lie in sixth place. London Polonia welcome a Sheffield Hallam side without a win in four matches and winless Newcastle Staffs travel to Coventry & Warwick Riga, hoping that the fifth-placed side will be an opportunity to add to their solitary point.