Team Northumbria’s female volleyball team have two fixtures in as many days this weekend as they bid to regain their stranglehold on the Super 8 league.
Northumbria, who have yet to drop a set in eight matches this season, have fallen behind Polonia IMKA London since the New Year. The London side have played ten games and lost one, predictably a 3-0 whitewash to Northumbria in November last year, and they face a tough task to hold onto their number one spot.
Although Northumbria have two games this weekend, Polonia IMKA can still maintain their gap with their game today. Unfortunately, they have to plot a way past Malory Eagles, the third placed team. Malory had a shaky time two weeks ago, playing out a five-set thriller with Wessex Rocare, the Eagles edging the final set 15-13. Even so, they haven’t lost since their November showdown with Northumbria, but they won’t be forgetting their previous clash with Polonia, throwing away a 2-1 lead to lose back in October.
If Northumbria want to reclaim their superiority, they won’t have it much easier than against Portsmouth. The bottom-placed side still haven’t won yet this season and lost to Polonia last weekend, collapsing 9-25 in the second set. In fact, they haven’t won a set since October, picking up their solitary point against Ashcombe Dorking, so Northumbria have nothing to fear. A sterner test will be the aforementioned Wessex Rocare that almost slipped up Malory Eagles, but Northumbria will recall their (of course) 3-0 win against Rocare in October.
In the final game of the women’s Super 8, Ashcombe will want to pick up at least a bonus point against Swiss Cottage, but a 3-0 loss last year doesn’t suggest such a result.
The men’s fixture list sees the other Team Northumbria, having won ten out of ten matches, look to extend their run against SGTV Solent. An “almost” repeat of the Malory/Polonia women’s match occurs with Malory and London Polonia’s men sides nestled just below Northumbria. Bottom of the table Newcastle Staffs travel to Sheffield Hallam with faint hopes of picking up a win and Sunday sees London Lynx host Coventry & Warwick Riga in a mid-table bout.