London Docklands downed by Lynx
PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 January 2017
Volleyball squad lose on 2017 return
London Docklands Volleyball began 2017 with derby defeat against London Lynx in the National Super 8s at UEL.
Injury, work and family commitments left them with only seven players, forcing coach Andy Hopper to move Bruno Lusic to the outside slot for the first time in five years.
And Kieran O’Malley remained as a makeshift opposite player, but had an inspired game and held his own against Great Britain team-mate Yassir Sliti.
Docklands came out of the blocks with clever hitting and serving from Matheiu Ras helping to build a 13-11 lead when Lynx coach Davide Tiberti called a timeout.
Good blocks by O’Malley and Tomek Wysocki maintained the two-point lead, before some unforced errors allowed Lynx back in and Sliti’s block on Lusic clinched the first set 25-21.
It was a similar story in the second set, with Docklands building a slender lead, but managing to hold on and level as Lusic closed it out at 25-22 with a smash.
Lynx began the third set well, dominating as Gary Slade and Sliti impressed to go 16-10 up, before Docklands hit back with four unanswered points.
Deceptive serving from Hias, and dramatic pick-ups by Marcel Sivak and Jean-Baptiste Arzounian gave Docklands hope as they pulled to within a point at 22-21.
A block and ace by Wysocki levelled it at 23-23, before Taylor Wilson caught the sideline to give Lynx set point and they moved ahead.
Lynx went 7-4 up in the fourth, but Hias produced more great serves to help Docklands turn it around with six straight points.
Former Docklands setter Nicolo D’Elia came on to give Lynx fresh impetus, though, as they moved 16-15 up and the visitors saw the match slip away, losing 25-21 after saving four match points.
Hooper said: “We started with no expectations and just went for it. We’re disappointed by the result as we had a chance to gain crucial points.
“We can take confidence and hopefully use it next weekend.”
Docklands host Sheffield on Saturday, before travelling to Bournemouth to take on Wessex.