Women’s Cup – Team South Wales vs Polonia IMKA London (Sunday 2nd Dec 2012)
The game of the weekend sees newly promoted Division one side Team South Wales at home to one of the Super 8s most dominant women’s team as they go head to head in the THIRD round of the National Cup.
Off the back of a very successful season that saw Team South Wales earn promotion to Division 1 and crowned National Shield Champions last April, the team are now looking to bigger and better things this season.
On the other side of the net Polonia IMKA London will want to get their National Cup campaign off the best possible start with last season’s disappointing semi-final defeat to Swiss Cottage still fresh in their memory.
Sitting in third position in Division 1 Team South Wales have enjoyed five wins from a possible seven and have thus far proven a tough side to beat. But this impressive start can be equally matched by Polonia IMKA London who have won five out of their six league games and are second only to Team Northumbria in the Super 8s.
Carly Stewart, Team South Wales captain commented, “As a team, we hope that the commitment and hard work in the first half of our season will show; that we’ll play to our potential and prove that we have what it takes to play at Super 8 level.”
Ahead of this weekend’s game the home side believe that this is the ideal opportunity to show that they can compete with one of the Super 8’s top sides and ultimately move further in the competition.
Carly added, “for us, this game is a really exciting one, it’s a chance to play against a really competitive team in the Super 8s and one that we will consider to be a big win against.”
Charlotte James will be a key figure in the game as Team South Wales’ form player, currently in joint top position for the Division 1 most valuable player (MVP) with Newcastle’s (Staffs) Meg Viggars.
Men’s Cup – SGTV Solent 1 v Wessex BU (Wednesday 5th Dec 2012)
Next Wednesday will see the rearranged fixture between SGTV Solent 1 and Wessex BU in the 3rd round of the men’s National Cup.
Looking at both of these teams’ form in their respective leagues, this fixture is set to be a classic derby match up.
The home side, SGTV Solent, will be looking to show how far they have come since earning their birth to the Super 8s last season. For this newly promoted side, life in the Super 8s has been tough with two wins out of seven.
In Division 1 it’s a different story for Wessex BU who so far are enjoying a 100% record, six games into their Super 8s promotion campaign.
Simon Trueick, SGTV captain commented, “Wessex are and always have been a huge force in English volleyball. We relish any opportunity to play them and this game will be no different. We have started strongly in the super 8s although feel we have been unlucky in some matches. We have been growing as a team and working hard in training. This will be an excellent test as Wessex have a very strong team this year, and are already knocking on the super 8’s door. We will strive to come out on top of what is guaranteed to be a very hard fought battle.”
Adam Phillips, SGTV coach added, “The last time we played Wessex in competition was a league fixture in the 2010/2011 season. A lot has changed since then for both clubs, in particular for Wessex. Although we ran out winners on that day, this years Wessex side is unrecognisable compared to that team. Boasting two Olympians and a good youth set up, I have nothing but admiration for the things that are currently happening down there. They are investing a lot time and money into Volleyball, which can only be a good thing for the future of the sport.”
GB captain Ben Pipes is set to line up alongside GB team mate Dan Hunter who now captains the Wessex BU side. The pair played professionally in Holland prior to the Olympics and have a great understanding on the court.
Looking towards the fixture, Dan Hunter commented, “this is the most important match of the season for us so far, we can finally test ourselves against Super 8’s opposition and really assess where we are at as a team.
“The guys are motivated and looking forward to this derby game. We will be going hard for the win to try to book our place in the quarter finals of the Cup.”
Wessex will be looking to prove they have what it takes to compete against the best in the NVL, while SGTV Solent will be looking to go one better than last seasons knockout in the third round of the National Cup to London Polonia.
Adam of SGTV explains, “It is our job to make sure they don’t progress into the next round. We will be the toughest team they have faced so far this year and the winners get the opportunity to host either Malory or Lynx 2 in the next round. So it is everything to play for.”
“My boys are feeling good going into this fixture, especially off the back of the Sheffield win in the Super 8s. We are all looking forward to what will be a competitive game.”
Wessex BU’s Head Coach, Evangelos Koutouleas added, “I’m very much looking forward to seeing our level against a Super 8’s team, this will be a good challenge for us.”
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