Other 2014/15 reports

Opponents: London Lynx 1
Competition: Super8s
Date: Sunday 25th January 2015
Venue: Haverstock School
Result: W 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-19)
Headline: Docklands in the Pink with Lynx win
Author: Andy Hopper


London Docklands Volleyball secured their first Super8s win since October in a clinical display against East London rivals Lynx. After succumbing to the same side seven days earlier, Docklands took the opportunity of swift revenge and took home the much needed three points.

Apart from switching Marc Schaepertoens into the Libero slot, Docklands coach Ercüment Karakoç kept faith with the same starting line up that ran Lynx close last week. Stand-in middle blocker Piotr Majorkowski did a sterling job in unfamiliar surroundings whilst his counter-part, captain Mark Baechli, led from the front with a determined display. Knowing the importance of the match in the context of the season, Docklands started tentatively. By the time of the second technical time-out they had not quite found their stride but were more than holding their own with Lynx 16-15 up. Two quick points after the time-out swung the momentum back Docklands' way and when Docklands took a two point lead at 19-17, Lynx coach Dan Primus, former Docklands player and coach, knew the importance of the situation to call his first time-out. The delay helped stem the tide of Docklands' points but two quick kills from birthday boy Andrew Pink and Mathieu Ras helped Docklands open up a four-point cushion at 23-19. Everything was running Docklands' way and it was left to Pink to seal the set 25-20 with a deft tip over the Lynx block.

Primus changed half of his first six, and Libero at the start of set two and Docklands took advantage before the new players could settle in. The home side led 8-4 and 16-11 at the technical time-outs and were dominating proceedings. Setter Kieran O'Malley was showing off his defensive skills as well as his tactical nous, wisely using the second ball attack when required. Docklands won a long rally to go 22-16 up and the end of the set was nigh. The frustration was beginning to tell on Lynx's side of the net and a Lynx hitting error saw Docklands claim the set 25-17.

Karakoç implored his players to keep the pressure on and his steers duly dominated play in set three. At 15-10 Docklands were given a further bonus with ex-Docklands star Mohammed Sliti given an expulsion for the rest of the set after an altercation with the first referee. Often such incidents can spur the team involved on to greater things but Lynx couldn't turn it to their advantage as Docklands kept their composure to close out the set 25-19. Appropriately it was left to a sprightly 32-year-old Pink to win the final point with a smash off the block.

Docklands' dominance was highlighted by having not taken any time-outs during the whole match and sticking to the starting line-up who deserved to see out Docklands to victory. Coach Karakoç was understandably delighted with his side's performance, commenting, "We did a great job today and didn't allow them to play at all. We learnt lessons from last week and took our chances well. It was a good all round performance and I'm proud of my team."

Although the win still sees Docklands in seventh place it moves them within touching distance of Malory Eagles ahead of a critical double against bottom placed Solent.

Black Knight: Piotr Majorkowski

Docklands MVP: Kieran O'Malley

Lynx MVP: Lee Hamilton

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