Giants beat SQUAD (Men’s D2B - London Volleyball League) 15:21 21:15 21:19 21:18 Tightening title challenge A great game keeps our division on tenterhooks.
For a while the rising score showed there was little between the sides and they were still indivisible at 10:all. After dropping a point, Giants then raced to 15:11 only to fade under the pressure of good serving and strong play at the net by Scott Anderson, Wojtek Kostelecki and Michael Mark, Giants collapsed. The visitors continued to dominate as the second set got under way but a revival by giants at 3:5 took them to 9:6 and, confidence restored, they played much better but, after a well judged time-out, SQUAD recovered to 15:13 when Anestis Kales decided he need to talk to his players who proceeded to outscore their opponents two to one for the remainder of the set.
Giants made a good start to the third going 4:2, then 8:3 ahead but the match then blossomed into an excellent contest as SQUAD clawed their way back into contention forcing time-outs at 15:19 and 18:19. The second one had the desired effect on the server and Giants breathed a huge sigh of relief as Guiseppe de Mosa served out the set. For the entire fourth set it looked as though the match would go to a fifth. SQUAD made a superb start taking a 0:3 and 2:5 lead and maintaining a three or four point advantage to 14:17. At 16:18 it looked as though they should have done enough but side out brought Giants to within a point and brought recent signing Marcin Tkaczuk to serve and he showed nerves of steel initiating the four consecutive rallies they needed for victory.
Battersea Sports Centre, Clapham, 15th February
Players: Giant Men Starting Six: Federico Cifuentes, Simon Granger, Dimitrov Radostin, Francesco Rigante (captain), Ioannis (John) Theocharopoulos, Krasi Zhechev. Libero: Ibrail Khan. Other players: Paolo de Grazia, Guiseppe de Mosa, Rafael Jovanelle, Anton Romalijsky, Marcin Tkaczuk. Coach: Anestic Kales.
SQUAD Starting Six: Scott Anderson, Wojtek Kostelecki, Michael Mark, Raphael Ruijsenaars, Georgi Stanev (captain), Artur Zapalowski. Libero: Jin Ng. Other players: Benoit Corbisier, Dimitri Ledkov, Coach: Luis Vigar,