Coach thrilled by Riga scalp
NATIONAL ONE Docklands 3 Coventry & Warwick Riga 1 LONDON Docklands Volleyball coach Ian Legrand expressed his relish at beating arch rivals Coventry and Warwick Riga. With Riga just one place below Docklands in Men s National League Division One, Legran
Coventry & Warwick Riga 1
LONDON Docklands Volleyball coach Ian Legrand expressed his relish at beating arch rivals Coventry and Warwick Riga.
With Riga just one place below Docklands in Men's National League Division One, Legrand knew that this match would go a long way to defining Docklands' season.
After the men from the capital won 3-1 at Bacon's College, Rotherhithe on Saturday, Legrand said: "I hate losing to Riga and as such I'm glad that the team realised their potential today.
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"We dealt well with all the distractions and performed consistently in the last three sets."
After losing to Riga in five sets earlier in the season, Docklands were keen to avenge that defeat and before the match were given a boost with the news that Riga's most dangerous hitter, Kees de Hoogh, had been unable to travel due to a case of food poisoning.
However, in the first set Riga made light of missing their star man.
Piotr Rybarczyk was particularly effective in attack and it was his block on Wayne Davies that saw Riga go 8-3 up.
The first set hung in the balance, until two kills from Rybarczyk restored Riga's six-point cushion and the visitors closed out the set 25-21.
Docklands started the second set in a hurry, winning nine of the first 13 points after service pressure from Alessandro Galli and Boris Halatchev helped Docklands dominate the net.
But a lapse by Docklands let Riga back in the set.
In a topsy-turvy set the home side edged a dramatic contest 27-25, with a powerful smash from Davies.
Nothing could separate the two teams at the start of set three. Docklands held a slender lead at 13-11 and then Galli produced a stunning block to inspire the hosts to take a stranglehold on the match.
Service runs from Halatchev and Alexis Blair helped close out the set at a canter, Galli shutting out Craig Smith to win the set 25-15.
Halatchev and Davies starred as Docklands comfortably took the fourth and final set.
Docklands have the weekend off, as their next game is against Middlesbrough College at Bacon's College on Saturday, January 30.