London Lynx lost their fiercely contested semi-final series against IBB Polonia after two 3-0 defeats, as Beth Gunter reports.
Lynx lost a weekend double-header at Brentford, with two successive 3-0 reverses, amid a bitterly fought clash that at one stage turned physical.
In the final set of the Sunday encounter, Lynx were losing 16-11 when Polonia had outside spiker, Marius Ciortea expelled from the game after going under the net swinging punches.
Lynx rallied and closed the gap, but Polonia won through to complete a commanding brace of wins.
The first loss on Saturday came after a tight first set finished 28-26. The next two sets were plain sailing for National Cup Champions Polonia as they ran away 25-19, 25-15.
A win for Polonia on Sunday would then grant them their place in the League Play-off finals, but a win for Lynx would see the series go into a deciding golden set.
Supporters came out in their masses to cheer on their home team and under the sea of red and white, Polonia took the first set 25-23, after a few too many errors on the Lynx side of the net.
England International, Jermaine Miles, was put into the Lynx line up for the first time at the weekend, but after going 6-0 down from a poor serve receive he was taken out for Mo Slitti.
Lynx went on to lose the set 25-17 after tough serving from the strong Polonia side, causing problems for the Lynx passing unit.
After the players had calmed down following Ciortea’s expulsion, Lynx took advantage and caused havoc on the Poloia side pulling the score back within one.
However, after a time out from Vangelis Koutoulea, IBB powered through taking the set 25-19. Lucio Oro was the man Lynx could not stop as he scored eight of their nine last points of the match.
London Lynx were having a hard weekend but still put their best efforts in to try and take the series to a decider, though to no avail.
After the game, Lynx’s MVP, Taylor Wilson said ‘It’s been a great season and to reach the semi-finals is amazing. Polonia are a great team and we wish them the best in their final’
Lynx will now say goodbye to some of their main players before the start of next season, including Wilson.
Polonia now have two weeks to prepare for their second National Final of the season as they take on current Champions Team Northumbria on 7th-8th May in Kettering.