Beth Gunter previews London Lynx’s Quarter Final meeting against Wessex BU
After finishing fourth in the regular season, London Lynx faces a tough challenge against Wessex BU in the quarter-final league play-off fixture.
The volleyball regular season has ended and the Super 8 Division still have their League playoff games. The bottom team in the league faces automatic relegation while the seventh-placed team plays their relegation play-off. The top two teams are automatically awarded semi-final places while the middle four teams play cross-over quarter-finals.
As the higher ranked team, Lynx has the home advantage on Saturday 9th April as they play at UELs SportsDock.
Having met twice in the regular season with one win each, it is all to play for. The first encounter was a tight five-set match with Wessex BU the eventual winners. The second was a straight forward 3-0 win for a dominant Lynx side just two weeks ago.
The match is set to be a battle of the big hitters as London Lynx Yassir Slitti, GB International, and Taylor Wilson, NCAA D1 champion, take on Olympian Daniel Hunter and Bulgarian International Andrea Ivanov.
Slitti is confident going into the match: “I think we have what it takes, we have a strong team and beat them late last month so anything can happen on the day but if we outwork them we can get the job done.”
With Lynx back at their full squad capacity, they could be a force to be reckoned with. Lynx are going into the match off the back of two good wins and a tight match against Eagles as they continue to peak at just the right time.
However, Lynx libero David Tiberte is set to miss the quarter-finals as he’s torn his ACL, which has ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
Wessex BU also took a knock as Issa Batrane, England International, quit the team to focus on his beach volleyball before a busy summer competing.
Jermiane Miles offers strength and height to the Lynx team, but with Wessex the best serving team in the league, it is probable that Primus will choose the sturdy passer, Mo Slitti to start. Lynx also gain Yas Slitti and Wilson after both took short breaks with their family over Easter. It is likely that second-team libero Gerviase Bynoe will be called up to replace the injured Tiberte.
With Batrane no longer part of the Wessex squad it is likely we will see Hunter and Ivanov through the outside while England Internationals Kostadin Stoimenov and Will Van Wingerden will play through the middle. Although, with a big squad of players to choose from all positions are up for grabs with a lot riding on performance through training sessions this week.
Ones to watch
Yassir Slitti: after two near perfect games against Wessex and Northumbria he is one to watch at the net, adding a lot of height to the team we will be sure to see many blocks against the smaller Wessex outsides.
With Lynx getting results against big teams last month they are favourites going into the match with their full squad at peak fitness. However Wessex BU have strong coaching staff and players and should not be underestimated.