Ukraine beats Great Britain women's sitting volleyball in straight sets at 2012 Summer Paralympics

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Team GB fans make their presence felt
Image: Laura Hale.
Both teams at the net
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England— The Paralympic host nation's women's sitting volleyball team lost to Ukraine earlier today at London's ExCel—South Arena 2, in straight sets, before a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. Ukraine won the first set 25-9, the second 25-20 and the third 25-14.

In the second set, Great Britain managed to keep the game competitive by forcing Ukraine to make more use of the full court. They went from being behind 14-8 to being down 20-17; at which point, Ukraine took a time out. Ukraine managed to stay ahead despite a challenge from Great Britain in the second set, which saw the score get to 23-20.

Following the game, both teams were loudly cheered as they exited the court. This was followed by a demonstration of the sport by the Lord Mayor of London Boris Johnson and British actress Barbara Windsor, with the arena commentator noting Johnson is a surprisingly good player.

The game was the first for Great Britain in the country's history, having never qualified a team before. Players on the team are drawn from several clubs around the nation, with Julie Rogers, Jessica Frezza and Andrea Green coming from the Loughborough Lions, Victoria Widdup, Martine Wright and Claire Harvey usually playing for the London Lynx, Samantha Bowen, Jessica O'Brien and Amy Brierly playing for the FDSW Celtic Dragons, and Emma Wiggs and Nicole Hill playing for Portsmouth. They will play their second match of pool play tomorrow when they face the Netherlands.

Ukraine, the top ranked European side in the competition, entered the tournament having finished second at the Intercontinental Cup earlier in the year where they beat Russia, Slovenia, Brazil and Great Britain. Ukraine's second match is against the Netherlands on Sunday.


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