A Historic Win for Richmond Volleyball Club

The weekend of April 23-24 saw Richmond Volleyball Club make history. The Club took home an unprecedented seven medals in the National Volleyball Championships at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering. 

Richmond Volleyball Club qualified for seven national championship finals: Under 15s, Under 16s, Under 18s Girls and Boys and the Men’s Cup. They took home a clean sweep of gold medals in all categories entered.

ANDY HOPPER Club Chairman, says: 

“To qualify teams in all six age group finals was an amazing achievement but then to return from Kettering with an unprecedented six junior gold medals was simply epic. And after many years of success at junior level, securing the club’s first senior trophy in the men’s cup was another astounding victory. The support we had all weekend was extraordinary and played a massive part in our success. Thanks to all the parents and supporters who travelled to Kettering and made it feel like home. The first season after the pandemic has been incredibly hard for everyone and I’m so proud of all the players, coaches, team managers and volunteers who have made these incredible results possible”.

The Men’s National Cup Final is the prime knockout title in the Volleyball England competition calendar. More than 50 teams entered this season’s Men’s tournament, competing at local, regional, and national level. The Cup Final on April 23 saw two of the country’s top teams Richmond Docklands and Newcastle Staffs battle it out on court. With the first two sets under their belt, Richmond found themselves 19-11 down in the third.  But some tactical adjustments by coach Marcel Sivak and some determined play by his players saw Richmond secure a 27:25 third set victory and the title.

Men’s Cup Final Photo: Phil Gibbin

The Junior Grand Prix, which started in January, saw a record number of 309 teams split into two tiers competing in qualifying matches up and down the country. Richmond had entered five boys’ and 13 girls’ teams. From the start of the tournament, Richmond juniors topped each stage, consistently winning their pools in all age groups and securing their place in finals.

Under 15 Boys and Girls. National Champions Photo: Phili Gibbin
Under 16 Girls’ Champions Photo: Steve Smith/sandsphotos.co.uk
Under 16 Boys’ Champions Photo: Steve Smith/sandsphotos.co.uk

On Saturday, Richmond’s Under 16s girls and boys were on top form, they played consistently well and didn’t lose a single set. The U15s followed suit on Sunday morning. The Sunday afternoon championship finals proved a little tougher for Richmond’s Under 18 boys and girls. There was a lot of pressure on the Richmond players to keep up their string of successes and some strong rivals as Richmond boys faced IBB Polonia Academy whilst Richmond girls faced Urmston Grammar. The matches got off to a shaky start for Richmond with a loss for both the boys’ and girls’ teams in the first set. In the second set both Richmond teams got back on track, calmed their nerves, and started to show how well they could play, both teams sealed their victory in the fourth set.

PETER SOCZEWKA Men’s Junior Coach says:

“It has been hugely satisfying seeing Richmond Volleyball junior teams competing and playing their best volleyball this season at the national finals. Our rivals Polonia Academy and Urmston Grammar showed great volleyball on the day, but it was not enough to beat our teams. Now most of our juniors will move to the beach training to improve technical skills and agility which would hopefully allow them to be successful in the next indoor season”.

This year’s tournament was the first time in two years that clubs could take to the national stage and compete in the National Championships, as the 2019/20 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MIKE KEEFE Women’s/Juniors Girls Division Manager says:

“This has been an unprecedented year for Richmond Volleyball with post-Covid demand leading to a 40% rise in the number of volleyball players we have had training this season. Volleyball is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK and getting as many players on court as possible post various lockdowns was our number one priority along with continuing to develop the talent already present within the club. After making it to the National Finals in 2020, only for these to be cancelled due to the first lockdown, we were hungry to get back to the top of all three Junior competitions two years on. The coaches and teams did not disappoint winning Gold in the U18, U16 and U15 categories which is a first for the club and hasn’t been done by any other club for several decades. We are very proud of the players, coaches and team managers and would like to thank all the parents, volunteers, and venues for their unwavering support in our return to the highest levels of the sport.”

Under 18 Girls Photo: Phil Gibbin
Under 18 Boys Photo: Steve Smith/sandsphotos.co.uk

Richmond Volleyball Club celebrates its 30th year this summer 

Founded in 1992, Richmond Volleyball Club provides indoor and beach volleyball for players of all ages and abilities across West London and Surrey. It has several senior men’s and women’s teams competing in the national, regional, county, and local leagues. 

This season’s wins make Richmond Volleyball Club the most successful Volleyball Club at junior level in England. Its thriving junior division offers training for 10-year-olds and above and over the past five years the club has developed a track record of producing quality athletes for Volleyball England’s talent pathway. Later this Summer four Richmond players will be vying for the number one spot to represent their country in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.  Look out for Richmond players: Javier Bello, Joachin Bello, Enrique Bello and Katie Keefe.

MARCEL SIVAK Club Secretary concludes:

I am very proud of what the club has managed to achieve this season. I am immensely grateful to all the players and coaches for their hard work and enormous dedication. Without their endless dedication, none of this would happen. This season is proving to be a successful and a historical one on the court, but it is important to highlight that it has been an excellent example of teamwork also off the court and behind the scenes, as it was the teamwork and sacrifice that carried this team through some challenging times to the successful finish. It is a great place to be but equally the success offers new opportunities for the club that we should look to explore with similar dedication and hard work in the coming months.

Scores from the Volleyball England National Cup Finals:

Men’s National Cup Final | Newcastle Staffs vs Richmond Docklands | 0-3 (23-25; 19-25; 25-27)

U18s Boys National Championships Final | Richmond vs IBB Polonia Pro Volley | 3-1 (22-25; 25-11; 25-15; 25-21)

U18s Girls National Championships Final | Richmond vs Urmston Grammar | 3-1 (20-25; 25-12; 25-18; 25-17)

U16s Boys National Championships Final | Richmond vs Urmston Grammar | 3-0 (25-17; 25-16; 25-22)

U16s Girls National Championships Final | Richmond vs Urmston Grammar | 3-0 (25-10; 25-23; 25-10)

U15s Boys National Championships Final | Richmond vs Urmston Grammar | 3-0 (25-17; 25-13; 25-22)

U15s Girls National Championships Final | Richmond vs Volleyball Development Camps | 3-0 (25-21; 25-14; 25-14)

Docklands and Bucks on top

Richmond’s Men’s Division top both the National Super League and Division 1 after two Sunday victories for Docklands and Bucks.

Richmond Bucks sealed a 3-0 win (24, 18, 18) against Weymouth Beach VC to return to the top of the table.

On the other side of Kingston College Arena, Richmond Docklands were having a fiercely contested battle with Newcastle Staffs.  The visitors took the first set 25-21 but Marcel Sivak’s fought back to take a 2-1 lead.  Docklands led 15-8 in the fourth set but Staffs did not give up.  They tied the scores at 20-20 and then the crowd were treated to a ding-dong battle to the conclusion.  In the end Docklands took the set 25-23 at the first opportunity with captain David Novotny sealing the final point.

Richmond Bucks complete their 2021 fixtures with two matches next weekend.  The take on Cambridge ARU at Teddington on Saturday and then travel to City of Bristol on Sunday.




Docklands go top as Bucks win another five setter

Richmond’s Men’s Division enjoyed another winning weekend with three away victories.

Richmond Bucks defeated table toppers Team Essex Blaze SR in another thrilling five setter. Peter Soczewka’s side took a 2-0 lead but with Mihail Stoev dominating the play he dragged his team level. But Bucks had too much in the end and took a deserved 15-12 fifth set win. That leaves them second in the league behind Essex who have played two games more than Bucks.

Docklands faced another long road trip north against Leeds Gorse and Team Sunderland. The 600 mile round trip was a fruitful one with two 3-0 victories to take Marcel Sivak’s team top of the Super League. Saimir Hysa picked up both Black Knight awards after two eye catching displays.

Both Richmond teams are back in action on Sunday 12th December at Kingston College Arena. Docklands take old rivals Newcastle Staffs whilst Bucks play Weymouth Beach VC for the second time this season. Both matches start at 13:30.

Bucks celebrate




Bucks take thrilling five-setter whilst Docklands go second

Richmond Bucks came from 2-1 down to secure a thrilling 5-set victory over the University of Nottingham.  Meanwhile after losing to Polonia on Saturday, Docklands bounced back on Sunday to defeat Tendring and move into second place in the Super League.

photo by Steve Smith

photo by Steve Smith

Bucks had taken the first set 25-18 but with former Richmond players Ben Lucas and Noah Goalen taking on their old side, the visitors took a 2-1 lead.  However, Peter Soczewka’s side kept fighting and won the key points, taking the fifth set 19-17.

Richmond Docklands featured seven ex-Polonia players against their former team but the unbeaten champions were too strong for the hosts.  In front of a large and loud crowd, Docklands put up more of a challenge in set three, narrowly missing out 25-23.

photo by Steve Smith

photo by Steve Smith

photo by Steve Smith

photo by Steve Smith

Marcel Sivak’s side returned to a cold Kingston College Arena on Sunday to produce a professional display against Tendring, coming away with a 3-0 victory (18, 22, 23).  The win moved Docklands into second place in the table ahead of a tough away double header against Leeds and Sunderland next weekend.

All the action photos can be found here.



Victorious weekend for Richmond Men

Richmond Men’s enjoyed a strong weekend with crucial National League victories for both Docklands and Bucks.

Richmond Bucks kicked off the weekend with a comprehensive 3-0 away win against Weymouth Beach VC.  Peter Soczewka’s squad produced a very professional display to move up to third place in the league.  MVP was awarded to Enrique Bello.

Richmond Docklands gained revenge over Durham Palatinates after the opening day defeat in the north east.  Marcel Sivak’s side bamboozled their opponents in the first set 25-14 – Renan Ribeiro scored three consecutive aces in a dominant display.  But league leaders Durham showed their quality in set two and led 17-9.  However, Docklands slowly pegged them back and after narrowing the gap saved two set points to tie the scores at 24-24.  But Durham just had too much in the end, taking it 26-24.  Docklands reasserted themselves in set three and with ex-Durham captain Pierre Tang-Taye leading the way the home side took a tight third set 25-23.  Docklands gained an early advantage in set four and controlled the match to maintain their lead into the business end of the set.  Durham saved two match points but a Sivak time-out disrupted Durham’s rhythm and a subsequent serving error gave Docklands the victory 25-22.  The win moves Docklands back to second place in the table just behind Durham.

The victories perfectly set up next weekend’s ties.  On Saturday Bucks take on fourth placed Nottingham University followed by Docklands against IBB Polonia.  Docklands also face Tendring on Sunday.  All three matches are at Kingston College Arena – please come and support your teams.

Sat 27th November 16:00 Bucks v University of Nottingham followed by Docklands v IBB Polonia

Sun 28th November Docklands v Tendring 


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