The Su head East

Saturday 13th January 2018

The Su head East…….

For the first set of matches in the New Year all four of the Su Ragazzi teams headed East.  Three of the teams travelled to South Queensferry High School to take on City of Edinburgh, the fourth team, Su Ragazzi ladies II, went all the way to the capital to play NUVOC II.

The Edinburgh match was our only defeat, but in fact it was a bit of a triumph for Kelsie Braidwood and her troops.  At 23.00 on the evening of Friday 12th the ladies II had 5 players, with four of those missing being starting six! Work commitments, extended vacations, and family priorities all meant that the ladies II were down to bare bones.

NUVOC II are a good side, and there was no way the ladies of Su II could overcome the numerous difficulties associated with putting a team together at the last moment, but the girls competed, and fulfilled the fixture.  So, it is a very well done to all involved, and a promise that things will get better!

The see-saw game.
Meanwhile at South Queensferry High School the promise of a terrific day’s sport loomed large.  First up was a see-saw match between the hosts and the Fabulous Suettes.  In the first set the Glasgow side came out of the traps firing on all cylinders and gave the home team a thumping!

In the second set the home team came out of the traps firing on all cylinders and gave the visitors a thumping!

The very large crowd cheered, clapped their hands and stamped their feet to make a fantastic atmosphere for the players to demonstrate their hard-earned skills.

In the third set thigs settled down a little with both teams establishing then giving up leads.  Setter Jo Morgan for the home side was excellent, while Carly Murray for the visitors served super tough, and the Glasgow outfit soaked up the pressure to win a very tight set.

The fourth set was the best and most competitive of the match.  Both teams played well, both teams scored and surrendered runs of points, before the Suettes secured the three sets to one win, with a middle attack featuring Mhairi Agnew. 

Cue jumping about in celebration, and a quick set up for match number 2.

Using the ‘get out of jail’ card
Match 2 was between the City of Edinburgh Men, and the City of Glasgow Ragazzi.  The visitors were expected to win, partly because the home side are in a rebuilding phase with some excellent younger players making the break-through to their first team.  Before the match started the Edinburgh Coach Ally Jack remarked that he was mainly looking for a good performance from his team………..he got that, and much, much more!

In the first set the Glasgow side struggled to build any kind of game momentum particularly in the service box.  Serve error followed serve error, while the Edinburgh Boys were serving bullets that drilled through the visitor’s passing unit.  The first set went to the Ragazzi men, but it was tight.

The second set was a mirror of the first.  Tough serves from the home side, lollipops from the visitors, but somehow the Glasgow managed to emerge from the set with a 2-0 lead; cue a step up in class from the Edinburgh Captain Nially Collins.  For the duration of the third and fourth sets Nially was almost unplayable, and almost single handedly won the sets for his team.  The fourth set in particular was an absolute doozie.  The score line said that the set was finally won 34-32, it doesn’t say anything about the level of tension in the gym, or about the noise that was created by the very large crowd alternately cheering their heroes.

So, it all came down to the fifth set.  The Glasgow side had played their way into volleyball jail, and somehow managed to play their way out again to win the set 15-11, and the match 3 sets – 2 and then breathe a sigh of relief.

Relying on experience
In the third match of this busy day the Men of Su II took on the boys of City of Edinburgh II.  Ian Brownlee has arguably the best group of Juniors in the country, while the Glasgow side can boast of having some of the most experienced players in the division.  It was always going to be a tough match, and it lived up to its billing. 

When the dust settled the Glasgow side had won the match 3 sets to 1.  When the total points were added up there was only 5 points of a difference between the teams.  The score in the fourth set that clinched the match was 28-26, with the victory, in a large measure being down to the experience of Su II Captain Gordie McGilivray.

By his own high standards Gordie had a poor game.  His service deserted him, and he couldn’t seem to find a way passed the very effective block thrown up consistently by Fraser Glass for the home side. His inability to deal with this could have rattled his confidence, it could have placed a doubt in his head but at 26 all in the fourth, when setter Scott Mackenzie gave Gordie the ball, he thundered it away for a cross court score.  Then repeated this in the very next play to seal the win.  It was a terrific game, and a great win for the men from the West.

The score for the day reads Su Ragazzi 3 – City of Edinburgh 0 and that’s deserved and welcomed, but spare a mention for Scottish Volleyball which benefitted from the actions of all six teams, and the huge audience that helped make this an epic show.