The 2018 Cup and Plate Semi-Finals

The 2018 Cup and Plate semi finals.

In Scottish Volleyball terms semi-final days are always a big deal.  The SVA’s Special Events team ensure the staging of the games matches the ambitions of the teams who are involved, and the Referees Commission add their expertise to the splendour. For the Su Ragazzi Teams the 2018 semi-finals day was a lucky-bag of delights!  From the match winning performances of the teams, to the fantastic atmosphere created by the Su Support, to the excellence of the individual contributions, to the fun of Caitlin’s  personal fan club, there was a continual flow of moments to savour and enjoy.  

Games 1 and 2 saw the men of Su II take on City of Edinburgh, while the girls of Su II took on University of Edinburgh II.  The men were up against it as they were playing one of Scotland’s top teams – except no one told our boys they were supposed to lose. 

In their match the girls stormed into a first set lead and never looked back. The played with enthusiasm and a clear plan on how to win.  With Livia Amzu playing the game of her life, and Captain Kelsie Braidwood demanding nothing short of excellence from her teammates, the second and third sets saw the Glasgow Team dominate the encounter and win convincingly.

In their match the Su II men came flying out of the traps and go head-to-head with the Edinburgh Team.  The score line went point for point right up to the business end of the set then the experience of the Premier League side, and the power of Niall Collin’s spiking, proved decisive.  In the second set the Su boys regrouped, but couldn’t halt the Edinburgh offence.  In the third set it was a different story.  We played and won an outstanding set, and looked like a Premier Team as we defended like demons and attacked with intent and purpose.

The Edinburgh side got a fright.  They had demonstrated respect for the occasion and the Su Team with the way they went about their business, but they had not anticipated losing a set.  They regrouped, they responded, they stepped up their game, but still we won rallies and points. The final score was 3 – 1 in favour of the Edinburgh side, but it was a terrific performance from our guys.

Then the men of the Ragazzi first team took to the stage to play against Iain Parker’s South Ayrshire.  We started very strongly and raced into a two sets to zero lead with some terrific power hitting.  The second set also saw the introduction of the latest recruit to the Su Ragazzi player pool, when 16 year old Daniel Okungbowa stepped up to the plate and played well.  Set three was different. They rediscovered their formidable block, had Ross McKelvie consistently scoring, and deserved to win.

Set 4 was tense, was dynamic, was very close, and was won by the Ragazzi boys who held their nerve in the clinch moments.  The 3 – 1 score line was deserved, but the Boys from Ayrshire made it as tough to win as any match played this year.

The final match of the day saw the Fabulous Suettes play the girls from City of Edinburgh.  This pulsating encounter should have been the final! The first two sets disappeared on the wings of a superb demonstration of power volleyball from the Suettes.  The Suettes were outstanding, and then the girls from Edinburgh fought back, built clear momentum through their left side hitters and took the third set. 

Set 4 was titanic, with both sides playing fantastic stuff at the same time.  The score went point for point, but the Suettes had rediscovered the edge they needed to stay in front and take the set and the match.  It was breathless stuff that thrilled the noisy and appreciative crowd, and the girls did the bouncy-bouncy dance to celebrate.

So the finals day on April will feature 3 Su Ragazzi Teams – absolutely fabulous!