The Top Two Tussle!
Saturday 16th November - Su Ragazzi v Caledonia West in the women's Premier League at Coatbridge High School.
This encounter was first v second in the Premier League as Vince Krawczyk brought his surprise troops to Coatbridge High School.
Before the match, the Su Ragazzi Setter Nicole Ramage was asked how confident she was of producing a good result:
"Overall I am extremely confident, although we don't know what to expect from the opposition so adjusting on the hoof might be a challenge, especially without having our full squad today. As long as we as a squad demonstrate what we practiced in training, a favourable result will come our way!"
The first set went very well for the home side who emerged 25-20 winners. The match strategy had to be changed as VK changed his line-up, but the Suettes coped well with the adjustments. Set 2 was played out with neither team managing to establish a dominance but the Cale side seized the opportunity presented by some weak serving from the home side to steal the set 25-23.
Set 3 the home side regrouped, and with Outside Hitter Katie Barbour demonstrating a range of power hits and crystal clear decision making, the score line was reversed with the Fabulous Suettes winning 25-23. The Caledonia side had a match strategy that kicked in when they could control our first hit. That first attack was critical and the visitors fought like demons to prevent it being effective, to allow them to move into their transition offence, but the Suettes worked out what was required, established an insurmountable lead, and saw the set out 25-14 winning the match.

Katie Barbour

Considering the fact that we were 5 players down, and we had our number 1 libero playing as a Power Hitter, the performance of the Suettes was terrific. After the match, Katie Barbour was asked for her reflections on the difference between the two sides:
"We had more power and options on our side, and Nicole was able to open the court to make our attack easier. In general, the passing was about even, but we managed to improve this situation in the 4th set which allowed us to dominate proceedings. This was a great game between two tough teams with some great rallies."
Once the dust had settled, our new Bulgarian recruit, Maria Nikolova, was asked to reflect on the overall performance of the team in the first half of the season and identify what we could do better:
"We could be more calm when the situation is tough – even when we are winning, we seem to be verging on the frantic – but at the same time things are taking shape and we are improving with every game."
So the Suettes end the first round of fixtures having played 5 and won 5, all credit to the players. Next Saturday, the cavalcade heads north to take on Volleyball Aberdeen – the tough matches just keep on coming!