A Day of Mixed Fortunes

Saturday 1st November – a day of mixed fortunes.

Saturday 1st November saw our four National League teams set out to play with hopes of winning – two did, one didn’t, and the fourth didn’t get to compete.

The men’s first team were to play Beacon Fire in Aberdeen.  The arrangements were all made and the journey North was underway, and the mobile phones were busy with garbled messages from the Beacon Club that something had gone wrong at their end.  Something to do with the venue, which resulted in them having to call off the match……so our troops did an about turn at the last roundabout in Dundee and headed back home……all a bit untidy to say the least.

Just about the time that this was all happening the Baby Suettes were involved in a fierce competition in Marr College against Troon II.  Troon know how to compete and the match earlier in the season between the two sides could have gone either way – in this match Troon raced to a two sets to zero lead on the back of their ‘volleypass into the deep corners’ tactic.  

We should have adjusted our defence.  We didn’t, so their tactic worked – end of.

Set three we won at a canter.  Set four they again came out on top to win the match and inflict the first ever national league defeat on the Baby Suettes.  The thing about records though is that they are always going to be broken at some point!  

So, the question is……..what are we going to do to come back from this?

The day had actually started pretty well.  The Fabulous Suettes were first up with a top of the table clash against the current Champions City of Edinburgh.  Of late the matches between the two sides have been pretty even affairs, but CoE have always managed to have the upper hand.  Not this time.

The early exchanges were characterised by both teams serving like demons, and battering the other team’s passing unit.  It was relentless pressure.  It led to both teams scoring runs of points, but with setter Ellen Barwise being a calming influence on the team we managed to come out in front 25-19.

Ellen Barwise

Set two the service barrage continued, and both sides also demonstrated some tough-heads up defence.  To be able to compete against City you need to take something out of Jen Thoms’ hitting.  You cannot stop her completely, but you can slow her down and reduce her kill percentage.  Our Libero Laura McReady did just that with some super power digs.  Just like their libero was doing against Lynne Beattie.  So with the outside spiking battle being fairly even step forward Mhairi Agnew and Carly McKinley who put away some priceless middle attacks with smart plays.  The second set was also captured 25 - 17

Set three Jillian Galloway was having a hard time with the weight of serves that the home side were thundering over the net at her, but she stuck to the task, and also managed to score several crucial hits. Meanwhile Kirsty Mclean who had been having a relatively quiet match also kicked in with some timely hitting scores and the match was done and dusted 25 – 18.

John Swan the appointed match official was very complimentary of both teams and the performance level after the match.  I agreed with his assessment – this was a terrific advert for Scottish Volleyball.

The next match on the South Queensferry court was between the men II of Edinburgh, and the men II of Su – it was a great game.

We won the first and the second sets playing really well.  They won the third set playing better.  We won the fourth set after stepping up our performance  level, then they took the fifth to finish the day.  We had top performances from several players, and they got terrific performances from Rhys Arthur and Liam Darling in particular.

Last year the two sides were locked in a championships winning battle for the whole time – this year both teams are in a rebuilding phase with the emphasis being on introducing the next set of Junior players.  The juniors need to be supported, and for that you need good people in your team, like Su Captain Gordie McGilivray – a ‘Club Man’.   Gordie played several positons in this match – anything to help the team.  He encouraged and cajoled, and supported as a Captain should, and got his reward with an excellent performance and a win.

Gordon McGillivray

So the days started out with great hope, and ended with a mixed picture – that wasn’t quite what had been expected……still, there’s always next Saturday!