West v North East

Saturday 8th October saw the first matches in the 2016/17 season’s Scottish Volleyball League.  This season Su Ragazzi will again field four teams with all four starting the season with home ties against teams from the North East.  Four matches played – four matches won! Simply great!


First up was the boys of Su II, playing Dundee, one of the most established teams in the division.  Last season Dundee won both matches between the two sides, but this encounter was different, due in no small part to the efforts of Su II Captain Gordie McGilivray.  He was immense, as he drove his troops to a 3 sets to zero win.


Next up was the girls of Su II again playing Dundee, and again the side from the North East had won both encounters last season…….but not this time! The first set Dundee started with confidence, with intent, with a clear match plan, and blew the home side away 25-9.   There was a good deal of chaos for the Su Girls  in the first set as a number of the players were playing in the team for the first time. Second set Coach Vince Krawczyk sorted out some of the ‘wrinkles’ and the home side won 25-18.  Set 3 Dundee’s talented hitter Nicola McKenzie burst into life, created havoc in the Su defense, and steered her team to a 25-20 win. The home side rallied with the players urging each other to give their best efforts,  and the girls took the fourth set 25-18.  So this topsy-turvy match went to a fifth set.  Fifth sets are a sprint to the finish, and the Su II girls were miles faster than their North East counterparts, taking the set and the match with an emphatic 15-9 win.


The third match saw the Fabulous Suettes play Cathy Smy’s Aberdonia.  For the first ten points of the first set it was nip and tuck, then the Suettes moved into another gear, and dominated everything.  The 3 sets to zero score line didn’t flatter the home side, and the best thing is they know they can play even better.  Aberdonia put up a good fight, they worked hard at competing, but didn’t have either the control or the power to withstand the Su girls.  This was an excellent result, and a great start to the defense of their Champions Crown.


So, three matches down, one to go.  The last match of the day saw the City of Glasgow Ragazzi Boys  taking on newly promoted Bon Accord.  As the players from the North East drifted into the gym it was noted that they had a number of new faces in their line up, and veteran setter Stevie Milne was back.  


The match turned out to be a fantastic display of the best of Scottish Volleyball, superbly refereed by Barney McDougal.  The home side won the first set 25-21 and all seemed well.  Then the visitors took the second set 26-24 with a pulsating display of power volleyball that was simply irresistible.  Set 3 also went to the visitors who capitalised on the momentum they had built in the second set to win with a 25-23 score line.


The home side needed to stem the tide of winning hits coming from the team on the other side of the net.  They needed to find a way to evade the Bon Accord block, they needed to serve tougher, and work harder with the transition opportunities that they were creating – all of which was a tall order.  But the City Boys are Champions, and will not give that up easily, so they worked harder and took the fourth set 25-14.  Set 5 the home side outscored the team from Aberdeen, and won the sprint 15-11.


There was a mixture of emotions at the end – the City Boys were happy to have won, glad to have played in such an outstanding match, relieved that they managed to turn the situation around in the fourth set, and finally happy to have made the day complete for the Club.  


Four matches played – four won.  Now that’s not such a bad way to start the new season.