Saturday 26th November 2016

Saturday 26th November 2016

Not particularly pretty, but productive!

Three of the Su Ragazzi teams headed North on this day to Dundee and Aberdeen, chasing SVL points and high level performances…..we achieved one of the two!

Last game of the trilogy saw the City of Glasgow Ragazzi boys face up to the hugely improved Bon Accord.  The venue was Aberdeen Grammar which is an excellent facility, John Swan was the excellent first referee, the prospect of the some excellent competition was mixed with the anticipation of some excellent play…….all in all the scene was set for ‘excellence’, except in the final analyses the hoped for excellence never quite appeared.

What did appear was lots of drama, mixed with some tension, mixed with moments of real skill, mixed with errors, mixed with furious work rates by both sets of players, we kind of ‘huffed and puffed’ when we wanted to 'sparkle and shine'.  It wasn’t pretty, but it was productive!

There were moments when things seemed to be coming together, when the fluency we had hoped for threatened to appear.  Eddie Gorecki was involved in most of these moments, he served, he blocked, he passed, he hit, he had a good match, as did several others wearing the red and black uniforms, but somehow it never quite reached the levels that had been anticipated.

The good news is that the City Boys emerged with a 3 – 0 win.  The set scores were tight, 23–25, 22-25, 17-25.  Both teams recognised opportunities to build some momentum, but neither team could quite capture that elusive component, however we seemed to want it just a tad more, and we backed this up with some outstanding defensive plays.

So a 3 – 0 win, still top of the Scottish Premier Division, and now we know we can win even when the play doesn’t flow.  It might not have been pretty, but it was productive.

Aberdonia V Su Ragazzi
Before the Men’s match the Fabulous Suettes played against Aberdonia.  Our girls swamped their hosts in the first set, served them off the court, to win 25-10.

Aberdonia are a good hitting team, are a good blocking team, are a good serving team, but their passing is more erratic, so the tactic is to serve tough against them, and we did that well in the second set to win it 25-20.

We were cruising in the third, 19 – 8 up, and the girls started to think about the long ride home – that’s not good.  Our service tailed off, the pressure on the Northern girls eased, Cathy Smy came up with some thunderous serves, and we were fighting to retain the stranglehold we had on the set.

Coach Vince Krawczyk took both of his time outs, he ran some substitutions, and we limped over the line with a 25-20 score.  So a 3 – 0 score line is good, keeping the pressure in the Edinburgh team is good, but there’s a lesson to be learned about staying focused in there somewhere.

Dundee V Su Ragazzi II
This was the first match of the day.  It turned out to be a cracker!

We took the first set 28-26.  They took the second set 25-21.  They also took the third set 25-23, and we took the fourth set 25-21…….it was tough, it was tight, it was absorbing, it was an absolutely fabulous advert for Scottish Volleyball.

In the fifth set we led 9-4, then 12-7 and we could taste the win, then Dundee changed their serving tactics and set about breaking up our passing unit and the score read 12-12.  The players for both sides were working to their maximum capacity.  The tension filled the Craigie HS hall.  We won a side out to go 13-12 up, and our server walked to the baseline and served into the net.  Sheer tension!

13 all, and we managed to side out again through our hugely influential first tempo attack and the score read 14-13 in our favour. Marco Llarden, one of our new recruits walked to the base line and served in.  Dundee scrambled a pass to Barry Miller their setter, who went left, and their spiker thundered the ball out of court…..sheer tension!

We jumped about in celebration for a bit, and then talked about dealing with stress and what’s appropriate behaviour in tight situations.  Finally, this is a match that we would probably have lost last season, so well done indeed to the boys of Su II.

The journey North proved to be quite productive for the Club.  Let’s hope this winning streak continues.