Saturday January 21st 2017

The journey to the top

Saturday 21st January 2017 at Coatbridge High School

Su Ragazzi II (men) V City of Edinburgh II – match score 3 - 0

For the second week in a row the Su II men kicked off a three match home day with a 3 – 0 win (25-13, 25-17, 25-18).  This week’s opponents were the talented youngsters from City of Edinburgh II who worked hard, but did not have an answer to the power of Georgios Michael, or the guile of Callum Stewart.  

Setter Scott Mackenzie ably deputised for injured Captain Gordie McGilivray and ran a fast and effective offence, as well as establishing that the Su II boys would serve tough for the whole game.

The win, added to events elsewhere with NUVOC losing to Lenzie, saw the Su II boys leapfrog the Edinburgh side to sit proudly at the top of the men’s first division.  A great result, and a suitable reward for the excellent efforts on a cold but very beautiful Saturday.

A game of two halves.

In the second match of the day the Fabulous Suettes were 2 sets to zero up on the league leaders City of Edinburgh, and playing like a dream.

In the third match of the day the City of Ragazzi men were two sets to zero down against second placed City of Edinburgh and playing like they were in a nightmare.

The change of ends in the second match of the day was full of positive chatter, smiles and high fives, while in the men’s match the home side were scratching their heads and wondering where it was all going wrong.

The third set started for the Fabulous Suettes and the Edinburgh girls raced into a 7 – 2 lead.  Coach Vince Krawczyk ran a series of substitutions, took both his timeouts, paced the space in front of the bench, but could not prevent the visitors steamrolling the set to a 25 – 11 score line

The third set in the men’s match was a cagy effort with neither team dominating procedures, but both working their socks off to win.  Fraser Dunlop and Ally Galloway were beginning to score consistently on the outside, while the Edinburgh boys slipped just a little from the virtually unplayable edge they had established.  This allowed the home side to win a very tight set 25-22.

Fourth set for the girls saw the home side play better than the previous set, but the City Girls had established a dominance through zone 4.  With Jo Morgan supplying some quality sets their hitters powered through the home side’s defence and then they jumped about celebrating their 25-17 win.

In the men’s match the very large and very noisy crowd thought the game was over when the Edinburgh side took a 20-16 lead.  The atmosphere in the gym was electric when the visitors were 24-21 in front.  All they needed was one point to win this epic encounter, just one point away from sitting on top of the premier division.  Ally Galloway went to serve for the home side, and before anyone could draw breath the score line was 24-24.  The teams then traded side-outs before the Su Boys won the set 28-26.  Fantastic volleyball and fighting spirit from the boys from the West.

In the girls’ match the visitors raced into a 7-2 lead.  In the men’s match it was the home side who led 7 – 2.

In the girls’ match the home side fought back to bring the score to a close 6 – 8. In the men’s match the visitors did the same.

In the girls’ match the Edinburgh hitters were consistently powering the ball through the home side’s defence, while the girls from the West just simply couldn’t find a way to finish the rallies, and the final score read 8-15.  Cue wild celebrations from the Edinburgh side and their supporters who leapt to their feet to celebrate a fantastic win.

In the men’s match things were considerably tighter.  Both teams served tough.  Both teams won points on the outside.  Both teams scrabbled and fought for the win, but Su’s Middle Blocker Fraser Strachan stepped up and scored a crucial block to set the home side up at 14 points to 11, and while the visitors bravely played two terrific points to bring them to 13, the inevitable happened with Eddie Goreckie powering an unstoppable hit onto the Edinburgh side’s floor to send the players and the vast majority of the crowd wild with delight.

Two games of Two Halves, two top class matches with one story to tell, and the winners are both Clubs, and Scottish Volleyball.