The Su II Boys.
Match day 2 started early for the boys from Su II. St Augustine’s High School in Edinburgh for a 09.30 FBS against Jets 2 – great facility, great opposition, first set lost 22-25, looked like it was going to be a tough day………but the Su Ragazzi II troops rallied, won the second set 29-19, won the third 25-17, and won the fourth 25-18, for a comprehensive victory. Well done to Colin Sangster and the boys.

The Fabulous Suettes.
The next part of the day saw the Fabulous Suettes take on local rivals NLVC.

The Suettes have got off to a two from two winning league start for the first time in four seasons and that bodes well for the season ahead. However the level of performance raged from the ridiculous to the sublime.

North Lanarkshire struggled to contain the Suettes in the early stages of the match with the power and subtlety of Alex Dickenson and Carly McKinlay stretching them to the limit. Su raced to a 14-6 lead and then maintained the gap till the score read 18-10. However at that stage a mental frailty kicked in, leading to a catalogue of unforced errors that not only allowed North Lanarkshire back into the game but also ensured they took the first set 25-23. Nothing changed from the early stages of the set to the final points except the not-so-fabulous Suettes refused to prepare for the ball that was coming back to thyem, with the resultant last minute personal organisation causing panic in and around the ball.

Problem solved from the first ball in the second set as Su re-established themselves with Carly and Alex having solid and dependable support from the remainder of the troops. But then at 17-9 the yips set in once again and Su proceeded to make exactly the same mistakes as in the first set. It was farcical as the girls did everything correct in broken play situations, before concluding with a poorly focused outcome play. Before you could say “job done” it was 24-23 to the Motherwell side. At that point a more common sense approach kicked in and we finally closed out the set with a series of excellent plays.

Set three saw the real character of the team appear and they simply blew the home side away. Emma Clarkson found her first tempo hitters, with our passers allowing her to establish this link. Our outside hitters played smart any hope NL had of turning the tide of the game in their favour diminished in a clutch of eight serves from Emma. A resounding 25-15 win was the result of our team demonstrating consistency, smarts and some inspirational play in defence.

Set four saw NLVC launch a spirited comeback as they matched scores and stayed with Suettes till 16-12. Then Laura Mckernan came to the service line and served out the remaining nine points. The last five points resulted from attacking ‘kills’ by Kirsty McLean who had been re-introduced for Marketa Hola who had an excellent performance. The confidence that Laura and Kirsty showed in the closing stages should support their endeavour to find consistency over the next few weeks.

So, a couple of weeks practice and then the first real test against the big guns at Troon.

North Lanarkshire 1-3 Suettes (25-23:24-26:15-25; 12-25)

The roads and miles to…..Aberlour?
Scotland is a stunningly beautiful country, and we get lots of opportunities to witness that Autumnal beauty in the third match of the day which featured City of Glasgow Ragazzi playing against V Bon Accord. The three and a half hour drive was long, was full of humorous chatter, and was bathed in glorious sunshine.

The trip North to play the BA crew has been fraught with difficulties over the past few seasons. Bon Accord are a top side, with a solid base for their recent success, and they have recorded several victories against the Glasgow Ragazzi boys, but not this day. This day we were at almost full strength. This day we had the confidence of a solid performance and excellent win again Glasgow Mets last week. This day we played with a smile on our faces, and consistent triple blocks against the real threat posed by their outside hitters and we won 3 sets to zero.

Early exchanges threw up a couple of controversial moments that tested refereeing team Stephen Lawrie and Kenny Gilchrist, but the game quickly settled into a power –at – the – net exchange between their hitters and our blockers. We won that exchange and the set 25-18.

Set 2 Steve Todd ran an outstanding offence, making full use of all of his hitting options, creating too many problems for the BA block, giving the BA defence no time to adjust and settle, and we confidently marched to a 22-16 win.

The third set is always the toughest to win. Set 3 BA came back with a better sense of purpose and a much tougher series of serves. They reached the first technical time-out first. We talked of paying more attention. They continued to score points and ‘boss’ the exchanges and reached the second technical time-out first. We talked of paying more attention and working harder. They continued to push the game but we ‘pushed back’ and played some terrific defence focused around our very successful block – 25-22 game done! Our group were full of smiles as we sat on the floor after the game and reflected on what has been an excellent start to the new season. And then we got back into the cars for the three and a half hour drive home!

Match day 2
Su Ragazzi VC – played 3 won 3
Whoo-hoo, that works for me!

The Junior Suettes.
The Juniors resumed where they left off last season, with a win. Edinburgh were the only opponents as South Ayrshire have withdrawn

The young under 15’s stepped up and inspirational captain from last year, Priya Gill was missing through injury. Su took an early lead and Edinburgh had real difficulty managing the Powerful Su serve. When they did the balance of open play was well balanced. Mhairi Agnew was the dominant force and her middle net partner; Megan Quinn ensured total dominance in middle net.

Su went about business quietly and effectively and took the set 25- 20. The second set saw the introduction of Jenn & Nicole Teyhan to the game and the made an immediate impact, as they were part of the unit that raced to an 18-7 lead. The table then discovered a rotational error at 9-7 and so the score went back. Hard luck on Nicola Hughes who had served the intervening ten points. However this setback was a temporary blip and the second set was soon cleared 25-22 and match over. The third set was well balanced and all credit to Edinburgh who fought for every point to win the set 15-12.

Good start and two weeks from now sees the second round as the youngsters bid for glory once more.