Dundee University was the venue for the annual gathering of university teams for the Scottish Universities Women’s Volleyball Cup. Nine teams in two pools demonstrated the optimism and energy that characterises student volleyball with matches being both noisy and competitive. Five division 2 teams – Heriot Watt, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Stirling and Edinburgh II – had the opportunity to test themselves against Div. 1 opponents for the only time in the season and they certainly relished their chance!
In Pool 1 the top two positions were closely contested between Div. 1 runners up Edinburgh and Dundee: the first set being an epic 30-28 victory for Dundee, with Edinburgh taking the second set more easily, 25 – ?. Full marks must go to a gusty Heriot Watt team for their enthusiastic and competitive approach against all the odds: at 22-0 down to Dundee, the Heriot Watt players showed real team spirit and continued to challenge the Dundee team, eventually clawing back to 6 – 25. Despite finishing bottom of their pool, the Heriot Watt girls deserve great credit for competing so positively. However with Edinburgh edging the top pool spot from Dundee through points difference, the question was, who were they going to meet in the semi-finals?
The answer from Pool 2 was unequivocal: Div. 2 winners Aberdeen (who have not dropped a set all season) demonstrated why they have been eager to try their hand against Div.1 opposition, by easily disposing of Div.1 champions Napier, along with Strathclyde and Edinburgh II. This left Napier in runner-up spot and left Aberdeen to meet Dundee in the penultimate round.
Aberdeen’s semi-final match against Dundee was arguably their toughest of the day, with the new-look Dundee team pushing them all the way in the first set, narrowly losing 24-26. However with the hard word done, Aberdeen found the second set an easier task, winning 25-14. In the other semi-final Napier disposed of Edinburgh 25-21, 25-23, setting up a re-run of their earlier pool match against Aberdeen for the Final.
The Final was acloser-run affair than the earlier contest between the respective Div. 1 and Div.2 champions, with Stepien for Napier and Lieber for Aberdeen standing out for the power of their attack: Lieber’s passing and hitting in particular, being of the highest quality. However Aberdeen had just too much power for Napier to deal with and their defensive strength made it difficult for the Edinburgh team to gain many footholds in the match. The final score of 25-21, 25-14 to Aberdeen was a fair reflection of their dominance of the competition.
With Aberdeen and Dundee having won the Cup in four of the last five years, the traditional domination of the event by central belt universities appears to have lessened. Congratulations to Aberdeen for a well deserved Cup victory and well done to all players for once again making the day such a good advert for student volleyball. A final word must go to the officials – Mike Heaney, Mike McConville, Lorna Christie and Graeme Allen for their endurance, good humour and high quality of work throughout the course of a long day’s competition – their presence and the support from the Referee’s Commission emphasising the positive collaboration between SVA Commissions in supporting the development and delivery of volleyball in Scotland.
Final Pool 1 Position
Final Pool 2 Position
|Semi Final 1
|Semi Final 2
|Npaier V Edinburgh (21 -21, 25 – 23
|Aberdeen V Dundee )26 – 24, 25 – 14)
|Napier V Aberdeen (21 – 25, 14 – 25)
|Scottish Universities Cup Winners 2010: Aberdeen University
Photos taken by Mike Heaney.