Scottish Volleyball’s indoor season gets underway this weekend, with the first round of fixtures in the Schelde Sports National League.
Defending mens champions Glasgow Mets open their campaign with a home match against Bon Accord, Troon Prestwick & Ayr host an Ayrshire derby with league runners-up Kilmarnock Blaze, City of Glasgow Ragazzi entertain last year’s Division Two champions South Ayrshire in the Prestwick club’s top league debut, while in the Edinburgh derby Edinburgh Jets take on City
In the womens First Division, NUVOC are a welcome return to the top flight after several years away, and open their campaign against North Lanarkshire. Su Ragazzi face South Ayrshire, with the added spice of a Su debut for Kirsty McLean, the Scotland star having moved from South Ayrshire in the close season. Edinburgh Jets have defending champs City of Edinburgh for their opener, and it’s derby day again in Ayr,as Scottish Cup winners Troon Prestwick & Ayr take on their second team, Troon Kyle & Carrick, who won Division Two in the last season.
Mens Division Two has three ties, with Su Ragazzi II having to wait until next week for their opener. Glasgow Mets II ran away with Division Three last year, but will have to be on top form to overcome an experienced Bellshill Cardinals side in their return to the middle tier. Dundee have consolidated their squads into one team for this campaign, and entertain a Kilmarnock II side which is undergoing a rebuilding phase at present. Finally Edinburgh Jets II (formerly Polonia) only missed out on automatic promotion by the slimmest of points differences, and will be looking for a good start this time against City of Edinburgh II.
Womens Division Two has been hit by a number of clubs withdrawing their second teams, and in a division of five teams, every point will be precious come the end of the season. South Ayrshire II face Edinburgh Jets II in the season opener, with the Edinburgh side amongst the favourites for promotion. Glasgow International have no game, while a potential dark horse in the promotion race could well be Aberdonia. There has been no womens National League volleyball in Aberdeen since the demise in 2003 of Hazlehead, but the Aberdona lineup, featuring several overseas students, could feature strongly in the title race. Aberdonia’s league debut will be at Dundee.
Finally, in Divison Three of the mens league, six teams come out for the 2011-12 season. Lenzie and Beacon are expected to be amongst the teams contending at the top of the league, and both travel on Saturday. South Ayrshire II host Lenzie, while Beacon have the trip to NUVOC, who have also consolidated to one team. Finally, Troon Kyle & Carrick take on Edinburgh Jets III in what could be a closely fought tie.
Full details of all the matches are listed on the SVA website (under fixtures and results), and the first set of results will be available on Saturday evening. The National League, now in its 43rd season, represents the cream of our domestic talent, who will be giving their all for the chance of glory, so why not get along to a game and show them your support.