My second Meet me at the Net saw me take a short trip to Lenzie Academy to spend the afternoon with the officials and players of Glasgow International Volleyball Club and to take in their 2nd Division match against Dundee.
My host for the day was the inimitable Malcolm McLean who has been involved in National League volleyball for almost 20 years. Malcolm is the club coach and also delivers UKCC Level 1 courses on behalf of the Scottish Volleyball Association and has recruited a cosmopolitan squad made up of players from Scotland, France, Germany, Poland, America and Holland. Malcolm has around 20 girls at regular practice but unfortunately due to shift patterns and Saturday workers he has been unable to make the jump to enter a 2nd team into the league.
The club have however formed a close and strong relationship with Lenzie Volleyball Club where they assist with the officiating of each others home matches. Not only has this made match days easier for both clubs from an organisational point of view, but there has also been very positive advantages with Lenzie coach Dave McEwan, who is also Assistant Coach for the Senior Women’s National Team. Dave assists with the Technical aspect which in turn allows Malcolm to run the session and help with the juniors who have recently joined the club and in return Malcolm helps out with Lenzie men’s training who have welcomed some of the GI girls to their session.
Glasgow International Volleyball Club have created a very welcoming and inclusive club and have started recently to receive more requests from women looking to either come back to playing or from juniors starting their volleyball careers. The club are looking to continue to develop the members and cater for all levels.
The feature match of the day promised to be a close encounter with the teams sitting next to each other in the league. Both teams started well and the first set was closely contested with Dundee’s Nicola McKenzie making some great hits but in turn GI showed some great defence and equally good shots from Nicola McConnell. Both setters Mhairi Donnachie from Dundee and Amanda Burke from GI were running a varied offense and the 1st set finished a very close 25-22 to GI.
GI started the 2nd set on a high with some strong serving from Kamila Szalankiewicz and Sonia Barrera. GI raced to a 15-2 lead and Dundee could not find an answer and the 2nd set finished a convincing 25-6 to GI.
Moving on to the 3rd set and Dundee came out fighting. Jen Henderson made some great tactical hits and Nicola McKenzie was finding her feet again with some powerful hitting on the outside but this was matched by some great plays from Nicola McConnell.. Once again Kamila Szalankiewicz stepped up to the service line to help GI take the 3rd set 25-17.
It was Dundee who came out of the starting blocks first in the 4th set with a fierce line hit from Nicola McKenzie but GI’s setter Amanda Burke was fooling the Dundee block and brought in Antje Brown for a middle attack. GI’s attack proved too strong for Dundee and GI took the 4th set 25-18.
In the 5th set Kamila Szalankiewicz took to the service line and put GI into and early 9-1 lead and from there it was game, set and match to GI 15-6 and 5 sets to 0.
At the end of the match Malcolm said “This was the best performance of the season”. MVP was awarded to Kamila Szalankiewicz for her very powerful and consistent service.
Glasgow International are a strong and friendly group who would welcome everyone into their club..young, old, experienced or beginner. I would like to thank GI for their hospitality (especially the cup cakes), to my photographer for the day, Stuart Hall, Nicholas Vass for providing the photographs and finally to Malcolm and Dave for the insight into Glasgow International Volleyball Club. If you would like any further information and training times please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Glasgow International Volleyball Club.