Sunday 1st December brought 4 of the top Division 1 National League sides together to compete for the first silverware of the season. City of Edinburgh, Glasgow Mets and QTS Troon Team Ayrshire all showed up at the impressive Linlithgow Academy for a competitive day of volleyball.
The first match up was the Men’s Final between current League leaders and last years John Syer Trophy Runners Up City of Edinburgh and current title contenders Glasgow Mets.
The match started off at a blistering pace with fantastic serving from both sides, combated with excellent side out units ensuring this was going to be a tight contest. Glasgow Mets had a hold of the encounter at the start but City of Edinburgh slowly played themselves into the match and some great block defence ensured they finished the set strong and win 25-22.
Mets regrouped at the end of the set but it wasn’t enough to cope with the service weight and tactics City had put in place. Mets made a bold step taking their strong outside hitter Sean Hendry off to re-focus and he duly done so and came back to the court with an excellent cross court hit. This helped Mets get back in the set but individual errors cost them dear and went down 25-20 in the second set.
Mets had to throw everything at Edinburgh and from 7-5 down, Ryan MacLeod went back to the service line and clawed back the score to 10-7 up. Again errors creeped into the match for Mets and some excellent blocking from middle blockers Ebbin and Murphy helped City pile the pressure back on the Glasgow side. From the 2nd Technical Time Out City pushed on more and eventually took the set and the match 25-20 with a big cross court hit from Danny Traylor.
The Women’s teams faced off for the first time this season before next week’s big league match in South Queensferry.
City of Edinburgh Women are currently dominating the Women’s game and continued on their success from last season into this one. QTS Troon Team Ayrshire came off a poor performance on Saturday and shuffled their pack to try to increase their hitting options against a formidable opponent.
The first set was a very quick pace with some outstanding defence from Troon but also some big hits from City. Troon’s determination was evident and their belief grew bigger as the set went on. Edinburgh stuck to their game plan and took the set all the way. Eventually someone had to give and the offence of Edinburgh just couldn’t get through the Troon defence with the west coast side winning the first set 31-29.
City of Edinburgh started the second set strongly and were finding holes in the Troon defence which they exploited as much as they could. Captain Jen Thom and middle blocker Naomi Symonds were scoring freely and put the pressure on Troon to which they couldn’t respond in this set and lost 25-15.
QTS Troon Team Ayrshire couldn’t have responded in any better fashion. They blitzed the City team in the 3rd set 25-9 with some outstanding tactical play and excellent distribution by setter Elaine Krawczyk. Jane Drauze-Brown also excelled at the net with some big blocks against the Edinburgh hitters.
Queue another come-back from City of Edinburgh. Again led by Captain Jen Thom and other outside hitter Sophie Hunter, Edinburgh put Troon under immense pressure at the net with some big hits. Setter Joanne Morgan was giving her hitters plenty of space to hit with some tactical decision making. Troon kept on fighting but couldn’t get back into the set with Edinburgh taking the match into the decider with a 25-19 set victory.
Edinburgh came out very fast in the 5th set and were 7-2 up just before the turn. Troon’s Jenny Jones came on for Linsey Bunten to serve and immediately brought her team back into the match at 7-7 before Edinburgh sided out. The match was fast and furious around the turn with time outs, substitutions and big plays which made the final part of the match even more tense. Edinburgh crept into the lead and had the service for the match at 14-12. Hunter couldn’t compose herself and served out the back. Up stepped Troon’s Steph McCall to serve against Edinburgh’s strongest front line. Edinburgh duly maintained their composure and put the ball on the ground to win their first silverware of the season in a match that lasted 2 hours and 22 minutes.
Congratulations to City of Edinburgh winning both finals in a fantastic day of volleyball.
The photos of the matches can be found below: