Scotland opened their CEV Under-19 European Championship Small Countries Division finals campaign with a clinical straight sets 25-13 25-7 25-10 win over Northern Ireland. After a disjointed start, Scotland settled into their game and visible grew in confidence as the match wore on.
The Irish, who had been dominated 25-3 25-8 25-5 by favourites Cyprus in their opening match, stunned the hosts by establishing a 3-0 lead.Scotland took time to get into their stride but led 8-6 at the first technical time-out and then managed to get their service game going with Nicole Ramage and captain Claudia Henry putting pressure on the Irish passing game.
The hosts pulled away to lead 24-10 before Northern Ireland saved three set points before Scotland closed it out 25-13.
Vince Krawczyk’s side stamped their autority on the second set from the start, leading 6-0 and then 8-3 at the first technical time-out.Solid serving from Rachel Morrison and some intelligent shot selection from Henry at the end of the set had Scotland in complete control and they took the set 25-7 on a tough Rachel Ferguson serve.
There was no let-up in the third set as Scotland led 8 -2 at the technical time-out on a hit through the middle from Julianne Hendry.It was 16-5 at the second technical time-out and Scotland won it on their second match point, outside hitter Jennifer Lee sealing it.
Scotland now face the Faroes, who lost a thrilling match to Luxembourg 8-25 25-23 25-23 22-25 9-15.