Scotland Junior Women suffer 1st defeat of Championships

Scotland suffered their first defeat at the CEV U19 Women’s Volleyball European Championship Small Countries Division finals at Edinburgh University Pleasance when they lost to Luxembourg 19-25 17-25 21-25.

The hosts started where they left off against the Faroes and jumped to a 6-2 lead in the first set before Luxembourg came back.

Scotland had trouble containing the outside threat of Anne-Catherine Bollendorff, who consistently found a way past the home block.

Her cross-court hit gave Luxembourg the narrowest of leads 8-7 at the first technical time-out, the first time they had led in the match, but Scotland never managed to regain the lead.

Luxembourg hit six points without reply to go from 6-7 to lead 12-7 and establish control of the set. Bollendorff hit two points in a row as Luxembourg led 16-10 at the second technical time-out and captain Carla Mulli brought up set point with a hit through the middle, 24-15.

Scotland rallied at the end of the set to save four set points but a fault gave Luxembourg the final point they needed to see out the set 25-19.

Luxembourg did not let their standards drop in the second set. A tip over the

 block from Yana Feller took them to 8-4 at the first technical time-out but, with Bollendorf struggling for a spell with her range, Scotland came back to lead 10-9.

But Julie Teso swung the set back Luxembourg’s way with some solid serving as her team won the next six points. Emie Tarrantini was emerging as an outside threat, wiping one of the block to take it to 16-11 at the technical time-out.

Laura Milliken served long to give Luxembourg their first set point which they took, 25-17.

The third set was hotly contested with teams trading point for point but Luxembourg took a 16-14 lead at the second technical time-out after successive hits from Feller. Feller was having an increasing influence as the set wore on and Scotland struggled to string together a series of points.

Scotland saved two match points before Mulli settled it with a middle hit to secure the set 25-21 and the match.

It leaves Scotland, Luxembourg and Cyprus all on two wins but Cyprus, who play twice on the final day, are the only undefeated team ends.