Cup Finals Weekend comes to a close, having showcased some of the highest level volleyball from across the country. Each day saw four matches of volleyball, featuring some amazing plays and high intensity rallies.
Day one started with an exciting School’s Cup Final game between James Gillespies High School and Woodfarm High School. This was the first time this competitions had been run since the COVID pandemic, so pupils and teachers alike were excited to be back on court. The first set saw both teams find their feet and ended with some incredibly high-level volleyball. The set ended with a score of 25-18 to James Gillespies. Both teams showed great communication and hustle throughout the two-set gamem, but it was James Gillespies who took the win 2-0, winning the second set 25-21. The MVP was award to James Gillespies number 9. The girls school cup final did not disappoint as two very strong teams from Belmont Academy and Dunblane High School fought hard across another two set match. This game saw Belmont Academy take the win 2-0, with their number 8 taking home the MVP award.
The evening saw the Men’s and Women’s SSS Challenge matches where the Scottish Students teams took on the Scottish National Teams. With two incredibly competitive teams, the SSS men and Scotland U23 Select Men’s teams both played incredibly well with set 3 going to a score of 28-26 to Scotland U23’s. Despite the close game, it was Scotland U23’s who took the final 5th set, winning the game and taking home the Challenge Cup. The MVP of this game went to SSS’s number 12, Ioannis Sovias, from the University of Glasgow. The women’s Challenge Cup was equally close, with an overall score of 3-1. The trophy was taken home by the SSS women’s team with their number 3, Annelise Pedrotti, from Herriot Watt University, getting the MVP.
Saturday saw the Finals of all the senior Plate and the Cup competitions. The first game of the day was the Men’s Plate Finals which saw the Division 1 winners, Edinburgh Jets Bears, take on the University of St. Andrews. St. Andrews fought hard to put a set up against the Bears, with the final score going 3-1 to the Edinburgh Jets Bears. The MVP of the match was awarded to the Bears number 7, Patryk Kosmalski who played brilliantly throughout all 4 sets. Men’s Division 1 Coach of the Year award was given to Ola Kalinowska, the Bear’s Head Coach. The Women’s Plate Finals saw St. Andrews Women’s take on Caledonia West Troon. Despite Caledonia’s best efforts, the St. Andrews team took all three sets with the second set going 25-9 to the Saint’s team. The MVP of this game was given to Bryn Buist-Haverkamp, number 4 from St. Andrew’s.
Saturday afternoon saw the men’s and women’s Cup finals. The men’s Final saw City of Glasgow Ragazzi take on Volleyball Aberdeen Vortex. Both teams won their semi-final qualifiers, with Volleyball Aberdeen Vortex beating South Ayrshire 3-0 and City of Glasgow Ragazzi beating City of Edinburgh 3-1 to qualify for the finals. The match was a rocky start for Aberdeen with City of Glasgow taking the first and second set 25-15. The third set saw an upset for the dominant Glasgow Team with Vortex taking the thirst set 25-21. The fourth set saw the City of Glasgow Ragazzi return to full strength and finish the match with a fourth set score of 25-11. The MVP of this match went to City of Glasgow Ragazzi’s setter, Jordan Smith. The Men’s Premier Coach of the Year was awarded to Bill Stobie, with his son Sean Platts Stobie picking up the trophy in his absence.
The Women’s Cup Finals saw two powerhouse teams compete in an East vs West match, with Su Ragazzi taking on City of Edinburgh. Neither team had qualified for last year’s tournament, so this was sure to be an exciting match. Both teams brought lots of energy and teamwork to the court, with both excelling in their attacks. The first set saw a close score with City just taking the lead 25-21 against the strong Su team. Fighting back, Su Ragazzi took the second set 25-20, setting both teams up to play another two sets to decide the winner. The third set saw City gain momentum as they won 25-20, setting them up perfectly to follow through and take the fourth with a score of 25-16. City won 3-1 and took home the Cup for the 2022-23 season. The MVP for this game went to Edinburgh number 5, Katie Barbour, with Su Ragazzi’s Carly Murray taking home the Frances Doonan Award for fighting spirit. The Premier Women’s Coach of the Year went to Darren Martin from Su Ragazzi.
Our final day of matches saw the U16 and U18 Junior Cups which showcased some of the best young talent in Scotland. The first match of the day was the U16 boys final which saw South Ayrshire take on Volleyball Aberdeen. Both teams showed great enthusiasm and talent, with Volleyball Aberdeen coming out as the stronger team early on, winning the first set 25-16. This didn’t deter South Ayrshire however, who’s fighting spirit remained high into the second set. It was Volleyball Aberdeen however who took the second with an impressive score of 25-11, securing the U16 cup for the Aberdeen team. South Ayrshire were awarded their trophy for the U16 league, jointly winning with NUVOC. The East Lothian Falcons Award was given to South Ayrshire’s number 2. The U16 girls game saw the league winners, Caledonia West take on City of Edinburgh in what turned out to be a very close game. The first set saw Caledonia West start strongly with a set victory of 25-18. The second set saw a nail biting second set with multiple match points for both teams towards the end of the set, before Caledonia West clinched the win with 28-26, crowning them the U16 Girl’s Cup Champions. The East Lothian Falcons Award was this time given to Caledonia West’s number 1.
The U18 games were up next, with last year’s finalists taking to the court for the second year in a row. City of Edinburgh came out strong, claiming the first set 25-14. NUVOC didn’t let that get them down though, and fought back in the 2nd to take the set 26-24. The 3rd set was certainly tense, with City of Edinburgh playing some excellent volleyball to push NUVOC to the limit. It was the team in burgundy who won it eventually with a score of 19-17, NUVOC yet again becoming U18 Cup Winners for the 2nd year in a row. The Hannah Scott Award, an award created in the memory of Hannah Scott who lost her life through the tragic events at Dunblane Primary School in 1997, is given to those who have supported their team’s efforts to win, and played within the spirit of the game. For this match, the award was given to City of Edinburgh’s number 1. NUVOC were also awarded the U18 league trophy as well. The last match of the weekend was the girls U18 Cup, with City of Edinburgh yet again taking on Caledonia West. With some amazing play from both sides, it was Caledonia West who took home the win 2-0, also winning the Cup for the 2nd year in a row. This time the Hannah Scott Award was given to Caledonia West’s number 6, with Caledonia West also picking up the U18 league trophy.
Congratulations to everyone who participated in this years finals and to all our winners. A big thank you to all our referees and volunteers who gave up their time to help at the competition this year – without you we wouldn’t have been able to run such a successful weekend! A special outshout to Lynne Marshall for all her amazing work throughout the weekend! You can buy her pictures from all 12 matches here: www.volleyballphotos.co.uk