Cup Finals Weekend Day Three: Clash of the Titans

And breathe…

Saturday was a day that will live in the memory of players and spectators for a long time, as the 23/24 Scottish Plate and Scottish Cup competitions came to a dramatic close.

The day began with the Women’s Scottish Plate as Glasgow Mets and NUVOC took to the court. With neither team wanting an early hill to climb, the first set was a chippy, tightly contested affair. Some superb play from the experienced NUVOC side was the difference as they took set one 28-26. Set two was more of the same, with both sides exchanging blows. Once again, the composure of the Edinburgh side that allowed them to eventually claim a 2-0 lead by a scoreline of 25-22. Despite being down, Glasgow Mets were not yet out as they continued the same style of play which had seen them push the Premier League side. The mounting pressure and resilience allowed a lifeline as they claimed set three 25-23. In set four, NUVOC found another gear. HUDL All-Star Gabriele Balysevaite controlled the play, willing her team to a 25-18 victory which saw NUVOC take home the 2024 Scottish Plate. For her outstanding performance, Balysevaite was awarded the Most Valuable Player!

Next up, it was the Men’s turn, with Forza Ragazzi and Dundee set to face off in our second Plate Final. The first match had set the tone for the day and everyone was doing their part to keep things rolling as we continued into the afternoon. The first set was a battle, with Forza squeaking ahead 25-23 before Dundee tied it up with a 25-21 second set! With nothing between the two sides, set three seemed like it would be pivotal. Once again it was down to the wire as Forza put themselves back in front, 25-22, as we moved to set four. As Forza edged closer to glory, Dundee were making sure they wouldn’t be going down without a fight. Another see-saw set came down to the wire before Forza Ragazzi were able to pull away, winning 27-25 and claiming the title of Scottish Plate Champions for 2024. A dominant performance from Forza’s Iliya Valchev, including an impressive seven straight services, before unfortunately having to leave the match through injury was enough to merit being named as the Most Valuable Player, as the Off-Setter was a clear difference maker during his time on the court!

Next up was the first of our main events, with the Women’s Scottish Cup Final treating us to a true clash of the titans as the top two sides in the Premier Division faced off for the crown with Su Ragazzi taking on City of Edinburgh. A dominant start from the East Coast side saw them march their way to a 25-19 win in set one before Su Ragazzi battled back to take set two 25-21. Another competitive affair, set three was back-and-forth for its entirety, but it was City of Edinburgh who were able to retake their lead as they won 27-25. In the fourth, we saw the tie turn on its head once again. A fantastic team showing from Ragazzi saw them claim it 25-20, sending us to a Golden Set. Our first five set match of the day was well worth the wait! Solid runs by both teams meant it was anyone’s guess if the cup would be heading West or staying in the Capital. As both teams dug deep, only one could come out on top. Behind the talented play of Scotland International, Rachel Morrison, City of Edinburgh were able to rise to victory as they claimed the set 15-11, with Morrison being named Most Valuable Player for her performance!

Finally, it was the Men’s turn. As day became night, NUVOC and City of Edinburgh took to the court for the last of our Senior Finals. The Men’s Scottish Cup Final was underway. It was NUVOC who struck first! Firing out the traps, they ran out to a lead and held off the City of Edinburgh resurgence, winning set one 25-22. However, the script flipped in set two as the strength in depth on offer to CoE levelled the score. Set two finished 25-12 and we were equal once more. In set three, City of Edinburgh continued to take their game to a new level. A heavily contested start was met by savvy game management from an experienced side which resulted in a 2-1 lead through three sets (25-18). Another strong showing in set four was enough to crown our champions! The experience and skill on display from the City of Edinburgh players was enough to claim the title of Scottish Cup Winners against a very good NUVOC squad who were worthy finalists in their own right! Set four finished 25-14, behind the performance of Juca Carvalho, who willed his side through a challenging four set battle and was deservingly named Most Valuable Player as the curtains closed on an incredible day.

Tomorrow is the final day of our Cup Finals Weekend as our Junior Cup Finalists take to the court. Tickets are still available if you want to come down and take in the festivities in person, and can be bought either online or at our ticket desk located at Pleasance Sports Complex. If you can’t make it along, we have been livestreaming the whole weekend on our YouTube channel, so you won’t have to miss a second of the action.

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