27th November 2021, Beach Leisure Centre, Aberdeen
Finally the much anticipated match between Volleyball Aberdeen and Su Ragazzi arrived after a COVID related postponement. The Suettes went to sleep with a RED weather warning in place, but agreed to brave the winds as the sun rose on a rather lovely Saturday morning. The match started strongly with both teams contesting big points right away. The first set saw a battle through position 4 with both Claire Ramage and Kirsty McLean showing an excellent display in power and tactics. Both teams scored consistently and asked questions of each other. The setting from VA was varied and fast, putting pressure on us, but the Su Ragazzi defence was strong and slowly we were able to pull a small lead at the end of the set, 26-24. The second set and change of sides meant Su were able to capitalise on the larger service area and put pressure on the VA serve receive. Battles continued between outside hitters and blockers, between the middle attacks and defence. The lead changed hands multiple times. Raveen Gill did a fantastic job to stabilise the passing unit and provided some excellent defence in zone 5, cutting down the scoring options for the VA offence. Nicole Ramage opened up multiple hitting options, allowing us to use power or tactics where required and middle scoring options from Sam Fowler and Megan Quinn kept VA defence on their toes. We took the set 25-18.
The third and final set proved just as tough a contest as the others. Su Ragazzi battling for the win, VA fighting to save the match. VA served consistently and tough, putting pressure on our passing unit, and although we hit strongly through front and backcourt positions, VA built a significant lead towards the end of the set. Keeping calm and focussing on the job at hand, slowly Su pulled point by point back with some great overall teamwork. Meghan Booth came on court with some powerful effective serving and faultless defence to bring us back at level at 21-21. 22-22. 23-23. The plays were fantastic and yells of encouragement came up from the men’s teams waiting to compete next. Calm tactical rolls into space from veteran Laura McReady, and an incredibly skillful tip into zone 4 from Sam Fowler gave Su Ragazzi the edge and confidence required to see out the set. Ultimately 3 massive kill blocks from Megan Quinn and Nicole Ramage won the set and match point and yells of joy went up from the Su Ragazzi side. 26-24. Ross Allan, VA Women’s coach said “Credit to both teams for playing their part in a very high quality match. Whilst we are disappointed we couldn’t take it to 4 or 5 sets, we are very pleased with our overall performance. We had chances in Set 1 and 3, but ultimately Su played the big points very well at business end of each set. Congratulations to them on the 3 points. Looking forward to our next match”