Dundee’s pre-season preparation reached the competitive stage last Saturday with the Dynamo Cup in South Queensferry against hosts City of Edinburgh ll and Su Ragazzi ll. It was a chance to fill the gaps left by four players missing from last season’s line up. Debuts for Boris Prodanov and the return of Rad Marinov gave the Dundee side an increase in height and power.
The hosts provided the opposition in their first game and after a slow start, with lots of errors, Dundee were 4/9 down. The speed of the game was proving difficult for the Dundee side as the youthful home team found gaps to exploit. Dundee were relying on Mike Coward and Oz dowie to score points and with young Boganov finding his feet the gap narrowed to 17/22. A series of poor plays from Edinburgh gave Dundee hope and they held set point at 24/23. A service error and a poor defensive play gave the set to the home team 26/24.
A change of line up gave the Dundee side a more balanced look and they were able to trade points and from 18/18 moved smoothly to win the set 25/20 with Boris Prodanov finding his range and winning 6 points in the set.
Next up was Ragazzi ll and it Rad Marinov who was the top points scorer with 4 points on block and 2 in attack helping Dundee to a 25/18 win. The second set went Ragazzi’s way as Dundee switched their side about and tried to find the best combination but Ragazzi took the set 25/16.
The fixtures were then repeated and Edinburgh were the opposition for a close encounter. The Dundee side were able to compete and stayed close throughout eh first set. Colin McEvoy weighed in with several big hits and with Mike Coward and Boris both scoring well the set went to Dundee 28/26. The same combination with Oz Dowie and Barry Millar scoring 3 big ‘net blocks’ gave Dundee the second set 25/16
The last game turned into the ‘final’ with both sides ‘in the groove’ and scoring runs of points. Dundee lead 6/2, Ragazzi pulled ahead 13/11 then 20/18, Dundee took the lead at 24/22 and then took the set from a service error, winning 25/23.
The final set proved an anti-climax for the small crowd of local supports. The pace of the game continued until Dundee’s ‘setter’ Barry Millar had to leave the court with an injury. The replacement setter had switched to play as the defensive ‘libero’ and confusion reigned. Several options were tried but the Ragazzi side took advantage of the chaos winning the set and the Cup taking the set 25/15. It was a disappointing end to an excellent tournament for all teams.
Scottish Cup Round 1 for Ladies at home
Dundee Ladies start their competitive season with a Scottish Cup first round game against Stirling University. Again it will be a new-look Dundee side with no fewer than 4 ‘new faces’ in the side to replace Hannah Lawrie and Natasha Melville. All four had played one game last season and are now into the side for the regular season. Claire Pollock from Dundee University will add some height to the side as will Danila Gasperini who moves from St Andrews University. The fairy-tale story is the promotion of Natalia Stopowski and Agnes Bednarek who move for the recreational District League to National League and Cup competition.