The National League season opened at Craigie High School with tricky games for both women and men. Glasgow International provided the opposition for the ladies side in Division 1 and with the inclusion of 3 foreign players and ex-Dundee star, Hannah Lawrie, they started well and took an early 12/8 lead. The home side were having difficulty coping with the left side hitters of the GI side and fell further behind at 11/20. A late rally with points from a run of errors and a score from Clair Pollock could not prevent the set going to GI 25/15. A poor start in set 2 gave the visitors a 9/3 lead but at least Dundee clicked into gear. Natalia Stopowska and Lana Edgar helped take the score to 9/9. Both sides scored runs of points and Claire Pollock and Agnes Bednarek took the score to 23/20 for Dundee. Bednarek and Edgar scored a net block to win set point and Dundee took the set 25/21.
Dundee dominated the third set winning 25/11 as they scored point after point. GI seemed to have lost their spirit in the 4th set as they trailed 9/14 with Danila Gasperini and Natalia Stopowska controlling the game with impressive hitting. The Glasgow sides captain then powered over a run of 6 points to sneak into the lead and they held on to level the game taking the set 25/22.
The final set was a see-saw affair with the home side pulling ahead to 12/6 with scores from Lucy Wishart and Claire Pollock. A service error at 13/8 gave GI a lifeline with an hitting error, a service ‘ace’ and a point in counter-attack closed the gap to 13/12. Danila Gasperini scored with a quick attack to give match point. Another serve error gave GI a chance at 13/14 but Claire Pollock hit the winning point from the left of the court to secure a 15/13 win for a 3/2 victory.
Bright start but disappointing finish for men!
The men had a very difficult task against Su Ragazzi ll in their opening League 1 game. With Mark Donnachie playing in the unfamiliar setting (playmaking) role they took a 9/5 lead. Lewis Crockart had scored 4 points to establish a 16/13 lead. Ragazzi’s Greek hitter, George Michail, was causing problems from the home side defence as he was the big points scorer for the visitors. Craig Goldthorpe, Mike Coward and Rad Marinov all scored to help win the set 25/20 but Michail was proving to be unstoppable with his power. Ragazzi responded in spectacular style opening up an 11/3 lead. The home side never recovered and surrendered the set 15/25.
Dundee’ attack was faltering as errors piled up and points given away to a Ragazzi side now in full flow. 11/5, 15/7 and 21/13 as the scoreboard ticked over in the visitors favour with a stream of errors. Michail on the left side and Gordon McGillvery on the right proved too much as Ragazzi took a 2/1 lead taking the third set 25/20 after a late surge with points from Coward, Marinov and Boris Prodanov was to no avail. Ragazzi piled on the pressure and never allowed the home side to establish any rhythm or momentum. They piled on the points to win the fourth set 25/13 for a 3/1 victory.