The National Volleyball Leagues opened up last Saturday with both Dundee sides at home in Craigie High School. The men were on first and, with a much changed side from last season, found the opening exchanges difficult, falling 14/8 behind. Several scores from Mike Coward and Rad Marinov pulled the Dundee side closer, but errors were expensive and the 6 point gap could not be closed, with Lenzie taking the set 25/19. A mix-up in the line-up by coach, John Scrimgeour, had Coward and Marinov inadvertently switch positions. Both players responded well and helped the team take an 8/2 lead. Errors then started to creep back into the home side’s attack and Lenzie were soon ahead again, 19/17. Dave Bonnar then scored with a smart hit to win back the service. He then produced a run of serves that caused havoc in the Lenzie ranks! Marinov and Oz Dowie both scored points to take the lead to 23/19. Bonnar scored an ‘Ace’ serve and then Dowie combined with setter Barry Millar to score the winning point to take the set 25/19.
Bonnar was the first server in the third set and continued with his accuracy and depth, forcing the visitors into a miserable run of points, falling 15/0 behind. Points were scored by 5 of the Dundee side and despite a mini fightback from the Lenzie attack, it was the home side who marched on to win the set 25/14, with Millar and Dowie combining again to secure the winning point.
Both sides scored runs of points in the fourth set and the visitors led 19/15. Oz Dowie and Barry Millar combined again but, this time with a scoring net block, to win back the service. It was Bonnar again who was the server and again he caused havoc, reducing the effectiveness of Lenzie attack . The home side defended well and scored in counter-attack with Bonnar again adding an ‘Ace’ to take the score to 22/20 in Dundee’s favour. Mike Coward scored the winning point from the right side of the court to win the set 25/22.
Dundee’s ladies’ side showed several new faces against Glasgow International with Marta Krol and Arianna Scarponi making their Club debuts. Holidays had robbed the team of several players and University players, Ty Wong and Lucy Scouller, helped make up the side. The first set belonged to Natalia Stopowska as she powered her way through the set, scoring with big hits from the left side of the court. She also helped score two runs of 7 points on the back of her service as Dundee took the set 25/16. Stopowska was again the focus in the second set as she scored another run of service points, giving her side a 13/6 lead. Clair Pollock and Lucy Scouller both scored through the middle of the net. Great defence from Marta Krol helped turn points from counter attack, winning 25/16 and a two set lead.
A quick 3/0 win looked possible but the GI side had other ideas as they stepped up the power from the service line. Two runs of 6 points without reply told the story of an 11/25 loss in the third set. Both sides regrouped and went toe-to-toe, with Arianna Scarponi’s smart scores from the left side, easing the pressure on the tiring Stopowska. Neither side held any significant lead. GI had a lead at 19/18, Clair Pollock scored a big block, Marta Krol rolled an attack into the heart of the GI defence, Ty Wong scored a ‘cheeky’ second ball attack but GI had a 22/20 lead. Scores from Lucy Scouller and Clair Pollock took Dundee to set point. Natalia Stopowska scored the final point, after Marta Krol’s serve had forced a weak attack from the opposition.