Premier Division volleyball returned to Craigie High School last Saturday for the first time in nearly a decade with visitors, South Ayrshire. The west coast side were third place finishers in the last competition before lockdown halted the leagues in 2019. There were new faces in both sides and neither team could open up any notable gap on the scoreboard. Mike Coward and Tony Gadzhev were Dundee’s top scorers as the sides exchanged points and the score was tied at 19/19. Lewis Crockart chipped in with two points to win the service back, then a handling error gave South Ayrshire an advantage at 23/21. Crockart pulled a point back and then the visitors made hitting mistakes, handing two points to the home team. A smart substitution brought results as Dundee sealed the set 25/23 with a scoring net block from Oz Dowie and new boy, Bartosz Zywert.
After a scrappy start to the second set, Dundee led 5/3. Ayrshire scored a run of six points, surging ahead 13/8 mainly due to counter attacks as the home side lost their rhythm. A mini run of points pulled Dundee closer, but the visitors still held a 19/15 lead. Oz Dowie, then Lewis Goor scored points to draw closer before an injury at the net, to one of the Ayrshire hitters, disrupted their flow and Dundee seized the opportunity to take a 22/19 lead. Ayrshire had little response and Gadzhev won the last two points to take the set 25/21.
In the third set both sides traded points with the west coast side sneaking a slender lead with two runs of two points to lead 12/10. Bartosz Zywert and Tony Gadhzev took Dundee to a 15/12 lead, and it was controlled play from then on. Coward and Dowie both hit winners and Rad Marinov scored a big net block to give Dundee match point at 24/21. A defeated South side surrendered the last point with a hit, which was judged perfectly by Libero, Mark Donnachie, out the side of the court. A 25/21 set win for 3 sets to 0 win gave Dundee their first win in the Premier Division.