There were two defeats in Edinburgh last Saturday with defeats at the hands of City of Edinburgh ll for the men and NUVOC for the ladies. Holidays and work robbed the men’s side of three players and it proved costly against the youngsters from the capital. Mark Donnachie’s presence in the defensive phase of the game was missing and the hosts opened up a 12/8 lead with Dundee struggling to control the serve and mount successful attacks. The hosts were giving the Dundee side points in errors and allowed them to stay in the set. Lewis Crockart and Dave Bonnar both scored points but the Edinburgh side kept their lead and held on to win the set 25/18. Dealing with the Edinburgh service was the problem again in the second set as they moved smoothly into a 14/7 lead. The young home side was controlling the game tempo and was able to score runs of points, holding a 7-point lead at 19/12. Ironically, 10 of the Dundee points came from errors from the Edinburgh side. The set was won by Edinburgh 25/18 with Dundee winning only 4 points through Kevin Chisholm and Barry Millar.
Another 8 errors in the third set kept the Dundee side close at 12/16 with Crockart, Chisholm and Millar again scoring for Dundee. With the score at 21/15 to the home side, Dundee finally started to play with confidence and put the opposition under pressure. Dave Bonnar and Oz Dowie scored in counter attack and the Dundee net block forced 3 errors in a row to rescue the score from match point at 21/24. The score was 24/24. A serve error each had the score at 25/25. Craig Goldthorp gave Dundee the lead at 26/25, Edinburgh responded and held match point again at 27/26. Goldthorp scored again and Edinburgh hit long to give Dundee set point at 28/27! Both sides scored again until a Lewis Crockart hit drifted long and the game was lost 0/3, with a 29/31 score line in the third set.
The ladies also travelled to Edinburgh to take on the rejuvenated NUVOC side. The Dundee side travelled with only 6 players and no recognised ‘setter’ in the group. Sarah Driscoll took up the playmaker role and combined well with Natalia Stopowska. She was the main point scorer but it was not enough to contain the NUVOC attack as they took a 19/15 lead. Stopowska and Lauren both scored but the NUVOC side was in control and won the set 25/18. The second set followed a similar pattern with NUVOC scoring with a variety of attacks which tested the Dundee defence. Agnes Bednarek and Arianna Scarponi both defended against big hits and scored to add to the Dundee total but a run of 5 points from the service gave the set to the home side 25/17.
The third set was close and competitive with Marta Krol and Agnes Bednarek defending the NUVOC attack and Natalia Stopowska and Arianna Scarponi both scoring well. A run of errors by the home side as they tensed up sensing victory, gave Dundee a 21/20 lead. Sarah Driscoll scored a point with a deep service but counter attacks gave the set to NUVOC, 25/23.
(press report 26th October 2018)