Dundee’s Ladies team opened their League One season with a trip to Ayrshire to take on Caledonia West ll and had some new and ‘old’ faces in their team! Emma Clarkson joined the club from Ragazzi and has fitted seamlessly into the playmaker role, replacing Lucy Wishart. Natalia Stopowska returned after a two-year absence and resumed as the opposite hitter, playing alongside Nicola McKenzie who also returned after several seasons with rivals, Edinburgh Jets.
The new line-up fell into place immediately as they opened up an 11/4 lead. As predicted, Natalia Stopowska, Nicola McKenzie and captain, Sarah Driscoll all scored points with big hits, causing the young home side major problems. Hannah Lawrie and Laura Ward added to the score when they rotated into the front court as Dundee moved smoothly to lead 18/8. Two service errors gave Caledonia cheap points but two scoring hits from both Sarah Driscoll and Natalia Stopowska and a side out point from Laura Ward gave Dundee the set 25/10.
The home side recovered from the shock of the first set, steadied their defence and started to grow into the game. Six errors in ten points from Dundee helped the Caledonia cause and when Jenny Jones stepped up to the service line, she won 5 points from her service. The Dundee side found themselves out of position and struggled to mount an attack from the left side of the court. The damage was done as the 15/8 lead was too much to overcome and Caledonia West levelled the game, winning the second set 25/18.
Dundee accepted the challenge and raced to a 12/1 lead in the third set. Setter Emma Clarkson worked hard to create scoring opportunities, helping Sarah Driscoll score 5 points with a variety of hits. Natalia Stopowska and Nicola McKenzie added more points and a scoring net block from Natalia Stopowska, and Agnes Bednarek completed the 10-point run. Another run of 8 points from Natalia Stopowska’s service took the score to 23/5 and Dundee saw out the set comfortably 25/7.
There was no let-up in the fourth set as again they opened up a 14/6 lead with Laura Ward, Hannah Lawrie and Natalia Stopowska all scoring. The Caledonia resistance faded away as errors crept into their play and they gave up 5 points in errors. Laura Ward and Natalia Stopowska finished off the set to win 25/13 to complete a very satisfactory 3/1 win in the opening game in League One.