Lenzie v Stirling University (Scottish Cup Round 1)
Fisrt match of the season had all the players from last season back playing with newcomer to the club Stuart Morrison making his debut against his old team. Mo Clark was missing today due to wedding preparations. Although a bit match rusty during the first set, we managed to win the first set 25-22, scoring well on transition, with both Stuart and Kamil contributing 3 kills each. The second set was much closer, where we had problems in serve reception (averaging only around 1.5 for passing) which did not allow us to create enough pressure on Stirling in our first attack. 5 serving errors did not also help but the fact we made 0 errrors in transition allowed us to take the set 26-24. Stirling then made a bit of a comeback taking the third set 25-21, errors creeping into the game, mentally thinking the game was won intensity was not at the level as it should have been. The fourth and final set was won 25-12, playing the level of volleyball that we are capable off especially in transition where 10 0f our points were one. Positives from this first match were the transition figures where we won 36% of all transition points while only conceding 8% on errors. Down side was the figure of making nearly 27% errors on side out as well as 11% serving errors. Man of the match was Kamil with the best passing and hitting stats with a positive score of 10 in his contribution to the team scoring.
Dundee v Lenzie (SVL 1)
Our first away match of the season saw us travelling to Dundee in our first league match, Mo was back however we were missing both Kevin and Stuart with Mike taking up the setting duties. The match started well with us winning the first set 25-19, starting very positive putting Dundee under pressure on serve and passing better than last week allowed us to dominate at the net scoring well in both side out and transition forcing Dundee into making errors. Dundee came back stong in the second set winning it 25-19 mainly through being able to score when attacking us compared to our attacks being continuations, the constant pressure on defence did not allow us to transition with the intensity required to beat their defence. The third set is quickly forgotten about, mental breakdown on all facets of the game, going down 15-0 at the start before scoring, the passing was bad and when we did get the opportunity to attack the hitters were indisciplined in their decision making etc. To the teams credit they did turn the second half of the serve around winning it 14-10 but the set had gone 25-14. We took the momentum gained from the end of the third set into the fourth, trading points with Dundee and taking a few points lead into the latter stages of the set. But then the same old frailties came back when our passing which had improved let us down allowing them to score cheap points, added to the fact Mike had to come off and be replaced by the coach did not help the situation. The set was lost 25-19 but who knows what the score might have been if we had everyone available. Man of the match was Mo scoring most points for the team as well as trying to keep everyone motivated when things were not going our way.
Glasgow Mets v Lenzie (SVL1)
Another away match in the SVL1 had us playing a local derby against Glasgow Mets, relegated from the SVL Premier last year. In what was a close fought match we managed to win the game 3-2 but it was a bit of a roller coaster getting there. The first set could have gone either way, eventually taking it 25-23, in part to our passing that was better than normal, especially Kamil passing at 2.4 average and allowing us to win points on 25% on our side out play. Making too many errors, 12 in total with 5 of them on serve made the set much closer than it should have been. The second set brought about that unfortunate period when collectively not much seemed to go as planned, we started well taking a 7-3 lead, but within minutes this had been turned to a 12-7 deficit, with Mets winning 9 points in a row. Although we made no errors during these points, the quality of the first pass did not allow us to attack with any intensity and hitters did not really think when the opportunity was there to score being blocked 4 times. Although after this we traded points with Mets we could not make up the deficit and lost the set 25-19. The third set was similar to the first which could have gone either way, this time it went to Mets 25-22, with both sides trading points the difference came down to us when serving not having enough players being able to put in 3 or 4 serves to allow us to get away from them, far too many single serves. Mets had been playing mainly through zone 4, so to try and strenghten that side for the blocking Stuart and Jo switched places from swing to off setter for set 4, vindicated when the winning set point came from a block by Stuart. Also we had that one player who gave us a run of 6 serves, Kevin which took us to lead the set 14-10. We took the set 25-22 and although we had been outscored by Mets 17 to 12, the win was in large part to only making 5 errors to their 13. With confidence boosted by drawing level on sets we went into the 5th set with Mets serving, the first point set the tone for the rest of the set, the good pass was made allowing Kevin to set not under pressure and Stuart made the kill. Everyone started working as a unit and did not allow Mets to put us under any kind of pressure, especially on defence which allowed us to recylce the ball in transition scoring on 8 occasions. The set was won 15-7 for a hard fought 3-2 victory. This game could have easily gone the other way but it is to the players credit that they stuck in and ground out the victory, man of match was Stuart who played his best match since joining having a +14 score as well as top scoring in the hitting effectiveness. Disappointing fact is that the middles have not been mentioned in this report and were very rarely used in either side-out or transition, a fact born out of the quality of the ball being played into the setter.