Lenzie VC was the host for the latest Meet Me At The Net session where it was once again my pleasure to represent the SVA as we continue our efforts to build links with member clubs and to showcase the game in Scotland. Regular readers of this feature will wish to know that Sandra Grubb is fighting her way back to full fitness and hopes to return to the court soon as your regular reporter.
This visit was familiar ground for me with Lenzie being one of the first clubs that I regularly played against in my early years of district volleyball back in the 1980’s. From those district roots the club was founded in its current format when it first entered the national leagues in 1990; the 2010/11 season therefore marks 20 years of senior volleyball in Lenzie. It is not just the club that has reached this milestone, David McEwan, Jackie Ramsay and Steph Lawrie are all still going strong as regular player having helped initially form the club. Steph may well argue that his current fitness doesn’t leave him going that strong as a player, but he has been a club stalwart and remains an integral part of the playing and officiating squad.
Like most established clubs Lenzie works hard at identifying sources of new players with Coach David McEwan heavily involved in working with local schools and the SVA coaching network to bring youngsters to the game. This has brought several new players to the club in recent years with youth featuring well in the club’s current first team squads. The links that Lenzie has developed with Glasgow District Volleyball of Scotstoun Leisure Centre has also been an occasional help in bringing in new blood.
The club has fielded a men’s and a women’s national league team since inception with both squads supporting each other at training and on match days giving a real sense of camaraderie and community within the hall. This highly supportive, easy-going and friendly atmosphere is something that the club works hard to develop with Social Convener Shona Angus regularly arranging events and nights out but the club’s main focus is on ensuring that all of its members enjoy the weekly training nights and match days.
This friendliness was evident too as Lenzie warmly welcomed John Orr’s South Ayrshire as visitors for the week’s feature game in the Schelde Sports Women’s National League Division Two. The first set was a keenly contested one that set the tone for the rest of the match. Lenzie started well and looked to have the set just about sown up when they raced to a 21:14 lead before South fought back with some impressive middle play to level the score at 21:21. South then took the ascendency to gain the first set point at 23:24 and looked as if they might just shade it before “Zie” produced some hard hitting by Jackie Ramsay through zone 4 to take the first set 26:24. This proved a turning point as South never quite competed as they would have hoped to in the second set when Lenzie setter Kirsty Mann took early control of the front court before an impressive serving display from her took the score from 5:2 to 15:2 to all but seal the set. South never quite recovered from this, losing the second set 25:11 before they then allowed Lenzie to build an early lead in the decisive third set which the home side took with tight defense and hard serving to seal the victory. To their credit South competed well for the remainder of the game, but it was Lenzie’s experience and consistent strong hitting from the outside that saw them ultimately running out victors by five sets to love (26:24, 25:11, 25:16, 25:12, 15:8). The Lenzie men went on to follow this up with a similar 5:0 score line over a youthful and enthusiastic South Ayrshire II in Men’s Division Three.
The day finished with me having to make the difficult decision on MVP. With some fine setting, serving and middle blocking it had been a good Lenzie display but I felt that for overall consistency and for coming up with big hits on the big points it was only fitting that the award went to zone 4 hitter Jackie Ramsay.
My thanks go to Jackie, David and everyone at Lenzie for another good day’s volleyball and for making me feel so welcome. For more information on Lenzie Volleyball Club please contact David McEwan directly or feel free to drop me a note.