It has been a long Journey for South Ayrshire to achieve the pinnacle of success in Scottish Volleyball. Many hours of hard work have led to a core of the players moving from the junior leagues, through the senior divisions and culminating with the success achieved this year.
Having joined the club after a year away from the game I knew I was joining a talented group of young players who had the potential to win the championship but what I didn’t expect was that this would happen so quickly.
The fixtures also seemed unkind with us matched up against 3 of the toughest sides in the first 3 league fixtures. However after two good opening wins against Edinburgh and City of Glasgow, belief in the squad started to grow that we could challenge at the top.
Our toughest challenge came in the third match against the experience, power and smarts of Glasgow Mets. Having never beaten the Glasgow side in a competitive fixture everybody at South knew this would be a tough game. This proved to be the case as our first below par performance led to a 3-1 defeat.
This would be the first of three defeats against Mets during the season. The second was a sore one (3-1) in the John Syer cup final where again we simply underperformed; probably due to the fact it was the clubs first appearance in a major final.
In the league however results were going well with comfortable wins being recorded against Beacon, Jets and a forfeit victory against Bon Accord taking us into the second half of the season with a record of 5-1.
This record really fostered belief in the group and although the 2nd half of the season started with the same 3 tough fixtures as the first had done we knew that 3 victories in these games would give us a great chance of becoming champions.
Two victories against City of Edinburgh and Glasgow set up a huge fixture for us against Mets. Despite being only early February we definitely felt that this match would decide the outcome of the championship. Before facing them in the league though we had a dress rehearsal against Mets in the Cup.
This was an important game for us as not having beaten Mets in a competitive game we wanted to overcome this hurdle before the big league fixture. This though was the third of our defeats to Mets, despite the 0-3 score line this was the closest of the 3 defeats, and to be honest we blew it at crucial points which allowed a really tough Mets team to progress at our expense.
This clearly made Mets favorites for the league clash, particularly as we were facing them without the clubs all-time top points scorer Kevin Lawrie. Going in to the fixture we had worked really hard to overcome the issues that had led to our previous defeats. This work really paid off as big performances from a number of our players led to us taking the match 3-1 with Scott Wilson coming up with a huge play to finish off a really tight match, 28-26 in the fourth.
This put us in pole position to become champions but with an end to the season that included two trips to Aberdeen (Bon Accord & Beacon) and a trip to Edinburgh (Jets) there was still plenty to be done. However despite these away trips we didn’t slip up and completed the remainder of the season without losing a further set to be crowned Scottish Champions for the first time in the clubs history.
The cherry on top of a great season for us was seeing Coach Ian Parker be voted coach of the year. It was great to see his hard work being acknowledged and rewarded. Not only has Ian done an excellent job of preparing the 1st team for their season but his dedication to the sport has led to the South Ayrshire club having strong foundations with an excellent group of young players playing at both junior and 2nd team level. Well done Ian, the future is bright for South Ayrshire VC!!
South Ayrshire VC