Dundee and Lenzie matched up for this vital SVL ONE Men’s encounter with the table delicately balanced. Dundee sat just and with time running out before the split, this game was in the must win category for Dundee VC.
For Lenzie, it was an opportunity to all but secure their place in the top three and avoid all chance of slipping into the relegation play-off, which they survived last season.
SVL ONE has produced some exciting and very close matches and this one was no different.
Lenzie’s Petzel and Clark managed to string a run of three points each of their serve in the early stages of the first set, which would ultimately prove to be the difference in the set as Dundee struggled to turn some encouraging play into runs of points, going down 21-25.
Dundee, who have yet to register a 3-0 victory so far this season in the SVL, switched ends knowing the next three sets would need to be theirs to ensure they drew level in the league. Head Coach John Scrimgeour only made the one change to the Dundee line-up, Jamie Salvin coming on a direct replacement for Leonard Maugen.
The messaged seemed to be clear from the Dundee bench as the serving started to cause a lot more damage to the opposition passing unit and their ability to side-out. Lindsay Dowie in particular served very well to give the defence good opportunities to score from transition play. Dundee dominating the set 25-19.
The third set saw the strong serving continue from the visitors, with setter Barry Millar doing a fantastic job of linking with the middle blockers who scored well. Despite this pressure Lenzie continued to battle well on defence and some precise setting from Lenzie Captain Kevin Curran allowed the home side to hit their way of trouble on regular occasion to keep the set tight. However, it was MVP Mike Coward who drove the ball through the seam of the block on set point to give Dundee the set 25-23.
The visiting side looked to be in control of the game now in the final set with strong serving ensuring Dundee had the upper hand in the transition play. They took a strong lead at 17-10. Lenzie coach Dave McEwan introduced Muniak and Zhyzhyn into the fray and it seemed to galvanise the spirit of home side. Setter Kevin Curran was able to produce some impressive sets as the outside spikers started to cause the Dundee block some problems. Lenzie now back in set at 20-21 and with all the momentum the set looked to be possibly heading for a thrilling tie-break. Louis Groshenry stepped up with some strong passing and hitting as Dundee edged out the set 25-23.
The result put both teams on 12 points in the league with Lenzie only ahead on points difference and only two more matches to play before the split.
A special thank you to Kevin Chisholm for his assitance with this week’s SVL Feature.
Next SVL Feature match will also feature a match which could decide the top 3 split, but this time in the Women’s SVL premier as University of Edinburgh host Aberdonia.