Scotland’s women’s Under-19 volleyball team kept their record of winning a medal at every European Championship Small Countries Division finals they have attended but had to settle for bronze at Edinburgh University Pleasance.
Cyprus stood head and shoulders above the rest as they took gold without dropping a set, beating the hosts 25-15, 25-15, 25-15 in their final match.
Scotland coach Vince Krawczyk took the chance to use his full squad and they competed well throughout without ever seriously threatening to take the match the distance.
In the third set, Scotland came back from 8-18 to 14-18, forcing Cyprus head coach Petros Patsias into his only time-out but it was the only occasion his team looked rattled.
“We fought hard for everything and I can’t fault the players for the effort they put in,” observed Krawczyk,
“The players did not let me down. This is a talented group and four of them are still eligible for the next championships but we need to look at the whole set-up and we can learn from the teams here.”
The high for Scotland was in a hard-fought 29-27, 26-24, 25-17 win over the Faroes after they trailed 14-23 in the first set.
Krawczyk made an inspired substitution at 13-22 when he brought on City of Edinburgh’s Louise Agius and she turned the set around with her serving as the Scots came back from 14-23 to lead 24-23.
Scotland took the set on their fourth set-point in a dramatic climax and it gave them the momentum to go on and win the match.
Scotland had to effectively beat Luxembourg on Saturday evening if they were to harbour hopes of a silver medal but went down 19-25, 17-25, 21-25 as Luxembourg produced their best volleyball of the tournament. But Luxembourg proved no match for the Cypriots, losing in straight sets.
Scotland had easily beaten Northern Ireland in their opening match 25-13, 25-7, 25-10.
Scotland’s Under-20 men, the defending champions, also took bronze in their event in Cyprus, beating San Marino 25-10, 25-16, 25-17 in their final match in Nicosia