The 2nd NSW Volleyball State Cup of the year saw a four team UTS contingent make the trip south all eager to live up to the high standard set by the Men’s Honours team in their triumphant campaign in Orange the previous month.
Congratulations to the Division 1 girls for taking away Bronze and solid efforts from the Div 1 Men and Honours Women just missing out on medals.
Division 1 Womens
The UTS Division 1 women had a great weekend in Wollongong, performing well to win 3 out of 4 games in our pool. Our only loss was at the hands of the strong UNSW team, who were the eventual gold medal winners. This gave us a 2nd place finish within the pool and put us into the semi finals against the top team from the second pool, the Baulkham Hills Bees. Unfortunately, we were unable to defeat the Baulkham Hills Bees in the cross over semi finals. However, bouncing back from the semi finals loss, the girls finished the weekend on a positive note with all players contributing to a 2-0 Bronze medal win against the Bathurst Cougars.
With four new members to the team and a new coach, it was a great opportunity to get to know each other and try out some ideas. Highlights of the weekend were strong hitting from Haley Minigle, accurate passing from Lucy Phillips, massive hitting and blocking from Carrie Stalmachowski and a welcome return to the volleyball court by guest star, Dani Rogerson (aka “the screamer”).
The UTS Honours Men marched through what was later highlighted as being the stronger of the two pools undefeated. Many of the UTS team were eager to have a long awaited match up against rivals the Sydney Cedars. Alas it was not to be… the Cedars finished in 6th place overall coming up short against both Baulkham Hills and Dragons.
The UTS men played strong through the middle with solid displays from Sam Morrison, Bart Vonhoff and Luke Carroll.
The semi finals saw Vostok take care of Baulkham Hills in the 1st Semi with UTS following up with a straight set win the ageing Hills Dragons in the 2ndSemi.
After a close win (on points) in the round games against Vostok, the boys met them again in the finals. After winning the first set, things did not look good after being utterly destroyed in the second set with strong attack and serving from Vostok forcing many errors on the UTS side of the court.
Some nifty stats by crowd favourite Igor, a guest libero appearance by Michele Gimona, and passionate noise from the bench led by Dave Uncle pushed UTS over the line to victory 16-14 in the dying moments of the 3rd set.
It was a well fought contest and all credit to the young ever-improving Vostok team. From the way they are playing they will be very tough to beat come SVL. Strong play by Baulkham Hills and Dragons knocked out the Sydney Cedars prior to the semis, which suggests that we can all expect a high standard of play in Mens honours for the upcoming SVL season.
Congratulations to Lucasz Symonajc who was awarded MVP for the tournament with powerful and consistent swings from opposite.
Division 1 Men’s
The UTS Men’s division 1 team have come to 2011 season with a number of new players and a anew coach to boot.
Coach Keith Suckling had suggested prior to the event that the weekend was not going to be about results. The two he wanted for the team was that they played every point the same (no matter if the team won or lost the previous point) and for the team to communicate well as a group. Suckling was thrilled that the team delivered on these 2 things very well.
Over the weekend the team improved their skills – the first general aim. The consistency was not what some of us wanted, but that was mostly because our expectations over the weekend were raised by how well the team played (ie. we were disappointed when we didn’t we didn’t kill the 4th ball in a row, instead of being happy we made 3 kills straight). The team played with great heart through the weekend as well, as indicated by a great 24-21 down comeback in one set. It’s a great sign that every timeout that was called was just to slow another team down and nothing to do with the way we were playing.
Our win loss record for the weekend was 2 & 1 – but it doesn’t matter.
A great start to our 2011 volleyball journey.
It was an eventful weekend for the honours girls.
Maeva Cochet was announced as the new team captain this year and we welcomed several new players into the squad. This year American superstar Carrie Bowers enters the team in the universal position, State Volleyball NSW “Junior Volleyball of the Year” Amy Boidin as outside hitter, and NSW junior setter Anna Phillips controls the attack. We also welcome back Australian Senior National team passer hitter Natalie Frostick, Ex French National Team middle blocker Marielle Alteirac, NSW junior middle blocker Jessica Reardon, and Australian National Junior Representative Libero Brittany Jack. Unfortunately Australian Senior National Team Libero Rowena Morgan and Ex NSW Junior Middle blocker Johanna Tibbertsma were unavailable for the competition.
Unfortunately Carrie Bowers was unable to play on the first day due to an eye infection. However the team did a good job beating the NSW u21’s team and the University of NSW in the first 2 matches. The 3rd match was against composite Team Miracle Dream who had a very strong line up with some ex UTS players. This team is preparing for the South Pacific Games in New Zealand in a few weeks and we wish them the very best of luck in the comp. In the first set UTS lead comfortable until the very end when unfortunately a run of errors lost UTS the lead and gave Miracle dream the set 25-23. Miracle dream continued with their momentum to win the next set and Match. This placed UTS second in the pool to compete against last state cup winners and top of the other pool Sydney North in the cross over semi finals.
Carrie Bowers was able to join the team on Sunday for the semi-final as her eye had recovered overnight. UTS had a great start to the match comfortably winning the first set agains Sydney North. A few points into the start of the second set Amy Boidin unfortunately fell awkwardly from a spike and injured her knee. Amy was in a lot of pain and was not able to be removed from the court until the Ambulance came. As the game was based on time we felt it was unfair for Sydney North to have to wait for the ambulance and have a reduced timed game for their semi-final. We decided as a team that we would forfeit the match as the players comforted Amy while she waited for help from the ambulance. Amy is expected to be out for at least 2 months and we wish Amy a speedy recovery.
It was an unfortunate end to the tournament but the team walked away with many positives and also identified some areas that need to be developed. We look forward to the next few preseason tournaments in Manly and Newcastle.
Check out the new UTS Photo site out at PICASA