SVL Week 9

August 27, 2012

The second last week of rounds at SVL was on 26 August. You can certainly feel the tension building for those who are on the edge of finals contention.

Honours Men (by Rob)
UTS faced Dragons this week in an important game in determining final placings on the table. The Frenchies arrived at the stadium with minutes to spare, blaming their lack of punctuality on a beached as whale. A slightly sluggish start by UTS saw the game Drag-on for a couple of sets, with each team taking one set apiece. This would have been a perfect time for some trash talk through the net between the Laffer brothers, playing on opposing teams – a classic libero vs setter show down – but it was not to be. Jason instead let his game do the talking, with another strong passing performance. With this kind of passing, everyone on court and both spectators thought that the UTS middles would be getting plenty of ball. However, with Sam drawing a triple block in the middle (despite not receiving a single set all game), Sucky had no choice but to send perfect sets out wide, much to Gregor’s delight, who notched up the first clean kill of his career. (Must have been a miss-hit??). Andrew “I’ve been playing volleyball for more years than the combined ages of all the Dragons” Lyall put away an overpass on his first touch, whilst Doug “guess who’s back” Skinner could only laugh after getting roof blocked on his first spike attempt. A highlight of the game came when a sleeping spectator was hit with a stray ball and literally almost knocked him off his chair. UTS finished the third and fourth sets well and emerged as 3-1 winners. In his post-match team talk, Coach Morky told the boys “Today we played the way that we want to play all games – the middles didn’t get set much…” (quote may or may not have been taken out of context).

Honours Women (to come)

Div 1 Men – Team 1 (by Keith)
We had rather a frustrating game.  We put together some very good points but ultimately went down 3:0 as Dragons were able to dictate terms.  Some very safe play during the first set saw a low error rate but not enough pressure put on our opponents. The second set saw us start more aggressively, and we were looking good until two thirds of the way through the set. Unfortunately a run of soft errors saw us fall out of contention.  The third set was a bit of a disaster with some very basic mistakes made. Some good attack and defensive work from the improving Yury, combined with some solid serving and work at the net from Jerrome & Jarek were the highlights.

Div 1 Men – Team 2 (by George)
Round 9 was our team reunion game with several players returning from international volleyball commitments. We played against the younger Sydney University Gold team and won in 3 straight sets, 25:16, 25:19, 25:21 to retain our 3rd spot on the ladder. With Tony out, Lionel took over as libero master and passed with 100% accuracy, but in the 3rd set needed a hit so Riu wore the black shirt with confidence. Nigel put on an excellent display through the middle with some great quicks and managed to do some roof blocks, much to the delight of Bruna who hadn’t seen him play in weeks. Luke was unstoppable from the outside and had 100% kills from the backrow. Lucas didn’t show any signs of jetlag and managed to get back into form with some great hitting when needed. Michael set perfectly all match and our passing was the best in a long time, which kept Coach Marielle very happy. Overall, a good win as we head towards the finals. Result: UTS2 def SydUni-G 3:0

Div 1 Women (to come)

SVL Week 8

August 20, 2012

Week 8 of SVL was played on 19th August.  Is anyone missing the Olympics yet?

Mens Honours (By Rob)
UTS overcame a strong UNSW team to seal a great 3-0 victory. The UTS middles resembled the Great Wall of France and Great Wall of Australia, blocking with great timing and technique, especially when next to the Great Wall of Russia. Great serving all round put the pressure on, whilst great defense covered the court like great-ed cheese on an uncooked pizza. A positional change saw the somewhat Great Wall of Great Britain mi-great to opposite for this match, which seemed to work well. The greatest libero in the team was solid in service reception, passing nails on 100% of balls that he didn’t shank. The UTS setter put on a great display of non jump setting and the not so Great Wall of New Zealand was great-ful to the middles for drawing blocks. Pleased with the performance after the match, the UTS coach told the boys “That was great!”. Con-great-ulations to the team on what is arguably their best performance of 2012 thus far.

Womens Honours (to come)

Mens Div1 Team 1 (to come)

Mens Div 1 Team 2 (by George)
Round 8 saw us in another epic 5 set marathon, this time against Baulkham Hills Brumbies. International business commitments meant we were missing 3 of our main players, but we were still able to field a strong team for this match. The first set was closely fought and we won it 25:23, whilst the 2nd saw a reverse of the scores 23:25. The 3rd set was a real struggle for us due to poor passing and we lost it 18:25, but then we turned it around in the 4th to win 25:17. The 5th set was again close, but our passing errors in the business-end gave BHV the final set 15:12 and the overall win. Cris was again dominant as Uni/Middle and this was highlighted when he nailed a quick down into the BHV 3 metre line, much to the surprise of our much younger opposition. Cris also turned a few heads when he re-introduced the ‘old’ European style Windmill Serve to Sydney Volleyball and managed to get a number of easy points. Much confusion reigned as players on both sides of the court looked in amazement at this ‘new’ type of serve and how effective it was. Overall Result: BHV-B def UTS2 3:2

Womens Div 1 (to come)

SVL Week 7

August 14, 2012
Never Give Up

Never Give Up

The two Gold Medal finals for Indoor volleyball showed us all why you shouldn’t give up when things don’t go your way at the start. And that a middle can play opposite really effectively (if he is 7’2″ with a 370+cm spike reach anyway). Hopefully we can all learn from this.

Honours Men (from Rob)
The UTS Men’s honours team took on a Baulko team that were deprived of 3 of their key players. UTS continued to lead the SVL in time delays; this time receiving one before the first serve. After Sucky was told that he couldn’t occupy two starting positions on the court and Artem learnt what a bench is, the game finally got underway. Strong hitting in the front court from Michael “Frenchie Fry” Jonstomp saw UTS go up 2-0, however Gregor “Greg on Nova” Salvin became nervous when the opposition subbed their 5ft 5” setter for a monstrous 5ft 6” specialist blocker. Tactical mind-games ensued, with UTS coach Morky to introducing D “money hands” Bo as setter for one point, which proved to be the deciding factor in UTS achieving the 3-0 win, despite him not touching the ball.

Honours Women – had a bye because of AVL

Div 1 Men Team 1 (by Jarek)
This Sunday, a depleted squad turned up to play Baulkam Hills. Veteran Andy Lyell stepped in as setter and Gino started off as libero. As this was pretty much the same group that had trained together, and trained well, on Thursday and there was every hope for a unified performance.
The reality was that even though didn’t play badly on Sunday, but we didn’t play well. At 15-9 down in the first set, we clawed 6 points back and even had set point. Destiny was in our hands, literally. However, we didn’t manage to convert the point, lost the set and our mental game took a turn for the worse. Yaya moved to Libero for the obviously frustrated Gino, this particular middle was off the pace of the game, serves went out, Andrey’s transitions became non-existent (to the frustration of a very patient Jess) and as the errors crept in….the more we faded, the more bad habits (see below) crept in and we ended up losing in straight sets.
The Collins English Dictionary:
habit (ˈhæbɪt ) noun
1.a tendency or disposition to act in a particular way
2.established custom, usual practice, etc
3.(psychology) a learned behavioural response that has become associated with a particular situation, esp one frequently repeated
4.mental disposition or attitude ⇒ a good working habit of mind
People spend countless hours and dollars each year attempting to break their bad habits, often without any success and the truth is, there is no magic bullet.Change is hard work and there is no short-cut to achieving it. We have to want it first

Div 1 Men Team 2 (By George)
Round 7 saw another epic 5 set battle, with the younger KVAA Eagles team. We won the first set 25-20 thanks to Nigel running some excellent middle plays and the 2nd set was a quick 25-15 set, again thanks to Nigel’s domination on the net. The 3rd and 4th sets saw us with losses of 21-25 and 25-27 respectively, mainly because Mr.Flintoff got a bit tired and let them through. We managed to regroup in the 5th set whilst the Big N unleashed the beast, to take a comfortable 15-10 win! Rumour has it that the AIS Olympic Development scouts will be paying a visit to SVL next week …probably to review the big man’s performance? Result: UTS2 def KVAA Eagles 3:2

Div 1 Women (by Jo)
This week we came up against Baulkham Hills. Losing our second match in as many weeks, its clear that its not going to be an easy back end of the season for the UTS Div 1 girls.
Poor passing, inconsistent hitting and an overall lack of communication in defence were the main problems which saw us lose 3-0 for the second week in a row.
Lets hope we can regain some of our early season form and head back on the winning list next week against Sydney Uni and keep our semi final hopes alive.


Middles. What can't they do.

Middles. What can’t they do.

SVL Week 6

August 6, 2012

Sunday 5th August came after a long night/morning watching the Volleyroos eventually go down to Italy in 5 sets. So some of us looked a little tired.  We were also missing a few people as the AVL women were playing in Canberra.

Mens Honours (to come)

Womens Honours (to come)

Mens Div 1 Team 1 (by Jarek)
With Olympic volleyball fever in the air, inspired by Australia taking 2 sets off the fancied Italians the night before, UTS returned to Homebush for the 2nd half of the SVL season full of vim and vigour.
Unfortunately our presence on court, was a tamer beast than anticipated. Rather than roaring, we meowed meekly, and didn’t put the Sydney Uni team under the required pressure, allowing them to dictate. We quickly found ourselves a set down.
An unhappy coach, questioned why our ebullience and zest had been replaced with such timid play. The game plan for the second set was to play it simple, play it smart and above all play hard and put Sydney Uni under enough pressure to stop them from playing.
It worked. We were a different team, the good Dr Jekyll had replaced the Mr Hyde of the first set. Aggressive serving put Sydney on the back foot from the get go, our defence was solid and our spiking showed that not only we were more than capable of winning the game, there is a reason that we’ve taken sets off the best teams in this league this season.
They say that Volleyball is a thinking man’s game, unfortunately sets 3 & 4 were a concrete example of not playing the right mental game. After explicit instruction NOT to tip over the block, you can guess what happened next….the same play time and again, with a success rate of 2/14.
Over complicating our setting only compounded the problems. Mr Hyde was back, and we ended up losing the match.
The solution is clear. When we have the right mind-set, we can and will win. If not, we simply end up shooting ourselves in the foot…..with a bazooka.

Mens Div 1 Team 2 (by George)
Round 6 saw us battle it out against BHV Khalsa, who were equal 2nd on the ladder with us at the midpoint of the season. This week we were missing Lucas and Lionel due to overseas travel, and Luke was unavailable due to work commitments, whilst Coach Marielle was away playing WAVL with UTSSU. Due to the number of absentees, we had an invited guest player from SNV-Willoughby, Richard Wolken. As a result of injury, Andy originally planned to attend just to sit on the bench, but the excitement of the match took the better of him and he ended up playing a great game for us. We took the first set 25-22 against our younger rivals, with Nigel playing some great middle plays and some strong blocking. In the 2nd set Cris was unstoppable through the middle, but BHV ended up taking the set 25-20. In the 3rd Richard, Riu and Ric played a great attacking game, whilst libero Tony covered the backcourt with precision, giving us a convincing 25-19 set. In the 4th our passes let us down giving Michael nothing to set, and as we started to tire, the youngsters took the set 25-22. The 5th set decider started off close, but in the dying minutes BHV managed to race away and win 15-10 to take the match. At the end of the game we were all physically wrecked, having played our first 5 set match at SVL in just under 2 hours, but we walked away knowing we gave it a good shot. Result: BHV-K def UTS2 3:2.

Women’s Div 1 (to come)