UTS teams from all divisions made the trek west to compete at the State Cup in Orange on the 6-7 April. The club was successful on the court, but even more successful off the court. A fun time was had by all. Reports from each of the teams are below.
Women’s Honours: From Wendy & Mischa
The whole weekend was under the motto of “Flamingo girls max jump” in Orange, NSW.
SATURDAY Hills vs. UTS (2:3)
The Honours Girls started very slowly into their first game against Hills. The head coach Bruna Polegato and assistant coach Alberto Flamigni (both nominated on the day, filling in for head coach Nam Pham (overseas) and assistant coach Gregor Salvin (playing for the Honours Boys)) did a very professional job coaching the girls – considering it was their first time playing together as a team.
Bruna’s and Alberto’s constructive and encouraging feedback motivated each player individually, made them laugh on and off the court and a strong team spirit was visibly growing with every point the girls achieved.
The girls won the first game in the tie-break which was an important milestone for everyone: YES, WE CAN DO IT AS A TEAM.
SATURDAY UNSW vs. UTS (3:2)
After a break, the UTS girls were ready to warm up and continue their successful streak against UNSW … – if only Wendy Edwards wasn’t the first who got hit in her face during warm-up followed by Caroline Stalmachowski just about two minutes later. Frustrated and angry the UTS team was committed to step up and win the game for their middle hitters.
UNSW played at a higher level and their aggressive serves caused UTS a lot of difficulties in their passing routine. UNSW setter won them the game with consistent performance by tipping the second balls successfully over the net (again and again). UTS were not able to adjust to this tactic for the next 3 sets and lost 2:3 against that solid team from UNSW.
SATURDAY UNSW vs. Hills (3:2)
Saturday was a very long day – after having played 10 sets, the UTS honours girls were up to ref another thriller game over 5 sets where UNSW defeated Hills with 3:2.
Summary of the first day:
2. UTS – with a lot of capacity for improvement, but an overall positive feeling
SUNDAY UTS vs. Hills (3:0)
After a big night out, all of the girls were ready to warm up for their first round game on Sunday morning. The team had good vibe, ready to show who is better.
Girls got on court with there game face on. We took on board learning from our mistakes from first game from coach Polegato, which took us the game to the final.
SUNDAY UTS vs. UNSW (cancelled)
After another loss by Hills vs. UNSW in their best of 5 games, the finalist teams (UNSW 1st, UTS 2nd) were decided and the coaches agreed on giving the UNSW players a bigger break before playing UTS in the final.
SUNDAY Finals: UTS vs. UNSW (3:0)
The girls were on fire for the finals, main goal was to not get pumped in eye during hitting warm up like first game. Coach Polegato had given us a pep talk on what we need to win game.
Team was alot more consistent in passing and more mobile in defence, the result being we hit more aggressive. We served away form there Libero and put pressure on there outside hitters. Great tip from assistant coach G that helped us blocked smarter and we scored massive roof blocks as result.
Highlights of the game outside hitter Lily Borger sick pack the setter through a double block, Mini Philips “Lucy” and Al Ma all over the tips from the setter which frustrated UNSW. Great setting options from Anna that caused unbeatable front row, especially from the middles with better connection.
Highlight of the game -“Bruna Polegato” telling assistant coach G to shut up! Possible helped.
UNSW had nothing on us UTS girls. We stuck to our game plan and came out with successful WIN for gold. Great start to the season with a lot of improvement shows we are the team to beat!
The team is happy we could live up the Nam Pham’s expectations and implement what we practice in training – but more importantly: To play as a strong team, enjoy the game.
Huge thank you to Bruna, Gregor and Alberto – you did a fantastic job.
Women’s Honours: From Nam
Girls played great and won, I had a great time in Saigon. Well done.
Women’s Division 1: From Coach Deb
As a number of players were unavailable for last weekend’s Orange State Cup, the black and white div 1 girls’ teams merged into one team for the tournament. Despite the lack of time playing together, the girls started off the tournament like a well-oiled machine, winning the first game against Bathurst 3-0 off the back of some great serving from Steph Reeves and Jo Kelly. Both middles, Milica Kukic and Natalie Krivonogova also played well at the net to keep the pressure on the Bathurst team.
The second game of the tournament against UNSW was much more challenging with the opposition team comprising a number of honours and AVL level players. The UTS girls showed some flashes of brilliance followed by play that resembled tennis more than volleyball. New team captain, Clara Loth maintained her calm and brought the girls together to stay competitive throughout and fought back from being 2-0 down to winning the third set.
The final game of the day against the ACT Dragons saw a strong performance from Bek Gaspersic who chased down a number of wayward passes (whilst considering how much she hates to do dive penalties) to help the team to a 2-0 win. Alma Blazevic also joined the team to add some much needed hitting power to compliment Claire Lu’s consistent hitting at universal.
The team managed to finish the day at the top of the pool after a points count back and played 4th placed ACT Dragons on Sunday morning in the first semi-final. Great teamwork resulted in an easy 3-0 win to put the team into the gold medal match against UNSW. Unfortunately, the UNSW team were too strong again in the final, winning 2-0 however a silver medal was a great outcome for the team’s first outing for the year.
As always, Dani Rogerson proved to be the most consistent passer (and screamer) for the weekend and even managed a few dives (I know, hard to believe but I saw it with my own eyes!).
The most important achievement for the weekend was that the players got to know each other a little better, have a few beverages together (thanks to SVNSW for the $100 best dressed team prize at the O party) and a lot of laughs.
Team list: Clara Loth (captain), Jo Kelly, Bek Gaspersic, Milica Kukic, Steph Reeves, Claire Lu, Natalie Krivonogova, Alma Blazevic and Dani Rogerson.
Mens Honours: From Coach Morky
The weekend in Orange started in typical fashion for the UTS boys. The team kept up it’s long held tradition of losing all games on Saturday and still making the final on Sunday. Saturday saw UTS go down to a younger looking Hills Dragons (who have brought their average age down by 10 years (to 30) with the recruitment of several teenagers), followed by a loss to ACT Dragons.
Finishing third in their pool, the boys re-grouped overnight with some serious drinking, to play “hung-over” volleyball on Sunday – a state that the majority of the team is more accustomed to. Playing second place Newcastle from pool B on Sunday morning, UTS romped home 3:0 and move into the Semi against Hills Dragons. In a very close, hard fought game, Dragons took the first set 28-26, with UTS taking the second 25-17. The third set saw UTS down 21-18 with 80 seconds to go and looked like bowing out. Some of the best rallies of the tournament ensued and saw UTS draw level at 21-21 as the buzzer went.
The final saw UTS taking on an undefeated Canberra Heat team. With the loss of Nigel (ankle) and Kiel (family emergency), UTS were outplayed, by a more youthful, taller, more athletic, more handsome team (except for the coach).
Some of the tournament highlights were:
Artem “I’m so Russian” Ipatyev, making his div 1 team do punishment between sets and for drinking all the vodka in Orange.
Eric “I’m so Asian” Cao, going a bright shade of pink after consuming two mouthfuls of cider
Rob “choice bro” Fleury suffering the biggest roof block in the history of volleyball courtesy of Jordan Power in the final
Steve “Asian Volleyball” Lee, suffering the second biggest roof block in the history of volleyball – courtesy of “Simmo” in the final.
Nigel “I’m bigger than all of youz, Ay?” Flintoff doing his ankle on Sunday morning and in the words of Bruna “ E is sitting in the corner crying like a baby!”
Alex “Goofy” Gibbons having the best Irish accent (sorry Cillian) and playing some amazing volleyball
Kiel “inappropriate” Briggs, for the most number of inappropriate comments in a weekend
Nik “don’t let Kiel near me” Kukic for the worried look on his face after Kiel explained the “right of passage” upon turning 18 next year
Sucky “I sweat profusely and smell” Suckling, being the sweatiest, smelliest player in Orange and for (unfortunately) being our only setter for the weekend.
Sam “I really am a middle” Morrison showing that he really does have the setting skills of a middle (also played amazing all weekend – in both positions!)
Jason “I am not an outside hitter” Laffer, adding much needed stability to the honours passing line up and instability to the div 1 hitting line up
Gregor “shovel” Salvin, for putting in the most amount of “spade” work for the least amount of return. Also making a return to the middle, where some say he belongs!
And finally assistant coach Alberto “I am the ……… Flamingo” Flamigni, for putting in the least amount of spade work for the greatest amount of return!
Men’s Divisions 1: From Artem (he’s Russian…)
1 game was very bad, not team work (everybody not talk , not help together, especially James can did big noise when support girl and when began play very quiet) , not aggressive in attack and serve also flying slowly that butterfly)
in 2 game very different guys began fight little be and gave pressure to UNSW players.won 1 set. In 2 set began win 15-8 and i did double sub but people not really ready for this that why not ready come to game condition.finally lost
and after in third and 4 set have good chance to finish game 3-1 but a lot little easy mistakes on serve and passing free ball not give green light for this.
in 5 set every time leading but again two pass over net and we loose initiative and lost game.But i am happy with game, because guys fight and get experience “how not set after 20 points”
Anyway its first games in season and know how it is play first state cup.
What about people:
– James “netboy” touch net 5 times in each set and try blocking free ball every time ( same that find in haystack needle) .Try hit ball very hard and kill somebody on another side when set was lower wire mesh.must be do it tip sometime and think how win point and not just smash windows and wall).but did many good blocks
– Igor “marathon” need working on his endurance(hit 2 set and tired like run from bear from forest 50 km) and he need training set as well.
– Jason “TVstar” need working on his aggression in attack.Many attack soft and easy to protection.
– Damien “quietHALK” must be hit ball stronger (every time when he hit looks like not comfortable, because jump to close to net).and every time give noise when you begin move to hit middle ball.
– Lee “Gino” must change spiking technique (hand move) every time hit in out must be fix this soon.And dont loose concentration in end of set , every time you do it mistake because concentration.
– Alberto “Flamingo” must be hit more productively for opposite. And must be dont loose concentration in game, some game play good some game switching off.
– Nith “flits like a bee and stings like a butterfly ” must be change timing and rich off you hit .Every time have good jump but not hit faster(you wait wait and ball coming soft and easy to block and deffence )..And And then 23-24 must be serve in!!!
– Cillian “Scottish Silent” must be not only think which way set better, must be look on block before you set and find weakest place in opposite team.
Its ok. We play first games in season.And now we know our mistake and know how be better. Just fix this everybody and we smash many Div 1 teams!
Mens Division 1: Addiitonal Report From Captain Nithin
Coach – Artem
Squad – James, Lee, Nith, Damo, Flamingo, Igor, Jason, Cillian
Sat 6th April 2013
Game 1 UTS vs Bathurst 0-3
A slow start, the lack of aggression and being too quiet on court allowed Bathurst to always be one step ahead. Having played together for the 1st time as a new team, we weren’t yet communicating well enough to dominate the other team both on points and noise. Improvements were needed on serve reception and using the middle option more.
Game 2 UTS vs UNSW 1-3
We fought hard against a 12 player strong UNSW squad. There was much better talk on court but still lacking the ability to put away the ball and gain points. The aggression and passion towards wanting the ball and not letting any ball touch the ground without a solid effort wasn’t there. As the coach Artem said post game ” Volleyball should be like girlfriend….. ” (*quizzical look on everyone’s faces) ” if u lose girlfriend, shame on you, it’s like slap on your face” ” you must fight to win” (*aaaaaaaah)……
Sun 7th April 2013
Game 1 UTS vs Bathurst 1-2
There was improved intensity and communication on court. But the other team played defence well and won due to our errors. Just goes to show that the potential is there but need a bit more consistency.
Game 2 UTS vs UNSW 2-1
Set 1 started great taking a big 7 point lead aginst UNSW. we lost a few points due to serve reception errors and they caught up. We won the set 25-17. It was obvious that we were a lot louder on court and enjoying ourselves. Set 2 was also intense and UNSW managed to win 26-24. lots of good cover and scrambles to keep the ball alive. Last set was incomplete due to time limits but UTS was ahead on points.
A good start to season especially with many new squad members, we have clearly identified the areas that need improvement. Serve reception, improved communication and efficient attacks. Can only get better from here.