Manly Cup was held 20-21 April. Unfortunately it turned into a very wet Saturday which more unfortunately impacted our indoor sport.
Big thanks go to Chris and his team who did their best to solve all the problems this created , as well as running a solid tournament.
Division 1 Men: From Coach Artem (definitely Russian)
I found this tournament fine, but that leaking roof caused a big headache for everyone, especially for UTS div 1 boys. According to a timetable we had to start our games at 2.30 and finish at 6 pm. But when we started warming up for a last game at 9 o’clock, those people who played for Manly were sitting at home, drinking tea with donuts. For us it was not a big issue and we won two games.
We played the first game with pensioners in pink t-shirts. I have got nothing to say about this game because it was such an easy game. Our competitors could not even heat the ball over a net.
In the second game guys from under seventeen team made a lot of ridiculous mistakes. Obviously, we could not lose this game as well. After that we had a bit of incident with a timetable. Our game (1/4 final) supposed to start at 9 am, but it was changed to 8 pm. Thanks to that leader of the tournament and an opposite team who did not give us time to warm up. In the evening I asked all players to be on time (8.00) on Sunday, but they were late for 30-40 minutes because they overslept! For me the important cause of being late would be a snake’s bite or a wife’s childbirth.in all these cases I would expect a call with explaining the situation and excuses (‘Sorry, coach, I am running late because I was bitten by a snake and I am feel like a «near-death»). The game was very intensive; guys won the first set (thanks Darren and Nick who helped us, as we had only three players). We were losing 17-11 in a second set. I took a timeout and asked guys to take any possible opportunities and risks. After that we won 5 points in one roll and we had started to fight for a victory. We won this game with a one point difference.
Following this spirit the players played 1/2 final game with a success. Many of our players achieved a final in a first time. Emotionally it was not as easy as it seemed to. It caused on their game (lack of concentration, a lot of mistakes in all areas of the game). The first set was started well. We did a lot of blocks especially Lee Barone and Nithin who did four blocks each (after this team Kiata sent for a fire machine to extinguish sport shoes of their players). But it did not help. We lost this set. After that our players became confused and chose the tactic “Do not lose a ball”. Competitors used that taking risks and getting points.
Lost final, but got good experience how need play final. Anyway for somebody it was first medal and first final in life. I want that you guys be like Train : «picked up maximum speed and never stop». Because sometimes you can loose set ,but it is not mean that you loose game! Keep working same and fight for victory!
Special for people in team:
– James «serious steak» you must do more aggressive serve. And then setter give not comfortable set, don’t need hit this in middle of net, sometimes you can think and do tip.
– Damien « mountaineer» you must hit more aggressive and stronger. And then somebody on another side have bad pass(ball go over net to your side) you must finish this ball, that why fist position 1 meter off net, you stay to close to net ,that’s why then ball coming you try hit but cant touch his and he(ball) falls to you in a backpack. And need more stronger serve(on this moment easy to pass).
– Eric «angry bird» you must be more angry on court, must fight for every point. And don’t scary do action on court ,many time ball near you and you don’t understand what you must do after.
– Gino and lee «Bananas in pajamas» Gino must more communicate to players «one block, two block, nobody». Lee need change technic of spiking. And guys next time come 1 hour before game!!!And if late on game again because sleep, I put warming gel inside yours t-shirt and will make play all day.
– Igor «pear» need running faster to ball then you set, looks like you put 3 kilo of iron in shoes. Need fix set to middle.
– Alberto «… I never use kneepads…» that’s why every tip what coming in you zone you lost? Must more concentrate on tip cover(loose many points on this)
– Nithin «Batman» play more bêtter on this state cup, need fix you hand ,every time hit very low,not use full rich.
– Cillian «not Scottish setter» need fix set to middle. And need say to people then bad pass, make sure people understand that you not comfortable feel to set ball.
And guys we need change little details everybody , after we play more clean and safe many points and definitely prepare better for any game.
The div 1 girls had a nice an early start on Saturday. Playing our first game against UNSW at 7.30am was seen unfavorably by some, and I quote “What dill brain decided it was a good idea to start a volleyball tournament at 7.30am!” Nevertheless, Danni was in fine Libero form as we were competitive against a much stronger team. After losing the first set 25-18, we had a chance to take the 2nd, but too many errors at crucial times meant we missed out on a draw by 1 pt, with the 2nd finishing incomplete at 22-23.
Next up was the young and inexperienced U17 NSW girls. Unfortunately the girls played like “butt”. Coach Deb has an alternative word she prefers to use but I will let you all figure that one out as my mouth isn’t as filthy as hers!! Lucky for us, they made more errors than we did and ended up coming up with a 3-0 win, albeit not being good volleyball to watch!!
After some mid afternoon drama with the roof leaking we ended up playing our last game of the day some 11 hrs after our first. Playing possibly the shortest team in history and making our shortest player looking like a giant, we ran out easy victors against Zassy, 2 sets nil.
Sunday saw a not so early 9am start against Baulkham Hills. We needed to win this one to ensure we made semis. With a rather large supporting UTS crowd, the girls provided plenty of excitement and plenty of heart attack volleyball for coach Deb. Possibly playing a set and a half of the worst volleyball ever, um, lets say like “donkey” (again Deb uses another word) we finally kicked into gear. I served a few in a row and managed to keep going with the service run even after being kicked in the head and trampled on by one of our own players during an exciting rally. (yes, I am looking at you Maddie!!). Thanks to a service error by the opposition in the last 10 seconds of the game, we managed to win the game by 2 points and secure our semi final berth against hosting club, Manly.
The semi final wasn’t our best game and we were totally outgunned by an much stronger and more experienced Manly side. There really isn’t anymore that can be said about this game and I think I have erased it from my memory!!
OMG!!! We went from playing the shortest team in history during the round games to the tallest team ever!! The young CHS girls had some monsters in their team with some very strong middle blockers. To the girls credit, this was one of our best games of the weekend. The team showed a “never say die” attitude in defense where there were some epic rallies. Highlights of this game included some strong outside hitting from our usual middle blocker Gaby, as well as accurate setting from Lou who provided some great setting choices throughout the game. We did go down in 2 very close sets.
All in all a very positive weekend with some huge improvements from the girls. Finishing 4th overall out of 10 teams was a great effort in a strong Div 1 Manly Tournament. Never a dull moment in the div one girls team and I look forward to doing all again in Wollongong. (minus the bruise on the arm).
Honours Men: From Captain Sam
Besides the rain this year’s manly cup was pretty uneventful for the honours men, morky claims this may be due to the lack of alcohol off court.
Game 1 saw a fairly easy game against the U19s NSW state team. It was a good warm up for the weekend and the boys were never pushed against a weaker opposition.
Game 2 was against a new look UNSW outfit. Although this was a closer game the boys played well and kept in front the whole game.
Game 3 was going to be our biggest test against ACT U23s as this was the same team that defeated us in the Orange state cup. With a late start the team was fired up and ready to go but unfortunately the Heat put on a solid performance and held off a UTS comeback.
Game 4 against the U23s NSW state team was a comfortable win for the honours men and an uneventful game.
Semi Final: the semi-final was a straight rematch with the U23s NSW team and once again UTS played well and had another comfortable win.
Final: the final was a repeat of State cup Orange with UTS to take on ACT U23s. Although this was a close match with many hard fought rallies the U23s were too strong winning in 2 sets.
Special thanks to James and Darren for helping us out and playing well all weekend. Also a special mention to Rob, Doug and Steve for a 100% error free weekend.
I would also like to mention that Morky sprung this on me on Saturday night and neither of us could really remember much of the weekend… Let’s hope Wollongong is more entertaining but face it who can compete with Artem!