Newcastle State Cup 2013

May 28, 2013

Teams ventured north for the Newcastle State cup on 25/26th May. While some players were missing due to a birthday party (how does this happen – don’t people check the volleyball calendar before planning anything?!?) the event was very well attended.

Thanks to Mark Pichler and the Newcastle team for a well run event.

Mens Honours – Black (to come)

Men Honours – White (from Rob)
For their first game, the white team played in black, except for one white who was in white. Two blacks were in black. This must have confused the opposition as the white team beat Cedars 2-0. The highlight of the match was the incredible defence played on match-point by James “I speak in acronyms, YOLO, LOL” McRae, keeping the ball alive with two great ups allowing UTS to win the point.
In the second game, the boys struggled to ever get going against the wiley veterans of Newcastle. The performance from the whites can only be described as flat – probably as flat as Gregor’s stomach. Some much needed energy was injected by Doug “I’m the best room-mate ever” Skinner and Steve “this is some Steph (said with Rob’s kiwi accent) opposition” Lee, but to no avail, with the whites going down 2-0. Some soul searching after the game left the boys with a clear picture of what was required for Sunday’s play.
An absurd 8am start on Sunday morning didn’t deter the boys too much, and victory in this first match set up a mouth-watering quarter final against the arch frienemy: the UTS Black team.
Supporters had a field day with witty puns about this white vs black, David vs Goliath, Blues vs Maroons, Li Na vs Serena Williams battle. The first set was a neck and neck tussle, with both setters distributing whites, blues & reds, in addition to As, Bs & Cs and 4s & 5s and other confusing calls. The whites had a sniff at a first set victory, but were pipped at the post by the boys in black. The second set went a similar direction, with the blacks earning a well-fought battle.
The whites returned home with an early mark, but would rather have been there to the bitter end of the tourney (preferably playing rather than doing duty, other than one setter who is also a badged ref, who reportedly may have volunteered to do either).


Women Division 1 (from Clara)
Game 1: Endeavour – We came, we 6-packed, we conquered. Unfortunately for the same poor Endeavour girl, Jess and Nat found their hitting target early in the warm up. This continued into the game with Joey 6-packing her again off her tough serve down the line. Along with Joey’s great serves, Jess also served smartly, showing our experience and skill. With great defence and serve receive from Dani, Bek was able to set some great balls to our hitters, Stefi and Nat especially excelling. Overall a good solid start to our weekend, as we did not drop our standard of play and continued to play our own solid game.
Game 2: NSW U/17’s – Another inexperienced team for us old birds to prove our knowledge and show off our edge. Even with our junior players joining our team for this round, Lou and Bryony both stepped up and played strongly. The game was fairly straight forward, with strong serves from Stefi, Jo, Clara and Nat keeping them out of most of the game. As soon as we lost the serve, it didn’t take long to get it back with consistent passing from Dani, great setting from Lou and Joey, and strong blocks and hitting through the middle from Bryony and Nat. A great finish to the day.
Game 3: Manly – We were all very keen to win this game as it would put us at the top of our pool. The team luckily got some fresh legs with our newcomer Birg who started out strongly, getting some great big blocks. Unfortunately our passing went a little south, and even when the pass was up, the hitters struggled to get kills with Manly’s great defence. We fought hard, but it was just not our game. This meant we placed second in our pool and were in for a tough game against the winner of the other pool.
Game 4: UNSW – Once again we meet our rivals UNSW. The team had a solid warm up as were very keen to knock them out of grand final contention and finally get a gold medal. The issues from the previous game were unfortunately not overcome for the first set, with UTS going down quite badly. Nevertheless we shook it off and started again, putting pressure on the now confident UNSW team. With strong serves and consistent hitting, the second set was much closer. Regardless of our efforts, we once again went down in two sets and were up for the bronze medal match.
Game 5: Baulkham Hills – After losing coach Deb, plus most of our junior players to the div 2 bronze medal match, we re-recruited coach/player Jess and assistant coach Sam. Even though we were all pretty exhausted by this stage and hadn’t played the best over the weekend, we desperately did not want to duty after our game. Luck and skill was finally with us with great serving from Birg, Clara, Stefi and Nat, keeping them out of the game. There was a slight lull in the middle of the game with Baulkho returning with some tough serves. After a quick time out, some good passing from Dani and good hits from Stefi and Joey, we closed out the first set with ease. Baulkho obviously also did not want to do duty and came back in the second set with some tough serves. After losing a few points at the start, we broke the serve and continued our own serving streak. Stefi continued to hit hard from outside, Birg and Nat hit and blocked well in the middle and with some fantastic setting from young Bek, we narrowly won the final set and thus the game. Another successful weekend away for the div 1 womens team.

Mens Div 1 White  with their silver medals

Mens Div 1 White with their silver medals

Mens Division 1 White (from George)
The old boys are back again this year and Newcastle was our pre-SVL training venue. We managed to go through the preliminary rounds undefeated and faced last year’s SVL Div 1 premiers UNSW in the Semi-Final. With our little team of 8 players we faced the army of their 12-man squad, and slowly but surely we managed to control the game, put up a solid defence and take out a win from the stunned younger opposition. We entered the Gold Medal match on a high and although we took an early lead on Illawarra, we all seemed to slowly run out of gas when it mattered and were eventually beaten. Illawarra played a great game and deserved their victory, whilst we were happy to accept a Silver Medal for our efforts over the weekend. Special thanks to Deb for organising our team entry & uniforms, our accommodation and the social function on Saturday night.

UTS Cup 2013

May 16, 2013
James in (full) flight

James in (full) flight

Are you craving some volleyball competition closer to home?

UTS Cup will be held over the June long weekend (8/9/10 June) probably at Sydney Boys High and Broadway.

Download the entry kit. Get your entry in. and See you there!


Illawarra State Cup 2013

May 7, 2013

The Illawarra State Cup was held on May 4th & 5th. 5 UTS teams made the short drive south for the competition.

Thanks go to Bob Cooper and his team for a well run tournament and to Michelle and her helpers from State Volleyball for their work in getting the draw ready following some late changes.

MH Silver at Illawarra 2013

WD1 Silver at Illawarra 2013

Men’s Honours Black:

In what can only be described as the greatest volleyball comeback in history, coach Morky can out of retirement, to show the volleyball world what they had been missing and the “art” of playing libero. Stu “she’s cute, can you hook me up” Maycock played amazing all weekend. Marc “she is cute, I’ll get my brother to be your wingman” Carroll set with far greater consistency than 2 weeks earlier. Sam “Yay! I get to play outside hitter – how do I do that again?” Morrison played at outside for a game and showed why he is such a good Universal. Nick “I don’t need to jump” Barry was rumoured to have almost left the ground on several occasions, but in depth video analysis will be required to verify this. Artem “my boys look for mouse in house, but don’t see elephant” Ipatyev (..anyone????) played with great consistency, especially when you consider he drank enough vodka to be legally dead twice over. D- “Nam why are you spooning me at 3:00 in the morning and eating muffins at the same time” Bo made his long awaited comeback to competition volleyball and was the shortest of the middles at 197 cm. Nigel “bloodnut” Flintoff made some great blocks and showed why middles need to be libero’d off. Ben “I was the first peron to make the gold medal match” Lalic, played the odd game when not clashing with State duties, and was given the opportunity to play libero for a set, when the starting libero decided to deliberately play bad, in order to give him a go. Nick “I don’t look like my sister” Kukic who was injured, played the role of the coach, whist the coach played the role of the libero, whilst the libero played the role of a guest at a wedding. He was give some great pointers on how to coach, including: how to pace up and down the side line, how to look to his bench when someone made an error, how to never look happy no matter how well the team was going and the art of throwing a clip-board, or kicking a box of paddles if things weren’t going right.
With a towering team (shortest player being 193 cm) UTS Black dominated proceedings with its massive blocking, high hitting and non-existent tip cover. The team remained undefeated up until the gold medal game, where they were yet again pipped at the post by Canberra Heat. The Heat defence was the standout difference between the two teams.

Men’s Honours White:

In what can only be described as the worst draw in the history of the game, the UTS Honours White team began proceedings on Saturday at 9:00 am and finished at 8:00 pm. In games that occasionally resembled volleyball, point 17 of Game 4 against Sydney Uni was the highlight of the tournament. A complex plan was hatch, Sucky called the play. An “A”, with a metre ball over the top, with a pipe over the top of that, with a slightly higher pipe over the top of that. The crowd was hushed, the fans had all piled into the stadium to witness this one glorious moment. Anthony Rowda went back to serve. An eerie silence fell over the stadium. All games paused to watch this one momentous point. The whistle blew, the ball was tossed, the connection from the server was sweet. The UTS players manoeuvred into position to execute what was surely going to go down in history as the greatest single moment the game had experienced. The ball was on its way. You could sense the tension in the air that this was going to be incredible. As the serve crashed its way into the middle of the net, there was an eruption of noise from all around the stadium. Point 17, game 4 belonged to UTS! Volleyball history had been made.

Some additional highlights from the weekend:
– Doug “ who can I blame for having a spew in my room” Skinner, decided to share a lot of his regurgitated salad with his team mate Rob “I’m the captain, no-one spews on me!” Fleury.
– Kiel “I can sense that everyone is going to spew, so it is safer to stay with my girlfriend and the Sydney Uni guys” Briggs, took his drinking a little less seriously than many of the UTS guys, whereas James “Hey guys, do you all want to get drunk and give me a shit haircut” Mcrae, decided it would be good having a bunch of drunk people with scissors attacking his hair.
– Alex “I still have a better accent that you Cillian” Gibbons again had a consistent weekend, as did Sucky “is he still playing” Suckling – who’s lack of alcohol was a standout on Sunday morning.
– Jason “Artem, you almost broke my nose!” Laffer, added some much needed passing stability to the line-up, when not playing for State.
– Steve “I got some” Lee, mysteriously did not make it back to his room on Saturday night, but was spotted leaving another room in the wee hours of the morning.
– Gregor “I’ve been trying to get some” Salvin, was spotted alone in the foetal position in his bed.

Women’s Honours:

To come

Men’s Division 1: From Artem

Illiwarra games were quiet successful for UTS teams except div 1 boys. I was not surprised a level of opposite teams. We lost three games and had one draw. We played very bad. We really need to understand that our wins and losts depend on amount of unforced mistakes. We did 15 mistakes in each set. The most common mistake was in pass. Strategies used against us were simple: serve in libero. Players from social team did free balls, cut shots, and tips. Nobody could not jump in their team. Obviously we could smash this team with a score 25:10. But our “ocean team” could not even take a good pass from these easy balls. it looks like we have four fish in our team. The first fish is Lee. all he had to do was pass each ball in three meters line with six meters height to give enough time to setter. Our setter still not to fast to set low pass. it means the job was failed. Steve is a very quiet fish. Staying next to Lee he did not say anything. That is why social team people served easy serves between these players and won 5 or even 10 points. Igor is a hard worker. Ever time trying fix bad pass he did not say nothing to passers. that is why people though that our pass is ok. But we missed again, again and again… Igor was quiet and we all were losing game by game staying quiet and independent from each other.

P.S. We are doing good job on our straining sessions. We lose our concentration and COMMUNICATION during games. When we will get it, we will become a good team who can win!

Women’s Division 1: From Clara

Day 1:
Game 1: V’s ACT U/19’s
After an extremely early start with an 8am game, it took a little bit of time for the morning coffee’s to kick in. The team had a shaky start, giving the junior state team a 9-1 head start, but we got the UTS choke out early and came back to win the set with some hard serves and clever hitting.
Ending the previous set on a high note, we came into the second set with confidence and an eagerness to win. Unfortunately we struggled to get a rhythm going, but kept up a strong fight until the buzzer rang for time, leaving us with a 1-1 draw. Not a bad result for our first game!
Game 2: V’s NSW U/17’s
The second game was against another junior team, which allowed UTS to show off their advantage of experience against the youngsters. The team performed strongly over all aspects of the game with some great serving by Steph and Joey, and great defence by Dani and Claire Lu. All the substitutes came on strong and did not buckle under pressure, especially Evi in libero and Ornella as second setter.
Due to some great sets from Joey and Ornella, our hitters were able to pound some great winners, with some consistent hitting from Maddie and Claire Walker. Our middles also performed well with some great blocking from Cat, Milica and Nat.
To top off our solid start to the weekend (finishing at the top of our pool by approximately 2 points), we had to decide who dive of the day was going to be awarded to. It was a close vote between Claire W and Milica, with Claire narrowly taking out the prize. A fantastic start for the team with everyone performing in the positions they were placed in!
Day 2:
Semi final: V’s ACT U/17’s
After a big night out for some a.k.a Claire Walker and Cat Stalmachowski, it was quite fortunate that we had a later start to the day. As we were playing ANOTHER junior team, I doubt they had the same ‘regurgitation and lack of sleep’ issues as some of our members experienced. Regardless, both teams had a solid warm up so we knew we were in for a tough semi final. Captain Clara finally won the toss and coach Deb picked out their consistent players and defensive weaknesses early to came up with a solid game plan.
The first set was really close, with UTS playing some extremely smart volleyball. Hits down the line were working really well from both the opposites and outsides, due to some great sets from Joey. Consistent passes from back court allowed for some great runs and hits from the middles, keeping the 17’s guessing. Our serves were tough, but unfortunately quite a few were hit out the back of the court. Regardless, we won the set and had components of the game to improve on to be successful in the second set.
Following the typical pattern for the div 1 team, we played amazing volleyball in the first set, but made a few too many errors in the second. Unfortunately our service errors continued, which gave the talented junior team an edge that we could not get back. Nevertheless, we fought hard until the end of the set, eventually ending with the 17’s prevailing, due to some great hits and hard serves.
After winning the toss again, Clara hesitantly chose to serve, knowing that the 17’s served well in the last set. Turned out to be a wise decision as Joey gave us a 4/5 point lead due to some hard serves! We played our own game and stayed consistent through the whole set, not allowing the youngsters to catch back up to us. There was a great team effort over all, once again with the substitutes putting on a solid performance. Even though the play was not always clean, we still had some great dives by Evi and Steph and some questionable hits and attack digs from Clara, which eventually led to our defeat of this solid young team. A close semi final that put us in the gold medal match against UNSW.
Grand final: V’s UNSW
After a very long weekend of volleyball and/or partying, we were finally at our final match for the weekend. For the second time this year, we once again met the strong UNSW team in the gold medal match to decide the winner for the weekend. Even though some of us were near exhaustion, we pushed through and had a blinder of a first set, smashing them 25-11. Steph performed extremely well on the court during this set, most likely due to her ‘extra-curricular’ activities off the court. There was solid hitting from all of our hitters and passers and great serving, allowing for great setting from Joey and an overall great team effort.
Coach Deb changed the line up slightly in the second set, but unfortunately UNSW picked up their defence and began serving a lot harder and smarter. There were still some great up’s from Evi in back court, some solid hitting from Nat, Cat and Claire, and some good blocking from Milica and Clara. Unfortunately we could not keep the momentum going from the win and lost the second set almost as convincingly as we won the first.
Final set of the day and Clara won the toss which she elected to serve again, knowing Joey would put pressure on UNSW with her smart serves. The set started out very similar to the 3rd set against the 17’s, giving us a 4 or so point lead. UNSW played some smart volleyball, the crossover score giving us only a 2 point lead. By this stage, we were all quite exhausted and could not find the gaps in their defence and UNSW ended up winning the final set 15-12, with last few points being won on some well placed tips from their setter.
Overall a fantastic weekend of volleyball with everyone performing well in their on and off court positions.