28th & 29th March saw seven UTS teams travel a short distance north to the Central Coast. Most of the teams were using the chance to get some game time together having only started training together a couple of weeks ago. A great return from the event with UTS coming away with one gold, two silvers and one bronze, plus 2 4th places from the weekend.
Mens Honours – White (report from Morky)
UTS White Mens Honours made the trek to the Central Coast for the first tourney of the year. The seven games played were used as an extended training session to work on a new style of play and to incorporate new players.
Pretty boy Steve Lee was showing off his skills as setter and spent a lot less time over the
weekend with his shirt off than usual. He may nave been overshadowed (in more ways than
one) by newcomer, Matt Leete, who kept the female (and odd male) spectators entertained
with some big hits and with the removal of his shirt at the end of each game! The number of
(in particular) female spectators has increased dramatically since his inclusion into the team.
FWOAR! was a common expression used around the stadium, on the court and especially
after the game and in the boys change rooms.
Gregor Salvin, (sporting a new sculptured body that of a very white play dough, rolled
roughly into human form by a three year old) played a steady role as a passer hitter and
captained the team in the absence of Rob Fleury on Sunday. Rob, who captained the team on
Saturday, returned back to Sydney that night in preparation for watching New Zealand please 22 million Australians by being flogged in the World Cup cricket final. Libee, smashed lots of winners, overpassed lots of free balls, occasionally served the ball into court and constantly lit up the stadium with his infectious smile. Willis Choi, showed some awesome talent both in passing and in defence and proved why a libero should be on in backcourt, rather than a middle. James McRae looked like he may make it through a tournament without getting injured or breaking down but alas, it wasn’t to be. It only took three games before he was laying in the fetal position, with tears in his eyes, crying for his mamma. He did manage to play again though as well as a managing in to play at universal for a game and not looking like a complete spaz! Doug Skinner, played some of his best volleyball as setter, except for the games against the team he was coaching, where mysteriously they seemed to know every play he was running. Dan Gauci filled in for the team when needed and added some awesome firepower with both his serving and Spiking. In the course of 3 sets of volleyball played over the weekend, he amassed an amazing 612 points, beating the previous record by almost 600 points. Standin libero (for 1 game) and assistant coach, Morky, passed so many 3 point passes in his 1 game, that the statisticians awarded him amazing average of 4.0, to go with his 72 amazing ups. The 1 all scoreline at the end of the game did not reflect the amazingness of this performance, but coach Alberto Flamigni was heard to have said “it has to be one of the best performances ever ……. outside of Italy”. Coach Flamigni also managed the team well and gave a lot of valuable insight to the players. Unfortunately, without the aid a translator, none of this filtered down to the players, who were often seen nodding and shrugging their shoulders at the same time.
The team only lost one game in the double round Robin, having gone down to the experience of the Newcastle team. The same team went on to beat UTS in a closely contested final.
Womens Honours (Nam’s Team) – (report from Nam)
How to win a tournament…
-Stop touching the net Anna! Gosh.
-Buy a watch Bruna Polegato.
-Learn English Irina… or I need to learn Russian.
-Use the correct footwork to hit a pipe ball Alli (5,6,7,8…)
-Know the difference between a free ball, easy ball and down ball play Wendy
-For the 1000th time, get off the net Carrie… Are you awake?
-Use a 12 year old Libero.
-Most importantly… Set Lily at ball! Bam!
Awesome start to the year girls… It took us a little bit of time to get our rhythm but by the end of the tournament you played some awesome volleyball. Undefeated Champions! Well done everyone.
Womens Honours (Dan’s Team) – (report from Daniel)
Team: Sophie, Dede, Nat, missy, Louise, Gemma, Claire, Carly and Jo.
With a couple of new players and variations with the line ups, it was great to see the girls never give up and support each other throughout the weekend of State Cup Central Coast. It was different for these girls to play in the honours division as most of them were used to division 1 and others have not played in a state cup before, but they have proven they can be competitive and achieve results at that level. We started off strong beating UNSW in our first game which put the girls in a good state of mind. With being on a high from the first game we started to loose concentration easier and fell into a hole in the middle Saturday too loose both of our next 2 games against UTS Black and United. After a break and a little discussion with the girls we picked up our game to finish Saturday with a good win against UNSW for the second time. Sunday started slower with 2 quick losses again UTS Black and United again, but the fight was still in there eyes and the hunger for the win grew. To finish the day the girls made the bronze medal match and fought all the way till the end to win in the final set 15-9. It was an awesome finish to a good and long weekend. The progress was good and potential for these talented woman shows. Well done girls and let’s keep the fight going.
Mens Division 1 – (report from Sucky)
Team: Haiding, Yujun, Blair, Phil, Fellipe, Pickles, Kel & Cillian, with guest appearances from Alberto, Darren & myself.
Our brand new team went to Central Coast hopeful but cautious. With so many new players in the team, the start (against a good Central Coast team) was always going to be a bit strange…and it was. After getting over that initial quiet though, we picked ourselves up and made a bit more of a game of it. Some big swings and some big blocks certainly helped. We stepped up for our second pool game and got away with the win against SW Khalsa. Our Sunday semi final was a close game. We won the first set, but then dropped the second. An incomplete third set left us a single point behind overall and relegated to the bronze playoff, but still a good game. Our Bronze medal playoff was against the Central Coast team who had beaten us on Saturday. We were much more aggressive and made a much better account of ourselves, but still went down 2:0.
A fourth place finish and a great start for 2015!
Womens Division 1 Cougars & Cubs – (report from Jenny)
A Tale of Two Days
A keen bunch of youthful volleyballers ventured to Gosford to take part in the first round of State Cup. Following a succesfull 2014, all things were looking good for a great start to the 2015 season.
Saturday saw the much anticipated return of Jess Ng to the team after a number of false starts the previous year. She joined Deb, Jo, Nardia, Haley, Jess, Cat and Jenny.
The three Saturday pool games saw the team make light work of the opposition winning against the Belles, UNSW and Central Coast. The first game of the year saw the team take the opportunity to put in a training run for the first 15 points or so, ensuring they ironed out as many shanks, dives and missed opportunities before pulling away convincingly. The second game was more consistent throughout with Jo even deciding she would throw in some head passes as things were going so well. The third game for the day saw Cat dominate the net with block after block keeping the game in our favour.
Following an early finish the team was in high spirits for the semis the following day.
And then came Sunday….
After watching the Honours teams do their stuff, the team commenced the semi against Manly with high expectations. Unfortunately the success of the day before didn’t transfer to the Sunday with strong serving and great defence from the opposition putting an end to the dominance of our middle attack and leading to a close but eventual defeat. The bronze playoff was a great deal closer going to 3 sets however with the same outcome as the previous match.
Despite the loses you would never have known as spirits remained high throughout and fun was had (as always) by all. Medal or no medal, the outcome for all playing was exactly the same! I guess the only way now is up…well not exactly but lets hope.
Womens Division 2 (report from Ali)
This weekend was a great start for the div 2 women. We went on strong after having an early and the long drive Winning both games on Saturday which comfortably landed us first place in our pool and meant we finished at 12 on Saturday and didn’t start till 12 on Sunday (CHEERING)!
Maybe it was the late start on Sunday or we were tired from all the winning on Saturday but our semi against SNV went a tad sour after loosing on count back by 4 points, super annoying! However we were not going home empty handed so as our bronze medal match rolled around so did our energy and enthusiasm. Coach-less and support-less as the draws clashed we were our own cheer team ( the way it should be ) and we bought home the bronze comfortably taking down those blue bee stingers! We had great blocks from Guilana, Claire gave middle a go, Maddie and Katie’s defence was brilliant and Jali had some great plays through the middle. Wendy set the whole way round and made sure nothing hit the floor and the entire teams serving was on point. Well done girls A bronze for our first state cup – not a bad start at all!
Thanks Jali, Maddie, Katie, Wendy, Guilana and Claire for a brilliant weekend and bring on the rest of the season and thank you to Deb and Jess for being amazing coaches!
Junior Boys (report from George & Clara)
This was our first opportunity to play with the new roster following the departure of several key players to the senior ranks and our recent selections trials. Some of our players had commitments to the NSW Beach Squad so we invited some of our new development players. We boarded the UTS Mini-Bus at RMSH Ultimo and met up with 3 of our regional players at the stadium in Terrigal. First up, the whole team (100%) attended a scoring clinic run by George Chalhoub from NSWVRA. George also went thru general tips for doing duty as well as what is expected from players on court and the behaviours/attitude to officials. A good start for our first time players 🙂 At this stage there is no Junior competition at our State Cups, so we entered our team into the Div 2 Open Mens Division. At the end of Day 1, we managed 2 wins against the Bumble Bees and 1 loss against the new look (big-hitting) Freezone team. A great result for our first day of volleyball as a new team and all players seemed to gel very quickly. In the evening at our team meeting I asked what was each players highlight and I was amazed by some of their responses: “Being part of such a tight/friendly team”, “We all supported each other”, “This is my first real tournament ever!”, “This was my first volleyball game in Australia!”, “This is my first time I am sleeping away from my family!” …OMG!!! On Day 2 we played our Semi Final and came out on fire, with a solid win. The Semi would end up being our best oncourt performance of the tournament, with lots of amazing plays, great defense/dives in back court, and some very aggressive/solid offence from both front and back court. The team were on a real high after the Semi, and went into the Gold Medal Final pumped. Although we played with a great attitude, the combination of the physical toll on everyone after a weekend of volleyball and a very solid performance by our opposition, meant we were outclassed overall and went down 0:2 to take out the Silver Medal. There were many highlights for our new team, including: running a solid back row attack consistently, some brilliant roof blocks and some amazing saves in defence, but the highlight was in the Gold Final, the opposition put up a 3 man block on our Opposite player, what the?… 3-man block in Div 2? Before I knew it, our own players started blocking them with our own 3 man block, much to my surprise because we had never trained for this, so full credit to the boys for giving it a go. The sense of team spirit and camaraderie was amazing all weekend and we look forward to working with a bunch of great juniors, willing to learn and be part of the UTS family. A big thank you to the Board of UTS-VC for supporting the Junior Program again this year and to all of the senior coaches who have provided assistance during the lead-up training sessions and to Jon Yaw for helping out when needed. We look forward to an exciting year of the Junior Program in 2015.
Central Coast Tournament Team Awards:
5 – Raymond Vaamanuu (Opposite) – ‘MVP: Most Valuable Player of the Tournament’ and ‘Best Abs’
7 – Samuel Tifa – ‘Off-court Hoodie Intimidator’ Award
9 – Joseph Phu (Universal) – ‘Best all-rounder’
10 – Dom Leo -‘Best Libero of the Tournament!’ Award
13 – Matthew Jigalin (Setter) – ‘Cool under pressure’ Award
15 – Noah Soderlund – ‘Quickest Middle’ Award
16 – Liam Fardell – ‘Team Energiser & Most Enthusiastic’ Award
17 – Bruce Feng (Passer/Hitter) – Best New Import’ and ‘Best Defense’
18 – Ryan Maginnity (Setter) – ‘Fish out of water’ Award, for playing as a passer/defender in the final
19 – Samuel Forsberg – ‘Best Rookie’ Award
20 – Michael Jones (Hitter) – ‘Best Development Player’ Award
Coaches: George Jigalin & Clara Loth
The State Volleyball NSW wrap up of the event can be found here.