A total of 8 UTS teams headed south to the Illawarra region in May for State Cup #3.
Honours Women – Black (from Lily)
The UTS Black Honours girls came through with a successful win at the State cup in Wollongong. After a shaky start with the consistently late Bruna, and a couple of players falling sick, we almost had to forfeit our first game. But with the help of Amanda and Laura, we managed to find enough people to play the game and win! With quite an inconsistent weekend of games, we still managed to pull through on top. We had games starting up 11 –O, with awesome serving by Irena, good passing and a strong attack [especially from Bruna who was unstoppable in attack]. But, we also had some slow starts and drops throughout the game due to lack of communication and breaking out of system, making us work hard to catch up [we are unfortunately very good at that]. We played against Sydney uni in our semi final who gave us a run for our money, but we fought hard to take the win. We then defeated UNSW in our final game to win the gold. It was a tough game at times, but when we all stuck to our game and started to play aggressive, we scored the points to win. Thank you to Amanda and Laura for helping us out in the first game, and a big thank you to the young guns Bridget and Kateia, who helped lead us to victory. Overall, it was a successful weekend and we are looking forward to the SVL season to start.
Honours Women – White (from Claire)
Honour’s White had a lot of very close games on the weekend! Many slow starts, although we always came back in the end. This led to many one set all games. We saw some really aggressive hitting from Carly! Defence also really great throughout the tournament thanks to our Libero’s Lucy and Gemma! We lost our crossover game, leaving us 6th out of 10 teams. It was a tough tournament, although we are slowly proving that we deserve to be in this division! Well done team!
Div 1 Women – Cougars & Cubs (TBA)
Div 2 Women (from Carmen)
Honours Men (TBA)
Div 1 Men (from Blair)
For the first time since induction, Illawarra met the Division 1 team with an opportunity to play together as a full team. We were greeted with a tough draw, going up against teams we have struggled with in the past as well a few we have previously not met this year.
We started the Saturday on a relatively slow note, with simple errors and missed serves running rampant throughout our usual game. This unfortunately remained a constant throughout the weekend costing us many easy points and a few chances to gain a real foothold within certain sets. A general lack of communication and vigor also went against us causing us to work a lot harder to achieve our intended structured play.
Moving through the weekend we came together much more strongly as a team, netting the majority of points from those we attacked from a much improved passing game in the back line. Once we were able to identify existing errors and points of concern, we were quick to respond and on the positive side, this remained consistent throughout the tournament also.
Blocking positioning and general passing saw further improvement in the latter games as we continued to attack and move with increased intensity. Communication and dedication increased and we were able to play the level of volleyball we know we are capable of and finished up on a more positive note.
The negative elements of our game could be rectified by an increase of communication in key positions as well as dedicated movement and greater awareness being used to alleviate the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves. Starting stronger and with the same energy we ended with would also be effective in capitalizing on points and positions we initially pass up far too early.
Overall, even though the result didn’t show it, we managed to play well and gained valuable experience as a team. We were able to see what we need to improve upon and strengthen as we move closer to the opening of the SVL season.
Div 2 Men (from Gino)
Illawarra state cup marked the last opportunity to grab a podium finish before the long SVL season.The Division 2 men played a great defensive game throughout the whole tournament. On the the back of superb ups , 3 point serve reception and money free ball passes. We topped our pool and headed straight into the semi finals.
We dominated our first set 25:10 against blue bees 2. Having taking the set so convincingly we made the mistake of relaxing our intensity, which reflected in the 2nd set lose 25:17. We played the 3rd set and lost 8:5 ( as the games until the finals are timed and best of 3, the deciding set is first to 15) making the result 2 sets to 1 lose to blue bees 2. We learned that maintaining our intensity throughout a whole match is the key to win a game, no matter how much you win the 1st set by :(.
The silver lining of the lose against BB2 was the fact we got to have a all UTS bronze medal match against the junior boys plus George. It was great to play against the young talented, but inexperienced side. We took home bronze 2:0
Div 2 Junior Boys (TBA)