What else can be said but… wow. If you weren’t playing in this tournament, then just ask someone who did and you’ll find out just how good it was.
This was the first UTS Cup that has been run for many years, well before I started at the club back in 2012. It ended up feeling like a boutique tournament that filled the desire for social AND representative players (and volleyball tragics) either looking for a freshener to their season or to try their hand with some new teammates. I’m already keen to see the next one come around and for it to cement its place in the NSW Volleyball calendar and create a legacy.
From a humble, casual and quiet Saturday when only Men were playing round games, the tournament grew in competitiveness for all teams involved. Teams that were casual with winning or losing the odd set on Saturday were suddenly eager, vocal and passionate for each point on Sunday as they realised (favourites or not) that they had a shot at engraving their name on the coveted UTS Cup (freshly re-branded I might add). This competitiveness went like a virus:
- It went down to the final round game to decide which team would rank first and second before finals.
- Unbeaten favourites, The Project (1st in rounds) were almost toppled by a rampant Hitdat (4th in rounds) in a semi final which went 2-1 to The Project and 26-24 in the deciding set.
- Second favourites, Shabangabang (2nd in rounds) had a similar battle on their hands against Spiked Punch (3rd in rounds) after dropping the first set in the semi final.
- The final saw SVL Honours players from SNV (in Shabangabang) and Endeavour (in The Project) going point for point with kills, blocks, scrambling and cheering (combined with the regular one-liner and heckling from the crowd, a.k.a. Ex-President Nam Pham).
- The Project
- Spiked Punch
- UTS Unigames
Note: Apologies to all players who experienced the olfactory tactics from the Shabangabang captain. They proved to be as much sabotage as they were effective against the opposition.
With only a one day tournament, the women’s teams were flooded with opportunity to play. The tournament was very lucky to have received two teams from the Australian Junior Women’s Development Program, as part of their preparations for the Asian Youth Championships and a tour of America. It was clear from the beginning that these teams were a class above their opposition, however it gave some very valuable experience to the teams from the NSW State Team and the UTS Unigames team.
- AUS JWDP 1
- AUS JWDP 2
- NSW U17 Women
- UTS Unigames
Tournament Director Jason is a very happy man. It took a lot of work to organise a new tournament in an already busy NSW Volleyball calendar, however I cannot be appreciative enough of the players and coaches of the teams that took a leap of faith and supported the tournament in its return. It goes without saying that the tournament would not have been possible without each and everyone one of you. Thank you!
It was nice to have such a positive response about 1st Referees and Scorers being provided as part the entry fees, longer 75 minute time slots and a BBQ lunch on Sunday. These are definitely elements that teams can look forward to again in the 2017 UTS Cup.
Finally, a massive thank you goes to the players of the UTS Unigames team. UTS Cup is a fundraising tournament for these players as they prepare to represent UTS Volleyball Club at the Eastern and Australian University Games. They were the dedicated individuals who braved: the dizzying heights of the referee stand; the confusion of the international scoresheet, and; the risk of serious burns at the hands of a school BBQ. You guys are awesome and it could not have been done without you!
Keep a look out for us on the calendar next year!
Tournament Director & Vice President, UTS Volleyball Club