Penrith State Cup 2014

October 13, 2014

On the weekend of 12/13 October a small but merry band of volleyballers made their way out to Penrith for a State Cup.

State Cup Penrith

Women’s Team Report (From Deb)

With the SVL season over and only a few weekend tournaments left for the rest of the year, the UTS women were only able to field one team into the Penrith State Cup last weekend which was made up of players from all 4 UTS teams: Honours women, Cougars and Cubs, Div 1 and Div 2. Saturday saw the UTS team play 3 games, easily defeating UNSW’s Division 1 team and Endeavour but losing to Manly in the grueling afternoon heat to finish 2nd in the pool and progress to the Honours division of the competition. A tiring but fun day was had by all of us getting to know each other and understanding the rules of a new venue (in 25 years of playing volleyball, I’ve never had to deal with a “Big Arse Fan” rule before). Claire Lu and Verena Taudte really stepped up to the plate to match it with the rest of the players with some impressive serving and setting. Jess Reardon and Nardia Guillaumier made impressive returns to the middle with Haley Minigle and Irina Penkina solid on the outside. Jenny Towers was consistent and showed her experience (as always!) in the setting position.

A very early morning start on Sunday at 8am saw the team lose its first Honours round game to the UNSW Honours team 2-0. Despite the set score, the team was competitive all the way and only narrowly lost each set. The team managed some good play but struggled at times with passing the UNSW float serves.

However, some handy reinforcements (Clara Loth and Natalia Krivonogova) arrived in Penrith in time for the 11am game against Manly. We were then able to move Jess Reardon to Universal and run a quicker attack. Great setting from Verena and Jen got the middle hitters firing, resulting in a strong team performance and an easy 2-0 win. Most outstanding dive goes to Jen for an impressive backwards roll after tripping over her own foot during a rally.

Next came the SVL Div 1 gold medal rematch against Hills Dragons. Great passing from Clara and strong play from Jen and Nardia (who were rejuvenated after taking advantage of some sports massage during the break) helped the team gel together. Awesome defence from Haley and big hitting from Irina lifted the team to play some inspired volleyball. The girls showed great patience against the strong defensive Hills girls to take out the match 2-0 and progress to the Honours Gold Medal match.

The girls didn’t let it bother them that they were going into the Gold Medal match against the UNSW Honours girls as underdogs. A great defensive effort from all players highlighted by a huge dive outside the court by Claire Lu saw the team lift its intensity and put continual pressure on the UNSW girls. Nardia made some HUGE blocks against AVL middle Kelly McLeod to keep her out of the game. After taking the first set quite easily, the girls went neck and neck with the UNSW girls in the 2nd set before letting the opposition slip away in the middle of the set. However, with some “no regrets” volleyball, the UTS girls made a big comeback to take the 2nd set and match. A great weekend and result. After 7 games in 2 days, I can hardly walk but thanks for the good times – bring on Good Neighbour!

SVL 2014 Week 7 Update

July 28, 2014

Week 7 of SVL

In the men…
MH UTSB lost 3:2 to SWV
MH UTSW beat DRAG 3:1
M2 UTS beat EAG 3:0
19M UTS lost 3:0 to SWVK

In the women…
WH UTS beat DRAG 3:1
W1 UTS beat SNV 3:1
W1 UTSCC beat UTSSS1 3:0
19W UTSSS2 beat UTSSS4 3:2
19W UTSSS3 beat SNVE 3:0
16W UTSSS5 beat SNVS 3:1
16W UTSSS6 beat UTSSS8 3:0
16W UTSSS7 lost to UNSW 3:1


UTS W1 vs SNV (from Sucky)

With both setters still away, Claire, Gabes Sophie also away we went into a game against SNV with Verena and Yulia called up for support.  Verena set really well for the group in her first game with us, and some good play on the top of that got us the first and second set.  A few too many errors early in the third set put us behind. In went Yulia at opposite and we started to come back, but not enough and we went down 25:23.  Nat & Niky owned the net for the fourth set and with many good blocks and some good defense turned into attack we won the fourth 25:16.  Solid performance from our ladies here, setting ourselves up mid table with our double header still to come.

U19 Junior Boys (by Clara & George)

Our newly trained setter Khyle is starting to work out his role and playing position on court and producing some great sets, whilst our 2 middles, Joseph and Andy did some great defence blocking out our taller opponents. Dominic, Dion and Hugh have improved significantly as our outside hitters, whilst Ziya is doing a great job learning the role of Universal and middle. Our pocket rocket, Matthew Rennie has been tearing up the backcourt as our super-libero and puts his heart into every play. Its great to see all of the boys putting in the hard yards at training every week and then applying their new learnings in matches at SVL. This week our U19 Juniors faced another tough match against SWV-Khalsa and although our boys have improved their game play, it wasn’t enough to hold out the strength of Khalsa and went down in 3 sets.

Results: UTS U19’s def by SWV-Khalsa 3:0, 25:15, 25:19, 25:23

UTS Juniors supporting our UTS Honours Men

UTS Juniors supporting our UTS Honours Men

Div 2 Men (by Clara & George)

This week we were down some players due to injury and commitments to the Honours Black team. We played against Eagles and managed to put in a solid performance. Willis did a great job as our setter, whilst the return of Joshua (from overseas) was a welcome addition to our team. Our outside hitters Jon and Joshua formed a great attack all game, whilst Hao was unstoppable through his quick middles. Samuel returned to the team after his ankle injury and managed to also hit some great balls through the middle. Laymond kept the back court alive and continued to motivate the whole team as libero, whilst Lynus played a solid game in the Opposite position, showing some great placement in his spiking and winning us some key points. Although Alberto warmed up, he didn’t really show the skills necessary to get onto the court, so we had to bench him for the entire game.

Results: UTS Div 2 Men def Eagles 3:0, 25:13, 27:25, 25:19.

UTS Div 2 Men v Eagles in Round 7 SVL 2014

UTS Div 2 Men v Eagles in Round 7 SVL 2014

SVL 2014 Week 6 Update

July 28, 2014

Week 6 saw most teams back out at Homebush for more games.

In the men…
MH UTSB beat UTSW 3:0
M1 UTS lost 3:0 to SWVK
19M UTS lost 3:1 to SNV

In the women…
WH UTS lost 3:0 to MWVA
W1 UTS lost 3:2 to MWA
W1 UTSCC beat END 3:0
W1 UTSCC beat USYD 3:0
W1 UTSSS1 lost 3:0 to UNSW
W2 UTS beat SNV 3:2
19W UTSSS2 beat SNVE 3:0
19W UTSSS4 lost 3:2 to UNSW2
16W UTSSS5 beat UTSSS8 3:0
16W UTSSS6 beat SNVS 3:0
16W UTSSS7 lost to UNSW 3:0


UTS W1 vs MWA (from Sucky)

Facing up to a Manly team who had beaten the Cougars & Cubs in week 4 was going to be a tough assignment for the Div 1 ladies.  After a sluggish start we eventually went down in the second (just 26:24). And after that promising start we decided to take the game to Manly, playing some good volleyball to win the second and third sets 25:11 and 25:22.  A few too many errors and some good play from the Manly team gave them the fourth set 25:16.  The stage set… we went into the fifth feeling good.  We eventually went down 15:11. A great performance by our group all around. Thanx to Missy for filling in for our travelling setters and great to see Sophie back on court.


UTSCC (Double Header) from Nardia

Whilst Joanne Kelly and Dani Rogerson were off running the Sutho to Surf, the 7 UTS ladies slogged it out against Endeavor… Ha who am I kidding, we crushed them.
However, during those games that are not as challenging we set goals. We were successful in our goals of keeping our consistency, running a few plays and keep our challengers under the score of 10. That actually happened for the three set win.
We saw our team work strengthen and our communication continue to finish the first game in 40 minutes.
A quick break for something to eat and we were back to face Sydney Uni. Dani and Jo arrived, one more puffed than the other. But both triumphant in finishing – well done ladies.
We expected this to be a tougher match and our warm up was fierce. Deb was so keen to play middle that she was running shoots, a’s and b’s like a demon!
The first set flew by quickly with Cat wondering where it all went as she stepped into the front court at 17-2.
The second set, was closer. UTS Cc’s looked like we were quietening down and cooling that storm we had in the first set. But the never say die attitude, complete commitment to hitting the ground out us back in the game with a 6 point catch up and it was tense at 22-22 all with a time out call by Sudney uni.
Quick pep talk, re focus and we won the second 26-24.
Realizing that Sydney uni had picked up there game our third set had to be good! Actually great! Minimal errors, placement and watching the dumps from the crafty opposing setter.
But we were craftier (is that even a word?) the third set whipped past as quick as the first 25-8.
Two wins, consistency at a high level and a great level of communication. Days like that, you just have to love this sport.

SVL 2014 Week 5 Update

July 28, 2014

Only a few teams in action during week 5.

In the men…
MH – UTSB beat Dragons 3:0
M1 – UTS lost 3:2 to SNV
M2 – UTS lost 3:1 to SSSCC

In the women…
W1 – UTSCC lost to MWA 3:1
W1- UTSSS1 beat END 3:1
U16 – UTSSS8 lost 3:0 to UNSW

Thanx to George for some video of the Cougars & Cubs in action this week:



UTS Junior Boys: Div 2 Men (by Clara and George)

This week our Junior Boys U19 Team had a Bye along with many other teams in SVL, but our Div 2 Men had a game vs our good friends Super Sikhs. This week was going to be tough for our players and coaches who had just returned from Nationals in Canberra, and in particular Samuel was sidelined due to a rolled ankle injury. We welcomed a new player this week, Zak from Div 1 Men and he took on the role of libero, whilst Laymond stepped into the role of Outside Hitter and Jarrod filled in as Setter with Willis. We got off to a great start with some very strong attack from our hitters and comfortably won the first set. SS came back strong in the 2nd set and we couldn’t stop them. The 3rd set became a real battle for both teams, with every point past 25 going to the wire, and eventually SS won it 28:26. In the 4th set we again had a close game, going point for point the whole way, with SS taking out the final set by 2 points to close the match. A great match between equal opponents, with both teams on equal total points, so great effort by our boys.

Results: UTS Div 2 Men def by Super Sikhs 3:1, 16:25, 25:20, 28:26, 25:23. (94:94 each)

UTS Div 2 Men vs Super Sikhs in Round 5 SVL 2014

UTS Div 2 Men vs Super Sikhs in Round 5 SVL 2014

SVL 2014 Round 3 Update

June 24, 2014

Round 3 of SVL is now done. How is your team doing?

In the men…
Honours White went down 3:0 to UNSW
Div 1 went down 3:0 University of Sydney
Div 2 beat Eagles 3:1
19’s went down 3:1 to Dragons 1

In the women…
Honours went down 3:2 to Manly (MWVA)
Div 1 went down 3:0 to Dragons 1
Cougars & Cubs beat UNSW 3:0
Div 2 beat Eagles 3:0
Santa Sabina 1 went down 3:1 to Dragons 2
In the 19s, Santa Sabina 2 beat Santa Sabina 3 by 3:1
In the 16s, Santa Sabina 5 beat UNSW 3:1,
Santa Sabina 6 beat Santa Sabina 7 3:0, and
Santa Sabina 8 went down 3:0 to Sydney North


Cougars & Cubs (from Jess)
On Sunday the 22nd of June the UTS Cougars and Cubs came up against last year’s SVL div 1 champions, UNSW. It was out first early morning game of the season and we were not sure how our bodies would hold up. It seemed the cold weather was not helping during the first set as everyone was able to get their first serve in but struggled with their second, lucky we were able to hold it together and win the set comfortable 25-17. With some great attacking from Yoshi (lets hit the ball so hard and fast the lines person will miss it) and Nardia (I like having 100 different UTS shirts to wear) on the outside and some big hits through the middle from Cat, Amanda and Kristen we were able to win the second set comfortable 25-12. Although we were 2 sets up we all know UNSW never gives up and loves to take UTS to five sets. Lucky for the cougars and possibly the cubs we were able to hold our game. With coach deb subbing on for Yoshi to play outside (even though she would of preferred to play middle), strong passing from Dani (lets not forgot the loud calls) and Joey spending more time diving on the floor and leaving the setting in Jen’s hands we won the third set 25-19. Although I don’t think we ever warmed up due to the freezing cold weather, it was a successful game. Well-done ladies.

Div 1 Women (From Keith)
An early morning start was too early for some (a lost phone meant a missed alarm…), but otherwise we were all ready to go.  Unfortunately our opponents were also very ready to go. The 3:0 (75:56) scoreline shows that we were beaten pretty solidly, but is perhaps a little unfair.    While we did play some good volleyball in places, we made far too many simple errors on our side of the net.  Work to do for our girls, but we know we can get better.

Div 2 Women (from Kim)
Round 3 of SVL was remarkable good for our Womens Div 2 team. We played 3 sets in total, all of them dominated by ourselves. With both our libero’s not being able to play (Ilk: You are too busy!; Ali: We hope you’re having fun in London!) we got help from Katie who plays for the NSW U17’s. With a strong libero as part of our team we not only started off strong, but we were also able to keep it up till the end. Each team member was able to play a significant part in this game:
Great defence/passing – Katie and Marlene
Nice blocks and great tips – Jali and Irene
Saving tricky balls – Lisa
Powerful attacks – Yulia and Claire
Saving average passes by setting well – Verena
Also: Thanks to Deb and Jess we are now able to put the setting calls into use more frequently!!! 😉 Although we should make sure to ALWAYS call them out LOUD ENOUGH (apologising to Verena!), we did see some quick balls today, smashing middle hits into the floor.
With almost no serving errors (!!!) and a all over great team effort we are looking forward to our next round, where we hopefully can show off again! GO UTS! WHITE SHIRT SUPERPOWER!
Results Womens Div 2 UTS against Eagles:
1st set – 25:7
2nd set- 25:16
3rd set – 25:8


Junior Boys (from George & Clara)

This week both of our Junior teams took out their gleaming new white tops for the first time. First up, our U19 Men played against Dragons 1 and put up a really good fight, with even one set going point for point past 25:25 and giving our young boys a taste of some nailbiting tough volleyball. Eventually we went down in 4 sets to a more consistent Dragons team, but we left the court with our heads held high knowing we played some good volleyball this week. Special mention of our new ‘setter-in-training’ Khyle Blando, who did a great job playing setter for the first time and to our new ‘super-libero’ Matt Rennie, who did great playing his first match as a defensive backcourt specialist. Well done boys, you did your team and parents proud. Also, a big thanks to all of the parents who came to cheer the team on… we really appreciate your support!

Clara gives the U19's Junior Boys a big rev-up during a critical timeout

Clara gives the U19’s Junior Boys a big rev-up during a critical timeout

In the 2nd match, our Div2 Men played against the Eagles with a battle of the cousins ‘Le v Le’ on opposing sides. (Danny vs Richard) We came out strong in the first 2 sets playing some great volleyball, but lost a bit of focus in the 3rd and then managed to regroup in the 4th set, to take out the match for our first win of the season! Special mention of our new passer-hitter-libero and all-round nice guy, Jon Yaw for bringing his enthusiasm and great spirit into the team and we welcomed back Samuel Tifa to the middle, after his recovery from a neck injury a few months ago. Great teamwork all around boys and congrats on your first win of SVL!

Div 2 Juniors inspired by their idol Alberto Flamigni, for this shot in their new off-court gear

Div 2 Juniors inspired by their idol Alberto Flamigni, for this shot in their new off-court gear

After the match we handed out some of the players’ kit including our new polo-shirts and training tops, and proudly posed for some team pics in our new outfits. Thanks again to Deb, Nam & UTS for spoiling us with all the new UTS clothing… how good is it to play for a club that looks after its juniors 🙂

UTS-U19M def by Dragons 1, 18:25, 25:16, 26:28, 14:25.
UTS-Div2M def Eagles, 25:18, 25:22, 17:25, 25:17.

UTS Junior Boys Players' Kit including 2 Playing Shirts (Black/White), 2 Training Tops, 1 Polo-Shirt off-court/duty uniform

UTS Junior Boys Players’ Kit including 2 Playing Shirts (Black/White), 2 Training Tops, 1 Polo-Shirt off-court/duty uniform


SVL Week 1 Update

June 1, 2014

June 1 saw week one of SVL out at Homebush.  A Rotary event made parking a challenge, but the light of cauldron warmed our hearts in the drizzly weather.

Some quick results…

Men’s honours Black won in 5 after being up 2:0.

Men’s Honours White came back from 2:1 down to win the final 2 sets  (40points to 17) and take their match 3:2.

Women’s Honours won in 3:1 after a hiccup in the second set.

Women’s Div 1 had a 3:1 win, after dropping the 3rd set.

Women’s Div 1 Cougars & Cubs had a solid 3:0 win.

Women’s Div 2 had a dominant 3:0 win keeping their opposition below 17 each set.

Men’s div 1 had a bye.

Men’s Div 2 lost 3:1 after levelling 1:1.

The 19men lost 3:1also after levelling at 1:1


Honours Women vs Sydney Uni (from Clara)

After a great finish to the pre-season tournaments, the honours team was keen to bring that fighting spirit into SVL.
We started out the game with a very strong lead, our serves and hit’s keeping them out of the game. Even when the serve was lost, we came back with some great defense and put the ball away, winning the set very convincingly.
In the second set, complacency got the better of us and Sydney uni started to pick up on our attack plays. We had a few lapses in passing and defense, but managed to bring the score back to near level, narrowly losing the second set 25-23.
Third started off very shaky with UTS unable to side out due to some strong, tough serving from Sydney uni. When we finally won the serve back, we answered right back at them with some epic hitting, setting and serving, allowing us to re-gain the lead. We then managed to keep the lead and take out the third set.
By the 4th set, the ladies had well and truly become consistent with their tough serves, keeping Sydney out of the game. Captain Wendy managed to serve for about 50% of the set, the opposition losing all confidence with their passing which lead us to our first victory of SVL.
Well done girls!


Div 1 Women Cougars & Cubs vs Sydney North (from Deb)

UTS Cougars and Cubs started off our 2014 SVL season in fine fashion on Sunday with a straight sets win against a steadily improving Sydney North (SNV) team in the Division 1 women’s competition. With a squad of 10 players, we were only missing our star libero, Dani Rogerson (chasing criminals again!). As I put together the line up, I came to the realization that our 10 players included 5 middle hitters – a very rare, but good ratio!
With Haley Johnson nursing a minor injury, Yoshi Ueda and Nardia Guillaumier came through with solid passing and hitting to help us take out the first set relatively easily. The 2nd set proved to be more difficult with SNV lifting their game and taking an early 5 point lead. No panicking from the Cougars and Cubs (most of us are too old for that) occurred and we clawed our way back with some strong serving to be even at the 16 point mark and then surged forward with some great blocking from Kristen Manchester, Cat Stalmachowski and Jess Reardon who happily got to play universal. Amanda Gigliotti took the court in the middle position for some “training” after a 3 year absence from the game and managed to fit in seamlessly to the team, showing some great work at the net.
Haley Johnson replaced Yoshi Ueda in the 3rd set so that she could leave to assistant coach the Honours Women’s team. Despite some very tight passes from the libero (sorry Joey and Jen!), Joey and Jen managed to get some great jump sets in, drawing the block to give our outsides, Haley and Nardia and our universals, Jess and Amanda some great one on one opportunities that they capitalised on. We managed to take out the 3rd set convincingly to finalise the match 3-0. A great start for the season girls – let’s keep it up!


Div 2 Women (from Yulia)
The division two girls had a successful first game on Sunday 1/6/14. We played well and won in 3 sets. The girls were serving strongly and hitting consistently. Our training sessions definitely helped us win. Thanks Deb and Jess.


Junior Boys (From George & Clara)

Both of our Junior Boys teams started off their inaugural SVL season with much excitement and anticipation. First up was our U19’s Boys with an early 9.00am start against Dragons 2, who were just too strong for us, even though we gave a good fight going down in 4 sets. In our 2nd game our Div 2 Men played against Super Sikhs and although we played a very close game, with lots of great plays, we ended up going down in 4 sets as well.
UTS-U19M def by Dragons 2, 15:25, 25:18, 16:25, 19:25.
UTS-Div2M def by Super Sikhs, 21:25, 25:17, 21:25, 20:25

UTS Junior Boys doing mind warm-ups with Rubik's Cubes at SVL

UTS Junior Boys doing mind warm-ups with Rubik’s Cubes at SVL

UTS Honours Men White – the season that never quite was

October 1, 2013


Morky's hands on hips says it all

Morky’s hands on hips says it all…

UTS Honours Men White – the season that never quite was (from Morky)

With a promising start to the season with wins against Cedars and UNSW in State Cups, UTS White were looking like a formidable opponent heading into SVL. Unfortunately a season filled with injuries, holidays and a pasty white Scottish guy, saw the White team under-perform. Rather than try to out-perform each other on the court, the boys seems to have competitions on who could sustain the worst or most number of injuries, or who could take the longest, most inappropriately timed holiday.

The SVL season started well with wins against Dragons, Eagles, Sydney Uni and UNSW. It was around this time that James “worst haircut of the century” McRae destroyed his knee in a drunken game of volleyball at Uni Games, closely followed by Alex “I think I can play with this” (pointing at a hand that looked more like an elephant’s foot) Gibbons, having his hand destroyed by Igor, followed by Igor “I can out-do both of you” Mileusnic doing damage to his back, shoulder and hand (as well as the destruction of millions of brain cells through the over-consumption of shots). Add to this Steve “I can’t keep my shirt on” Lee, disappearing to Canada, not only missing out on his girlfriend in a drunken pash with Nam at the end of season do, but also missing the last few weeks of the season. Captain Rob “I’m off on a baby making mission to Europe……..with my wife” Fleury decided a five week stint in Europe should be sufficient to sew the seeds of a new volleyball generation. This left the White team with just 6 players for their final game of the season. Unfortunately Gregor “I spend my whole life on on the beach and I am still WHITE!” Salvin was neither injured nor went on a lengthy holiday and thus played every game.

The last game saw an imposing line-up:

  • One old, sweaty, smelly setter (Sucky)
  • One old, sweaty smelly and pasty Universal (Gregor)
  • One young libero (who has issues with whether the girl who’s hand he is holding is his girlfriend or not) who was forced to play Outside (Jason)
  • One Taylor Swift loving middle (Nathan)
  • One inappropriate (in every way imaginable) middle (Kiel)
  • One wannabee setter, don’t wannabee libero playing outside (Doug)

Alas, the game with this awesome line up did not go to plan and their final game saw them lose 3:0

In the end, the team did finish with a respectable 7 wins from 12 games.

Congratulations to:

Jason Laffer – club person of the year,

Rob Fleury – MVP

James McRae – Most improved and bed wetter of the year

Doug Skinner – spew of the year

Nathan Lovett – the Taylor Swift Break up award

Alex Gibbons – drunkest person at the end of season party

Backing Up – UTS Honours Men are SVL Champions again in 2013

September 30, 2013

The UTS Men’s Honours Black team had the perfect 12 & 0 season.  Anything from coach Morky is a good read as well.

Artem getting ready for another kill

Artem getting ready for another kill

UTS Men’s Honours SVL 2013 Season in a Nutshell (from Morky)

With a perfect record of 10 wins from 10 games leading into finals, there were murmurs’ of the “UTS Choke” making an appearance before the season end.

The Semi final against Baulko saw 2 veterans and a young gun missing from the line-up. Andrew “always in the right spot” Lyell was forced into a family vacation to Disneyland, meaning he would miss volleyball trainings and games for the first time in 63 years. Another not to take the court was veteran middle Dave “D-Bo (like J-LO but better) Boettiger. After 3 minutes of warm-up with the awesome hitting power of coach Morky “I’ve made almost as many comebacks as John Farnham” Munter, D-Bo’s arms were so sore, he had to sit out the rest of the season. Also missing was Ben “it’s alright guys, next one” Lalic, who decided his brother’s wedding was more important that a volleyball game.

All of this led to Nik “I can’t wait to share a room with Kiel next year” Kukic being promoted to starting outside; Morky “I think my body can hold out long enough to finish this set” Munter making a return to the libero position; Sam “I really am a middle” Morrison, slotting back into middle; Artem “you must SIT!! PREPARE!!” Ipatyev moving to universal; Stu, Marc and Nigel playing their “normal” positions, as did Darren, who manned the bench as only he can! The “Flamingo” took on the role as coach, but unfortunately no-one could understand him.

The Baulko tactic of serving every ball and hitting every ball at the new, younger, more handsome, more intelligent, more talented (should I go on??) libero backfired, as he passed nails. “Is passing nails a good thing?” queried Nigel. “I actually though he played well!”

Each set was close to about 15, at which point the boys put their foot on the gas and romped home, keeping Baulko to 20 or less each set to come away with a 3:0 victory.

Highlights were Darren “I’m a middle and I CAN serve in” Hojel dominating from the service line, where Nigel “I’m a middle and I CAN’T serve” Flintoff did not.

Grand Final day saw UTS Black up against a very formidable opponent in UNSW who had disposed of Cedars 3:1 in their semi. This was a re-match of last years’ final, but UTS felt confident after having already beaten them twice during the regular season as well as having beating them in last years’ final. The training session leading up to the final had UTS preparing tactics to prevent UNSW playing to their strengths – which ultimately paid off.

Nigel at the net

Nigel at the net

The first set saw UTS play clinical volleyball and execute their game plan extremely effectively. Blocking and defence were great, setting options spot on and hitting, precise and consistent. The first set went to UTS 25-16, leaving USNW shell-shocked, but we knew they would come out fighting in the second.

The second set didn’t start to plan, with UNSW quickly building a good lead. The UTS blockers lost form and chased ball, the defence struggled to adjust to the erratic blocking. On top of this, some unorthodox hitting and plays saw UTS on the back foot. At 11-17 down, it looked as though UNSW would take the set. A time out ensued and the guys came back out onto court much more focussed and ready to play in the same vane as in the first set. Within minutes the scoreline changed dramatically. Some crazy defence, great blocking and power hitting saw UTS get on level pegging at 18-18. From here on, both teams sided out point for point, but ultimately UTS came out on top with a 29-27 victory.

The change of ends had the boys feeling pretty confident that they had repelled the best that UNSW had to offer. That confidence showed in the third set as UTS quickly build a substantial lead that would not be given up. Steve Neill had a blinder for UNSW, but it was not enough to get them over the line, UTS taking the third 25-20 to win the game 3:0. It was a dominant display by the UTS guys to win both the semi and the final 3:0, but it took a lot of hard work from all involved throughout the whole season.

A few highlights of the game include:

Nigel “I’m an Effing big boy and I’m going to roof the shit out of you!” Flintoff having a blinder (that’s a good thing Nigel) and amassing more blocks in the one game than all of the other games in the whole season combined.

Sam “I’m not as big as you Nigel, but I’m still going to roof the shit out everyone!” Morrison, unfortunately not being able to match it with Nigel, finishing the game with only 30 solo roof blocks. Sam also earned “dig of the day” although I am not sure he even saw the ball – I think this was one of two balls that Steve Neill didn’t hit for winner all day.

Artem “I look possessed and I am going to eat your children!” Ipatyev amassing something like 20 kills from 28 swings (with only 2 errors) – accrediting most of his success to his new shoes.

Marc “Mum and Dad are here to watch me win, not you Luke” Carroll setting great options all day, giving his twin brother on the other side of the net the run-around.

Stu “aren’t all-rounders cricket players?” Maycock playing a good captains knock and steadying the ship when needed.

Ben “I’ve never been blocked by Victoria” Lalic played his usual game, frustrating the crap out of the opposition by hitting off, through, around and into their blocks for winner after winner.

Nik “I’ve won my first honours gold medal at age 17” Kukic making a late appearance onto court, only to be denied in his only swing by the UNSW block (or was it all net?)

Darren “ I think Alberto hates me!” Hojel once again doing a stellar job of warming the bench. He did however play the Div 1 final earlier in the day and considering how his ankle looked only a few days earlier, it was a miracle he was playing at all.

The new libero had a reasonable game (passing at 3:0 in first set, 2.4 in the second and something else in the third) but was quoted after the game to have said “thanks Christ we won that in 3, I’ve got about 2 more minutes left in me before I keel over and die!” Morky has also claimed “fake out of the day” by tell his blockers not to block Steve Neill (a dangerous tactic) as he was back court, knowing full well that John would set him. He spanked crap out of the ball – unfortunately for him into the tape. Both Morky and Ben claimed to have it covered in any case….NOT!

Alberto “I am the ………FLAMINGO” gave valuable insight into the game between sets and at timeouts. Unfortunately it was all in Italian, so no-one understood any of it, with the exception of one word: “Motherf…..r”

It has been a great pleasure to coach the group this year (and have Alberto as my assistant) and to go through the season undefeated, as well as take out the semi and grand final in 3 sets. This is a testament to the hard work put in by all to continue to improve and push themselves. This is also the first time the UTS men have won back to back premierships.

Congratulations to Stuart Maycock (best all-rounder), Marc Carroll (best setter) and Artem Ipatyev (best outside hitter) for making the all-star 7



A Review of the Women’s Honours Season

September 27, 2013

Not everyone can go through a season undefeated.  Some teams are at different stages where they are rebuilding, bring in younger players, and trying to set themselves up for the future.

OK. You pass it.

OK. You pass it.

UTS Womens Honours Overview (from Nam)

With many new young and enthusiastic players, 2013 was going to be a year of rebuilding for the Women’s Honours Team.

After winning the championship in 2010 and 2011, 2012 was a disappointing season not qualifying for the finals. A fresh squad was selected for 2013 with the majority of players only 18-20 years old. The team was lead by 3 veteran players in Captain Wendy Edwards, Nat Frostick and Bruna Polegato.

The team finish third on the ladder beating Sydney Uni, UNSW and Dragons in the double round robin. Manly and the Cedars proved to be too good with their experience and skill.

Though it was a good game, unfortunately Manly were once again too strong in the semi finals. A disappointing bronze medal playoff against the Dragons resulted in the UTS team settling for fourth place in the end.

Though the final game was not great, the players have done well this year with so much improvement. Hopefully the progress will continue over the next few years and with a little more experience I am confident this will be a great team in the future.

Well done girls, be proud of what you have achieved this year, learn from your experiences and I look forward to many more seasons with you all.

Close! Div 1 Girls Take SVL Silver

September 27, 2013

Our Division 1 girls team – who we know lots about because they write lots of match reports 🙂  – made it into the Gold Medal match and faced the daunting prospect of an undefeated UNSW team.

First Set to UTS

First Set to UTS

Sunday 22nd Vs UNSW (from Clara)

After a very early start, coach Deb had us all there with plenty of time for a team chat before the game and a nice long warm up. Deb set up her bench on the good side of the net, but UNSW did not see this and started warming up, ruining her plan. On the plus side, Clara lost the toss and chose to swap sides anyway! With quite a young team, a number of the girls were nervous to start the game and therefore the first few points were not the greatest in terms of passing, but the middles did a good job at closing out over passes and blocking. The whole set was point for point but luckily UNSW was also nervous and we managed to narrowly close out the first set.

The second set found our passing to slowly improve, therefore making it easier for the setters Jo and Missy to find their rhythm also. Unfortunately UNSW had a solid block which was making it tough for our hitters to find the gaps. With less errors from the strong UNSW side and many tools off our block, they closed out the second set.

By the third set our defense and passing were meeting the demands of the UNSW serve with our libero Monica and passing sub Gemma, but again we were struggling to get the straight kills. On the plus side, we were down 5 or so points numerous times and would fight back hard with tough servers and well placed hits from Nat nd Gabes and tips from Clara and Jo, which proved to be more effective. Unfortunately the setters were still struggling to connect with the middles and get them into the game, but we were running some nice 2’s behind to opposite Claire Walker. After another close set, we managed to stay on top.

4th/choke set. We started out quite evenly matched but then struggled to get a side out on a particular rotation, therefore giving them another 4-5 point lead. We eventually got the serve back and caught back up to within 2 points of their score, but then did not side out again for the rest of the set. UNSW’s block/defense was just too good or the team had just decided they really like playing and wanted to reserve their energy for another set. Either way, we were going to the 5th set.

Again captain Clara was unlucky with the toss but managed to get the good starting side. We unfortunately had a rough patch early on in the set but managed to bounce back once again. UNSW had reached 8 points first but we were only a few points behind and were eager to win. With some great team work including some awesome defense and serve receive, we managed to pull ahead to 12-9. Unfortunately the UNSW coach called a time out at the right time, allowing them to re-gain the serve and overtake us. We then had a big hit from Gabes, bringing it back to 13-14, but they managed to close out the game with a cheeky tip that we just could not return.

Overall a great game from us and an even better season. UNSW are a very strong team and had not lost a game all season, so we did quite well to make it so close. Until next year UNSW……

And with their trophy mugs

And with their trophy mugs