11 and 0 – The Div2 Ladies SVL campaign

September 24, 2013

A winning club championship performance is based on lots of teams at lots of levels doing well.  Case in point…the UTS Women’s Division 2 team. Great work on your SVL season ladies!

Division 2 Champions!

Division 2 Champions!

Women’s Division 2 Gold Medal Match Report – 22.09.2013 (from Dani)

Well, here we were. Gold Medal day!!! Coming into this day we were undefeated for Division 2. However, it didn’t help that by our match time at 2pm, no UTS team had yet won gold for the day – albeit a lot of silvers. Thankfully coach Deb didn’t hold a team meeting before the match and ask “Is anyone nervous”, like she did for the semi and make Gaby nervous all match! But Gaby wouldn’t be nervous this week – she was one year older and more mature to handle the nerves!

As usual, we were late starting. But we got to see a good gold medal match in Honours while waiting and psyching ourselves up.

Then it came our time to shine against SNV. Warm up went well. Game started. And before you could blink an eye, we were 4-0 down!! Err……we were undefeated girls…..and UTS don’t choke until the last lot of points….not in the first five minutes! But Steph Reeves showed her mental resilience. Give her the ball to serve at 4-0 down and she becomes obsessed to get us back into the game. Serve after serve Steph single-handedly got us back into the game. And then we were 8-4 ahead. But Steph didn’t stop there. Now she was back court she became obsessed with passing and gave some great passes to set the spikers up. Milica wanted to show her dominance in front court doing some good blocking. UTS and SNV were neck and neck most of the way, however, that little four point lead kept us in front most of the match. Just when it felt like we could win this set by a few points, our gun universal Claire decided to lose her footing and twinge her ankle. Err…..Deb…..sub please. Never mind, we had a full bench and Verena came on to shine. Claire’s ankle injury didn’t deter us and we won the first set 25-21. Phew……one down….two to go….

Set two started and again it was neck and neck in points. We’d have a run of points, then SNV would have a run of points. Just when we thought we’d got our rhythm, we turn around and there is Steph hobbling. Err….Deb….sub please. Steph decided she wanted more sympathy than Claire (even though none of us actually saw what Steph did to herself) and decided to dramatise her injury more than Claire by calling for a chair and ice and lying down for the rest of the match with her knee elevated and ice on it. Err…Steph….you were our gun server in the first set…..what were we going to do now????

Never mind, thinks Claire, I’m not playing this “my injury is worse than your injury” game….I’m coming back on court. And come back on court Claire did, doing the ‘dive of the day’ from Position 1 to pass a ball. Set two had some good team work. Sophie was brilliant in her hitting and had SNV quivering in their shoes. Verena was a work horse with her passing. Leonne was tireless in the middle with her blocking. Lou was all over the court doing perfect sets. Her sets were so good, it had me looking around the audience thinking Fred was watching. Alas….Freddie was a no show. But Lou must have been trying to impress someone in the crowd….she actually did a block this set.

There were a couple of time outs this set. Coach Deb drilled into us in the time outs about communication and that communication doesn’t consist of just calling for the ball, but also ‘listening’ to the calls from your team mates. It seems the birthday girl, Gaby, only heard the first part of Deb’s inspirational words – “call for the ball”. So the ball comes to Position 5 where Gaby is. No problem, thinks Gaby, I’ve got this one. “Mine, Mine, Mine” she says. “Out, out, out” the rest of us say. But Gaby was so focussed on trying to do the perfect set pass into the net that she was oblivious to her team mates calls and to the fact that she was standing on the side line and the ball was at her head height and going out. One of these days, I’m going to lose my voice screaming the calls so much for this team.

But, nevertheless, onward UTS went and we won the second set 25-22.

Danger….danger….UTS are reknown for choking. I went into the third set thinking, in the back of my mind, that we wouldn’t win this set and it would go to a fourth set. My influence on the team this year must have had an impact, cause Lou quietly told me she thought the same thing. Lou probably thought that because she wanted to play more volleyball and spend more time on the court – I certainly didn’t.

Third set starts….again neck and neck in the points. But this set was Milica’s turn to shine with some great blocking. Then we had a point stuff up. The duty team obviously wanted to stay longer and duped us of some points. I swear we were 9-7 up. After a short break, where the first ref had to instruct the second ref on how to correctly score, the scores were judged to be at 7-7. Lou started chanting “Bring back Fred”, but alas, UTS are stronger than that, and we soldiered on from 7-7.

Milica went back to serve, still infuriated by our points stuff up, and served with a mission to get us ahead again. Then it came Claudia’s time to serve again. Don’t worry Claudia, your last two serves have gone out, and Deb has continually focussed on us at training to get the next serve in. I’ve got complete faith in you Claudia, just do what we’ve been taught all year at training. A good ball toss goes up, arm goes back, and…….no Claudia, your aim isn’t to have the ball land within a metre of hitting the back wall on the full!

We are slightly ahead…..c’mon girls…..there’s only about six points left in this….we can do this! In reality, at the back of my mind, I’m thinking “this is when UTS normally choke and do stupid stuff, wow, this new breed of up and coming UTS volleyballers doesn’t seem to have that mentality and are powering towards a win”. Alas….it was not to be.

Gaby, who needs to go to a sports meditation session, had the nerves get the better of her and decided that she preferred the bench and didn’t have the nerves to go back on court.

Gaby: Deb, I can’t go back on.

Deb: Why not?

Gaby: I just can’t. I’m playing crap, I just can’t.

Err….way to psych yourself out Gaby.

Time out gets called. Coach Deb is pumping us up. A couple of points and we have the championship – nothing hits the ground. We’re pumped. We run back on court. Gaby is also pumped. So pumped that she misses the bench when she goes to sit back down, and subsequently falls off the bench.

Sophie decides the ball is all hers. She smacks some cross court spikes. We’re going to finish this match on a high. Claudia comes to front court and remains on. But Claudia is mentally strong and spike after spike were going in deep court to SNV and causing them all sorts of problems.

Hang on, thinks Lou. I want to finish on a high too, she thinks. I’ve run around all year trying to fix up your stuffed up passes, for what? I never get to smack the ball and take all the glory for winning a point. I’m going to show that I’m just as good as Leonne and Milica. Her eyes light up….the ball is coming over the net from SNV….here it is….Lou’s turn to go down in history as one of the best setters to spike and block a volleyball. Up she goes…..err…..I don’t even have the words to describe what happened next. Needless to say….stick to setting Lou.

Our workhorse, Bryony, has been consistent all year, quietly going about her business all year to contribute to the team. It would only be fitting that one of our most consistent players, Bryony, serve for championship point. I’m on the bench and can feel Gaby’s nerves for her. Don’t worry….it’s Bryony…..she above nerves. We all start chanting our customary chant “shots, shots”. Knowing full well that Bryony hasn’t had shots all year and will no doubt be ignoring our chants and the fact it is championship point and serve in. Well Bryony….the ball nearly went in…..on the vacant court next to us!! It wasn’t even close to going in on our court! Bryony….did you not think this team had enough alcohol to drink after everyone else’s shots throughout the year?!?!

Well…it is now 21(SNV) – 24 (UTS) and SNV are serving. The cameras are rolling (well Jo Kelly’s camera anyway). This is it, one good pass and someone can shine and win the championship for us. We were all pumped for one last point. Bryony didn’t have to serve, Lou knew not to be a hero and spike the ball. SNV serve…..and the serve goes out!

WE WON!!! WE WON!!!! WE WON!!! WE WON!!!! WE WON!!!!

Rapturous celebrations occur on court. We did it!!!! We remained undefeated all year and WON GOLD!!!!!

Even Steph manages to hobble up and celebrate with us. Even though some of us left to celebrate Gaby’s 19th birthday, we all had the customary photo with our winning beer mugs. Some of us kicked on into the night at the Clock Hotel to reminisce on a great year. While some of us became an ambulance and were sending out SOS messages at 10pm asking for crutches – get better soon Steph!

Thanks for a great year full of absolute laughter. I’ve never known a team to win a point while still pissing themselves laughing from the previous point. There has been some great improvements and highlights during the year – Milica’s blocking, Lou’s jump sets, Claire’s captainancy, Claudia’s eagerness to learn new ways, Leonne’s blocking. You all individually came together to gel well as a team and were always there supporting each other – even if it was to ridicule each other like I did. Thanks heaps to Deb and Jess for your coaching and enthusiasm.

What more can you ask for than to remain undefeated all SVL!!

Week 7 – SVL 2013

August 15, 2013

11th August  was week 7 of SVL 2013 and a key week for MH with the end of round robin games and the split into top & bottom 4.   There was also the long awaited Black vs White game…

There were plenty of other interesting games as well though…

(For the record the Men’s Honours Black team won the game against the White team 3:0)


Womens Division 1 Update (from Claire)
Sunday the 11th was quite a ‘thrilling’ day for our Division one UTS girls. With Illawara only bringing 5 players to the court after the first whistle blew gave us the option to forfeit. Only seconds later there sixth player came to the court and it the team decided to go ahead with the game and win it the proper way!
The first set the team started strong…which is different as it usually takes a while. Although our next two sets weren’t as strong and our passing/communication efforts as a whole dropped, both setters really made the effort to get to every ball and their sets were awesome! Serving was also fairly positive, especially Jo not even giving Illawara a chance to get the ball back over the net over for about 6/7 points. Our team ended up winning 3-0 quite convincingly. It was quite a cruisey game but everyone was happy that we beat them fair and square!


Women’s Honours Half of SVL 2013 Update

August 5, 2013

The Women’s Honours have had a promising start to the season, winning 3 of 5 in the first round robin. The Cedars and Manly proved to be unsuccessful challenges however in the words of coach Nam, “Dragons slayed, lions tamed and whales were culled”, we beat Hills, Sydney Uni and UNSW. Beginning the second round robin, we were again unsuccessful in beating the Sydney Cedars which was frustrating in considering our high intensity training sessions. Losing 3-0, it was not our best game. Bringing the internationals in, Summer has come all the way from America to join the team and has been a great addition! Whilst poor Lily is out for a couple of weeks due to injury. Despite some setbacks we will continue to work on our game, bringing our skills from training into game play. We are continuing to push the ball to the net to run quick attacks which has been a great improvement. However being such a tight team off court, it is a comparatively quiet game so we must work on our talk and motivation on court as well as a desire to win!

Sydney Volleyball League 2013 – Week 2

June 24, 2013

Week 2 of SVL was held on 23 June – a cold and rainy day outside…but inside the Homebush Sports Halls, the volleyball warmed our hearts.

Div 1 White in Action

Div 1 White in Action

Mens Honours White (from Rob)
In Game 2, the whites came up against the defensive specialists Eagles. As an intimidatory move, the Eagles brought out their coach – Korean volleyball legend “Mr Cho” – to start the game. After banging some meter balls in warm up, Mr Cho came out in the first set all guns blazing. Unfortunately for him though, most guns were blazing directly into the big blocks of Alex, James, Kiel and controversial new recruit, Nathan “Joe’s favourite” Lovett. Overall, the form of the whites was patchy, at times struggling to put the ball away against the gritty defence of the Eagles. Mix that with enough service errors to keep a statistician occupied for hours and the whites found themselves dropping a set. This caused coach Morky to threaten to strangle each of his players if they didn’t start playing better, before kicking a bucket full of substitution paddles and storming out of the gym, never to return… Either that, or he left for no apparent reason and was replaced in the coaches corner by a bald flamingo… Whichever, the white team came away with a 3-1 win.

Womens Div1 (from Gabes) – UTS div 1 black win again Sydney North in 4 sets!!
After a 9am duty in the freezing cold UTS hit the court to take on Sydney North. It was a slow start by both teams (and even the scorer) as after the first 6 points the score sheet was completely messed up. The beginning of the set was point for point however we managed to break the lead. Sydney North caught up but with some strong and consistent hitting from Steffi, we ended up finishing off the set.
The second set was won by Sydney North. At one point during the set we had the lead however an injury timeout was called and we managed to find ourselves trying to fight back, which was too late in the end.
Going into the 3rd set we needed to make sure that we stayed warm and that our bench were ready to play. With way to many missed serves (from both teams) we managed to play some good defence and get our middles involved. Our captain Clara played very consistently both in back and front court contributing to us taking out the set.
The 4th and final set saw us down after a good run of serves by Sydney North. Deb called a time out to put the server off and from then on we managed to not only fight back but win the set convincingly. Any defensive touch on the ball we managed to turn into kills!
Overall it was a great game however I definitely believe that we could have won in 3 sets if Claire Walker was not hungover, actually made it to the game and didn’t use the excuse that ‘her parents were at church so they could give her a lift’.

Womens Div 2 (from Byony)
The Div.2 girls were on fire on the weekend! Even with an injured libero, they managed to beat the Eagles in 3 sets! The team worked like a well oiled machine and encouraged each other after every point. Swapping setters, with new setter Verena, was a good option for some more practice and created some great points for the game! Coach, Facebook Queen; Deb with the assistance of Jess, gave great pointers during the game which motivated all players to get every ball and try different things in the game to throw the over team, to keep them playing our game. Coaches in the second and third sets to focus on the setters getting it to the middles more often so use those sting hitters which benefited the team. Claire managed to stay out of the splits, there were no more further injuries, Gaby didn’t say something stupid and Claudia spoke mainly english, you could say it was a great game for all involved!

Mens Div 1 White (from George)
UTS Div 1 Men White v Eagles 1
With both of our 2 setters Michael and Aaron out with similar shoulder injuries, we had Nam Pham stand-in as guest setter again. Lucas Giminez returned from his business trip to re-join our team and was a welcome addition, providing some real fire-power at the net. Luca (our Italian Import) again was ruthless as our key middle and dominant throughout the game. Andy played another solid game from outside, whilst Willis showed us how versatile he can be as Universal and was able to put away a lot of balls from position 2, and/or act as setter when needed. Tony played a great game as libero and delivered some solid passing again. Special thanks to Aaron who although injured, still joined the team as sideline coach and offered some great advice to the team. Another good victory, and a great start to SVL so far for the team.
Result: UTS Div 1 Men White defeated Eagles 1, Set Scores: 25:18, 25:11, 21:25, 25:13.


Sydney Volleyball League 2013 Starts – Week 1 Reports

June 17, 2013

And so we find ourselves at Homebush on a Sunday once again…

Yes SVL 2013 is now upon us. Week one, 16th June.  All UTS teams were in action.

Mens Honours Black in action (wk1) - They are a big group...

Mens Honours Black in action (wk1) – They are a big group…


Mens Honours White (from Rob)
First game of the SVL season saw the whites take on the Hills Dragons, who have added a smattering of youthful exuberance to their traditionally ‘experienced’ team. Not sure quite what to expect, the whites played rather tentative volleyball on the most part, with only patches of consistently strong play. Strong serving from Keil “convert” Briggs dug the team out of a couple of holes at crucial times in the match. Keith “if I abuse the ref and give him the death-stare he’ll surely change his mind” Suckling set a record for the earliest yellow card in an SVL season, receiving one midway through the first set. He then proceeded to show off his best State of Origin shoulder charge on a Dragon that strayed under the net (albeit off the court). The ref wasn’t impressed and happily gave the Dragons the point.
In the end, the team managed to grind out a 3-1 victory to get their SVL campaign underway in a positive fashion, but with a few areas to work on at training in the weeks ahead.


Womens Div 1 vs Manly (from Clara)

UTS began their first SVL game with a few too many nerves, a little bit of confusion, and lack of sleep for some (not to mention names….Cat). We couldn’t get much right for the first set and ended up going down fairly convincingly. Coach Deb got our spirits up for the second set and we went back to basics, focusing on getting a good pass up and playing defence how we had practiced. Even though it was a close set, we managed to hold on to our lead and take out the second set.
Unfortunately we were back on the ‘unlucky’ side of the court again so we were in for another tough set. By this stage our passing was getting steadily better, we had some great defence from Gemma, and were getting some great runs through the middle from Birg and Cat. Tough serving and hits from Claire in opposite were also keeping us in the game, but once again, we went down again in a very close set.
We were now pumped up for a tough five setter and went in to win it. Due to some great passing from back court, Joey was able to use many of her hitting options and set some great balls. Gabes was hitting great from back court and Steffi was unstoppable from the outside. We unfortunately had a bit of a choke towards the end of the set and let Manly back in. Thankfully Clara did not choke under the pressure and got the final two serves in, with the team closing out the final points of the set.
Set number five! We luckily started on the side that was favourable to both teams and managed to get the lead. We only had a 2 buffer at the half way mark so had to play smart and keep the pressure on the experienced team. Fortunately Manly had a bit of trouble with their hitting, so we gained a 3 point lead. Steffi was still hitting well and Manly was struggling to defend her, so we tried to close out the final few points with some big hits. This did not go plan and we lost our lead and were back to being tied. After some great scrambling and some miss-hits, we finally managed to close out the set and take out the game. Great way to start the season!

Mens Division 1 White vs Eagles 2 (from George)

After a very rigorous and tiring pre-season training program, we were fully prepared for our first game of SVL. With our new and improved lineup, youth mixed with experience, we managed a comfortable win against Eagles 2. Our new Italian import Luca was unstoppable through the middle, and our 2 Outsides, Riu and Andy were in great form all game. Tony played solid as our Uni, whilst Aaron played a great libero game in backcourt. Our youngest player, Willis had a brilliant debut game and showed he could play several positions. Special thanks to our guest setter, Nam Pham for filling in for us, as Michael is out with a shoulder injury. We look forward to another great season in SVL and thank the UTS Club for including us again.
Result: UTS Div 1 Men White defeated Eagles 2, Set Scores: 25:12, 25:13, 25:13

Manly Cup 2013 Update

April 24, 2013

Manly Cup was held 20-21 April. Unfortunately it turned into a very wet Saturday which more unfortunately impacted our indoor sport.
Big thanks go to Chris and his team who did their best to solve all the problems this created , as well as running a solid tournament.

Division 1 Men: From Coach Artem (definitely Russian)

I found this tournament fine, but that leaking roof caused a big headache for everyone, especially for UTS div 1 boys. According to a timetable we had to start our games at 2.30 and finish at 6 pm. But when we started warming up for a last game at 9 o’clock, those people who played for Manly were sitting at home, drinking tea with donuts. For us it was not a big issue and we won two games.

We played the first game with pensioners in pink t-shirts. I have got nothing to say about this game because it was such an easy game. Our competitors could not even heat the ball over a net.

In the second game guys from under seventeen team made a lot of ridiculous mistakes. Obviously, we could not lose this game as well. After that we had a bit of incident with a timetable. Our game (1/4 final) supposed to start at 9 am, but it was changed to 8 pm. Thanks to that leader of the tournament and an opposite team who did not give us time to warm up. In the evening I asked all players to be on time (8.00) on Sunday, but they were late for 30-40 minutes because they overslept! For me the important cause of being late would be a snake’s bite or a wife’s childbirth.in all these cases I would expect a call with explaining the situation and excuses (‘Sorry, coach, I am running late because I was bitten by a snake and I am feel like a «near-death»). The game was very intensive; guys won the first set (thanks Darren and Nick who helped us, as we had only three players). We were losing 17-11 in a second set. I took a timeout and asked guys to take any possible opportunities and risks. After that we won 5 points in one roll and we had started to fight for a victory. We won this game with a one point difference.

Following this spirit the players played 1/2 final game with a success. Many of our players achieved a final in a first time. Emotionally it was not as easy as it seemed to. It caused on their game (lack of concentration, a lot of mistakes in all areas of the game). The first set was started well. We did a lot of blocks especially Lee Barone and Nithin who did four blocks each (after this team Kiata sent for a fire machine to extinguish sport shoes of their players). But it did not help. We lost this set. After that our players became confused and chose the tactic “Do not lose a ball”. Competitors used that taking risks and getting points.

Lost final, but got good experience how need play final. Anyway for somebody it was first medal and first final in life. I want that you guys be like Train : «picked up maximum speed and never stop». Because sometimes you can loose set ,but it is not mean that you loose game! Keep working same and fight for victory!

Special for people in team:
– James «serious steak» you must do more aggressive serve. And then setter give not comfortable set, don’t need hit this in middle of net, sometimes you can think and do tip.
– Damien « mountaineer» you must hit more aggressive and stronger. And then somebody on another side have bad pass(ball go over net to your side) you must finish this ball, that why fist position 1 meter off net, you stay to close to net ,that’s why then ball coming you try hit but cant touch his and he(ball) falls to you in a backpack. And need more stronger serve(on this moment easy to pass).
– Eric «angry bird» you must be more angry on court, must fight for every point. And don’t scary do action on court ,many time ball near you and you don’t understand what you must do after.
– Gino and lee «Bananas in pajamas» Gino must more communicate to players «one block, two block, nobody». Lee need change technic of spiking. And guys next time come 1 hour before game!!!And if late on game again because sleep, I put warming gel inside yours t-shirt and will make play all day.
– Igor «pear» need running faster to ball then you set, looks like you put 3 kilo of iron in shoes. Need fix set to middle.
– Alberto «… I never use kneepads…» that’s why every tip what coming in you zone you lost? Must more concentrate on tip cover(loose many points on this)
– Nithin «Batman» play more bêtter on this state cup, need fix you hand ,every time hit very low,not use full rich.
– Cillian «not Scottish setter» need fix set to middle. And need say to people then bad pass, make sure people understand that you not comfortable feel to set ball.

And guys we need change little details everybody , after we play more clean and safe many points and definitely prepare better for any game.

Jo armDivision 1 Women: From Vic Capt Jo

The div 1 girls had a nice an early start on Saturday. Playing our first game against UNSW at 7.30am was seen unfavorably by some, and I quote “What dill brain decided it was a good idea to start a volleyball tournament at 7.30am!” Nevertheless, Danni was in fine Libero form as we were competitive against a much stronger team. After losing the first set 25-18, we had a chance to take the 2nd, but too many errors at crucial times meant we missed out on a draw by 1 pt, with the 2nd finishing incomplete at 22-23.

Next up was the young and inexperienced U17 NSW girls. Unfortunately the girls played like “butt”. Coach Deb has an alternative word she prefers to use but I will let you all figure that one out as my mouth isn’t as filthy as hers!! Lucky for us, they made more errors than we did and ended up coming up with a 3-0 win, albeit not being good volleyball to watch!!

After some mid afternoon drama with the roof leaking we ended up playing our last game of the day some 11 hrs after our first. Playing possibly the shortest team in history and making our shortest player looking like a giant, we ran out easy victors against Zassy, 2 sets nil.

Sunday saw a not so early 9am start against Baulkham Hills. We needed to win this one to ensure we made semis. With a rather large supporting UTS crowd, the girls provided plenty of excitement and plenty of heart attack volleyball for coach Deb. Possibly playing a set and a half of the worst volleyball ever, um, lets say like “donkey” (again Deb uses another word) we finally kicked into gear. I served a few in a row and managed to keep going with the service run even after being kicked in the head and trampled on by one of our own players during an exciting rally. (yes, I am looking at you Maddie!!). Thanks to a service error by the opposition in the last 10 seconds of the game, we managed to win the game by 2 points and secure our semi final berth against hosting club, Manly.

The semi final wasn’t our best game and we were totally outgunned by an much stronger and more experienced Manly side. There really isn’t anymore that can be said about this game and I think I have erased it from my memory!!

OMG!!! We went from playing the shortest team in history during the round games to the tallest team ever!! The young CHS girls had some monsters in their team with some very strong middle blockers. To the girls credit, this was one of our best games of the weekend. The team showed a “never say die” attitude in defense where there were some epic rallies. Highlights of this game included some strong outside hitting from our usual middle blocker Gaby, as well as accurate setting from Lou who provided some great setting choices throughout the game. We did go down in 2 very close sets.

All in all a very positive weekend with some huge improvements from the girls. Finishing 4th overall out of 10 teams was a great effort in a strong Div 1 Manly Tournament. Never a dull moment in the div one girls team and I look forward to doing all again in Wollongong. (minus the bruise on the arm).

Honours Men: From Captain Sam

Besides the rain this year’s manly cup was pretty uneventful for the honours men, morky claims this may be due to the lack of alcohol off court.

Game 1 saw a fairly easy game against the U19s NSW state team. It was a good warm up for the weekend and the boys were never pushed against a weaker opposition.
Game 2 was against a new look UNSW outfit. Although this was a closer game the boys played well and kept in front the whole game.
Game 3 was going to be our biggest test against ACT U23s as this was the same team that defeated us in the Orange state cup. With a late start the team was fired up and ready to go but unfortunately the Heat put on a solid performance and held off a UTS comeback.
Game 4 against the U23s NSW state team was a comfortable win for the honours men and an uneventful game.
Semi Final: the semi-final was a straight rematch with the U23s NSW team and once again UTS played well and had another comfortable win.
Final: the final was a repeat of State cup Orange with UTS to take on ACT U23s. Although this was a close match with many hard fought rallies the U23s were too strong winning in 2 sets.

Special thanks to James and Darren for helping us out and playing well all weekend. Also a special mention to Rob, Doug and Steve for a 100% error free weekend.

I would also like to mention that Morky sprung this on me on Saturday night and neither of us could really remember much of the weekend… Let’s hope Wollongong is more entertaining but face it who can compete with Artem!


Golden: Orange State Cup 2013

April 11, 2013

UTS teams from all divisions made the trek west to compete at the State Cup in Orange on the 6-7 April.  The club was successful on the court, but even more successful off the court.  A fun time was had by all. Reports from each of the teams are below.

Girls winning

Women’s Honours: From Wendy & Mischa

The whole weekend was under the motto of “Flamingo girls max jump” in Orange, NSW.

SATURDAY Hills vs. UTS (2:3)
The Honours Girls started very slowly into their first game against Hills. The head coach Bruna Polegato and assistant coach Alberto Flamigni (both nominated on the day, filling in for head coach Nam Pham (overseas) and assistant coach Gregor Salvin (playing for the Honours Boys)) did a very professional job coaching the girls – considering it was their first time playing together as a team.
Bruna’s and Alberto’s constructive and encouraging feedback motivated each player individually, made them laugh on and off the court and a strong team spirit was visibly growing with every point the girls achieved.
The girls won the first game in the tie-break which was an important milestone for everyone: YES, WE CAN DO IT AS A TEAM.

After a break, the UTS girls were ready to warm up and continue their successful streak against UNSW … – if only Wendy Edwards wasn’t the first who got hit in her face during warm-up followed by Caroline Stalmachowski just about two minutes later. Frustrated and angry the UTS team was committed to step up and win the game for their middle hitters.
UNSW played at a higher level and their aggressive serves caused UTS a lot of difficulties in their passing routine. UNSW setter won them the game with consistent performance by tipping the second balls successfully over the net (again and again). UTS were not able to adjust to this tactic for the next 3 sets and lost 2:3 against that solid team from UNSW.

SATURDAY UNSW vs. Hills (3:2)
Saturday was a very long day – after having played 10 sets, the UTS honours girls were up to ref another thriller game over 5 sets where UNSW defeated Hills with 3:2.

Summary of the first day:
2. UTS – with a lot of capacity for improvement, but an overall positive feeling
3. Hills

SUNDAY UTS vs. Hills (3:0)
After a big night out, all of the girls were ready to warm up for their first round game on Sunday morning. The team had good vibe, ready to show who is better.
Girls got on court with there game face on. We took on board learning from our mistakes from first game from coach Polegato, which took us the game to the final.

SUNDAY UTS vs. UNSW (cancelled)
After another loss by Hills vs. UNSW in their best of 5 games, the finalist teams (UNSW 1st, UTS 2nd) were decided and the coaches agreed on giving the UNSW players a bigger break before playing UTS in the final.

SUNDAY Finals: UTS vs. UNSW (3:0)
The girls were on fire for the finals, main goal was to not get pumped in eye during hitting warm up like first game. Coach Polegato had given us a pep talk on what we need to win game.
Team was alot more consistent in passing and more mobile in defence, the result being we hit more aggressive. We served away form there Libero and put pressure on there outside hitters. Great tip from assistant coach G that helped us blocked smarter and we scored massive roof blocks as result.
Highlights of the game outside hitter Lily Borger sick pack the setter through a double block, Mini Philips “Lucy” and Al Ma all over the tips from the setter which frustrated UNSW. Great setting options from Anna that caused unbeatable front row, especially from the middles with better connection.
Highlight of the game -“Bruna Polegato” telling assistant coach G to shut up! Possible helped.
UNSW had nothing on us UTS girls. We stuck to our game plan and came out with successful WIN for gold. Great start to the season with a lot of improvement shows we are the team to beat!
The team is happy we could live up the Nam Pham’s expectations and implement what we practice in training – but more importantly: To play as a strong team, enjoy the game.
Huge thank you to Bruna, Gregor and Alberto – you did a fantastic job.

Women’s Honours: From Nam

Girls played great and won, I had a great time in Saigon. Well done.

Women’s Division 1: From Coach Deb

As a number of players were unavailable for last weekend’s Orange State Cup, the black and white div 1 girls’ teams merged into one team for the tournament. Despite the lack of time playing together, the girls started off the tournament like a well-oiled machine, winning the first game against Bathurst 3-0 off the back of some great serving from Steph Reeves and Jo Kelly. Both middles, Milica Kukic and Natalie Krivonogova also played well at the net to keep the pressure on the Bathurst team.
The second game of the tournament against UNSW was much more challenging with the opposition team comprising a number of honours and AVL level players. The UTS girls showed some flashes of brilliance followed by play that resembled tennis more than volleyball. New team captain, Clara Loth maintained her calm and brought the girls together to stay competitive throughout and fought back from being 2-0 down to winning the third set.
The final game of the day against the ACT Dragons saw a strong performance from Bek Gaspersic who chased down a number of wayward passes (whilst considering how much she hates to do dive penalties) to help the team to a 2-0 win. Alma Blazevic also joined the team to add some much needed hitting power to compliment Claire Lu’s consistent hitting at universal.
The team managed to finish the day at the top of the pool after a points count back and played 4th placed ACT Dragons on Sunday morning in the first semi-final. Great teamwork resulted in an easy 3-0 win to put the team into the gold medal match against UNSW. Unfortunately, the UNSW team were too strong again in the final, winning 2-0 however a silver medal was a great outcome for the team’s first outing for the year.
As always, Dani Rogerson proved to be the most consistent passer (and screamer) for the weekend and even managed a few dives (I know, hard to believe but I saw it with my own eyes!).
The most important achievement for the weekend was that the players got to know each other a little better, have a few beverages together (thanks to SVNSW for the $100 best dressed team prize at the O party) and a lot of laughs.
Team list: Clara Loth (captain), Jo Kelly, Bek Gaspersic, Milica Kukic, Steph Reeves, Claire Lu, Natalie Krivonogova, Alma Blazevic and Dani Rogerson.

Mens Honours: From Coach Morky

The weekend in Orange started in typical fashion for the UTS boys. The team kept up it’s long held tradition of losing all games on Saturday and still making the final on Sunday. Saturday saw UTS go down to a younger looking Hills Dragons (who have brought their average age down by 10 years (to 30) with the recruitment of several teenagers), followed by a loss to ACT Dragons.

Finishing third in their pool, the boys re-grouped overnight with some serious drinking, to play “hung-over” volleyball on Sunday – a state that the majority of the team is more accustomed to. Playing second place Newcastle from pool B on Sunday morning, UTS romped home 3:0 and move into the Semi against Hills Dragons. In a very close, hard fought game, Dragons took the first set 28-26, with UTS taking the second 25-17. The third set saw UTS down 21-18 with 80 seconds to go and looked like bowing out. Some of the best rallies of the tournament ensued and saw UTS draw level at 21-21 as the buzzer went.

The final saw UTS taking on an undefeated Canberra Heat team. With the loss of Nigel (ankle) and Kiel (family emergency), UTS were outplayed, by a more youthful, taller, more athletic, more handsome team (except for the coach).

Some of the tournament highlights were:
Artem “I’m so Russian” Ipatyev, making his div 1 team do punishment between sets and for drinking all the vodka in Orange.
Eric “I’m so Asian” Cao, going a bright shade of pink after consuming two mouthfuls of cider
Rob “choice bro” Fleury suffering the biggest roof block in the history of volleyball courtesy of Jordan Power in the final
Steve “Asian Volleyball” Lee, suffering the second biggest roof block in the history of volleyball – courtesy of “Simmo” in the final.
Nigel “I’m bigger than all of youz, Ay?” Flintoff doing his ankle on Sunday morning and in the words of Bruna “ E is sitting in the corner crying like a baby!”
Alex “Goofy” Gibbons having the best Irish accent (sorry Cillian) and playing some amazing volleyball
Kiel “inappropriate” Briggs, for the most number of inappropriate comments in a weekend
Nik “don’t let Kiel near me” Kukic for the worried look on his face after Kiel explained the “right of passage” upon turning 18 next year
Sucky “I sweat profusely and smell” Suckling, being the sweatiest, smelliest player in Orange and for (unfortunately) being our only setter for the weekend.
Sam “I really am a middle” Morrison showing that he really does have the setting skills of a middle (also played amazing all weekend – in both positions!)
Jason “I am not an outside hitter” Laffer, adding much needed stability to the honours passing line up and instability to the div 1 hitting line up
Gregor “shovel” Salvin, for putting in the most amount of “spade” work for the least amount of return. Also making a return to the middle, where some say he belongs!
And finally assistant coach Alberto “I am the ……… Flamingo” Flamigni, for putting in the least amount of spade work for the greatest amount of return!

Men’s Divisions 1: From Artem (he’s Russian…)

1 game was very bad, not team work (everybody not talk , not help together, especially James can did big noise when support girl and when began play very quiet) , not aggressive in attack and serve also flying slowly that butterfly)

in 2 game very different guys began fight little be and gave pressure to UNSW players.won 1 set. In 2 set began win 15-8 and i did double sub but people not really ready for this that why not ready come to game condition.finally lost

and after in third and 4 set have good chance to finish game 3-1 but a lot little easy mistakes on serve and passing free ball not give green light for this.

in 5 set every time leading but again two pass over net and we loose initiative and lost game.But i am happy with game, because guys fight and get experience “how not set after 20 points”

Anyway its first games in season and know how it is play first state cup.

What about people:
– James “netboy” touch net 5 times in each set and try blocking free ball every time ( same that find in haystack needle) .Try hit ball very hard and kill somebody on another side when set was lower wire mesh.must be do it tip sometime and think how win point and not just smash windows and wall).but did many good blocks
– Igor “marathon” need working on his endurance(hit 2 set and tired like run from bear from forest 50 km) and he need training set as well.
– Jason “TVstar” need working on his aggression in attack.Many attack soft and easy to protection.
– Damien “quietHALK” must be hit ball stronger (every time when he hit looks like not comfortable, because jump to close to net).and every time give noise when you begin move to hit middle ball.
– Lee “Gino” must change spiking technique (hand move) every time hit in out must be fix this soon.And dont loose concentration in end of set , every time you do it mistake because concentration.
– Alberto “Flamingo” must be hit more productively for opposite. And must be dont loose concentration in game, some game play good some game switching off.
– Nith “flits like a bee and stings like a butterfly ” must be change timing and rich off you hit .Every time have good jump but not hit faster(you wait wait and ball coming soft and easy to block and deffence )..And And then 23-24 must be serve in!!!
– Cillian “Scottish Silent” must be not only think which way set better, must be look on block before you set and find weakest place in opposite team.

Its ok. We play first games in season.And now we know our mistake and know how be better. Just fix this everybody and we smash many Div 1 teams!

Mens Division 1: Addiitonal Report From Captain Nithin

Coach – Artem
Squad – James, Lee, Nith, Damo, Flamingo, Igor, Jason, Cillian

Sat 6th April 2013
Game 1 UTS vs Bathurst 0-3
A slow start, the lack of aggression and being too quiet on court allowed Bathurst to always be one step ahead. Having played together for the 1st time as a new team, we weren’t yet communicating well enough to dominate the other team both on points and noise. Improvements were needed on serve reception and using the middle option more.

Game 2 UTS vs UNSW 1-3
We fought hard against a 12 player strong UNSW squad. There was much better talk on court but still lacking the ability to put away the ball and gain points. The aggression and passion towards wanting the ball and not letting any ball touch the ground without a solid effort wasn’t there. As the coach Artem said post game ” Volleyball should be like girlfriend….. ” (*quizzical look on everyone’s faces) ” if u lose girlfriend, shame on you, it’s like slap on your face” ” you must fight to win” (*aaaaaaaah)……

Sun 7th April 2013
Game 1 UTS vs Bathurst 1-2
There was improved intensity and communication on court. But the other team played defence well and won due to our errors. Just goes to show that the potential is there but need a bit more consistency.

Game 2 UTS vs UNSW 2-1
Set 1 started great taking a big 7 point lead aginst UNSW. we lost a few points due to serve reception errors and they caught up. We won the set 25-17. It was obvious that we were a lot louder on court and enjoying ourselves. Set 2 was also intense and UNSW managed to win 26-24. lots of good cover and scrambles to keep the ball alive. Last set was incomplete due to time limits but UTS was ahead on points.

A good start to season especially with many new squad members, we have clearly identified the areas that need improvement. Serve reception, improved communication and efficient attacks. Can only get better from here.


UTS are SVL 2012’s Champion Club

September 26, 2012

A season of hard work has paid of for the UTS club with UTS being named Champion Club for 2012. Full details of the results can be found on the SVNSW SVL page.
A set of pictures from the day have also been posted on the SVNSW Facebook page.

Thanks to Briianka (& Gus & the various babysitters) for running the competition.

Congrats to everyone on a great season!

Men’s Honours Update (to come)



Mens Div 1 Team Update (by George)
Semi Final Update
: After finishing the 10 week regular round robin competition in 3rd place, we played off against BHV Khalsa in the 1st Semi-Final. We started off on fire taking the first set 25:20 much to the surprise of Khalsa, and followed up with another one-sided affair in the 2nd set winning 25:18. The 3rd set was a complete turnaround with a lot of errors on our part allowing Khalsa to win 25:20, and in the fourth we just couldn’t regroup whilst our opposition seemed to dominate across all areas of play to take the set 25:18 to level the set scores. The 5th set was a tough ask for us as we just couldn’t stop the momentum of Khalsa who led at the changeover and continued their great form to win the fifth set 15:7, and take out the win overall. The match was very disappointing to us all and the loss means we now will play off for the Bronze Medal against BHV Brumbies next week. Its always tough to loose a match when you are 2 sets up, but hopefully we will take some lessons away heading into our final match of the competition. Semi-Final Result: BHV-K def UTS2 3:2 (M1 Gold Medal Match: BHV-K v UNSW)
Bronze Medal Update:Our team played off for the Bronze Medal against Baulkham Hills Brumbies, who had previously beaten us in the preliminary rounds. We had an almost full squad which gave Coach Marielle plenty of options and we were able to dominate for the majority of the match. We won in 3 straight sets, 26:24, 25:17, 25:22 thanks to some great passing from our back row and perfect setting by our alternating setters, Lucas and Michael. Everything seemed to work and we all all enjoyed a fitting end to our SVL ‘rookie’ season in Div 1, as we walked away with the Bronze Medal. Bronze Medal Final Result: UTS2 def BHV-Brumbies 3:0 and UTS2 takes 2012 SVL Div 1 Men 3rd place. Note: The Gold Medal was won by BHV-Khalsa who defeated UNSW 3:2 in a close 5-set decider.

Junior Team Update (from Nam)
The league season finished off with some very exciting matches for our Junior Team. 3 Junior teams played off in bronze medal matches and 1 team in a gold medal match. The U15’s team easily beat Sydney North to win the Junior Division 2 bronze medal in straight sets. The U17’s struggled in the first set but found their rhythm to win the next 3 sets of the Junior Division 1 bronze medal match. In the Open Women’s Division 1, UTS Santa Sabina played Manly Volleyball Association. This is the first time that a Santa team has ever qualified into an Open Senior Women’s competition finals series. After a slow start in the first set, the team managed to catch up but narrowly lost the first set 23-25. However from that point on, the girls dominated at the net and won the following 3 sets to the win bronze medal comfortably. The gold medal match of the Junior Division 2 was an epic battle that went the full 5 sets. After 2 sets all, our U16’s team trailed behind Baulkham Hills High throughout the 5th deciding set. At 14-11 down with 3 match points against them, the girls dug deep and clawed their way back to level the score. Solid serving from Ailish Power and Montana Meucci, with aggressive plays at the net from rookie player Emily Devine secured the gold medal winning 17-15 in the end!

SVL Grand Finals to Come

September 11, 2012

SVL Grand Finals are now only a very short time away. Match reports from semis will be put below when we have them, but we know the Mens Honours team and UTS United team are both in the Gold Medal games – playing at 12pm and 2pm. The Mens 1 Team 2 are in the Bronze medal game, as are the UTS SS Womens 1 team – both playing at 2pm. Three of  the junior UTS SS teams also made Gold and Bronze medal games in their division. Best of luck to everyone involved.

Semi Final Match Reports (to come)

Mens Div 1 Team 2 (by George)
After finishing the 10 week regular round robin competition in 3rd place, we played off against BHV Khalsa in the 1st Semi-Final. We started off on fire taking the first set 25:20 much to the surprise of Khalsa, and followed up with another one-sided affair in the 2nd set winning 25:18. The 3rd set was a complete turnaround with a lot of errors on our part allowing Khalsa to win 25:20, and in the fourth we just couldn’t regroup whilst our opposition seemed to dominate across all areas of play to take the set 25:18 to level the set scores. The 5th set was a tough ask for us as we just couldn’t stop the momentum of Khalsa who led at the changeover and continued their great form to win the fifth set 15:7, and take out the win overall. The match was very disappointing to us all and the loss means we now will play off for the Bronze Medal against BHV Brumbies next week. Its always tough to loose a match when you are 2 sets up, but hopefully we will take some lessons away heading into our final match of the competition. Semi-Final Result: BHV-K def UTS2 3:2 (M1 Gold Medal Match: BHV-K v UNSW)

SVL Week 10

September 3, 2012

The last round of SVL on 2nd September saw an extra spring in everyone’s step (Yes…Corny. I know.) Some big games over the weekend impacting how teams would be placed in semis. Congrats to all those that made finals.

Mens Honours (to come)

Womens Honours (to come)

Mens Div 1 Team 1 (to come)

Mens Div 1 Team 2 (by Tony)
When we went into the stadium it was all sea of UTS & BHV colours playing against each other, Div 1 men is no exception,… It is the first time, all season, that we have had all of our 11 players as well as our on-court Coach, Marielle. We started with 9 players on week 1 and our full squad grew to 11 players by week 2. Rick is injured so he came for moral support with a cuppa and hangover! Also, we had Luke who had not slept since Friday, as he’s been out all weekend catching bad guys, came in as our ‘super-sub after he downed six packs of red bulls, for this important match as there are 3 teams vying the 2 remaining semi-final spots in Div 1, with UNSW and BHV K already qualified after week 7. Everyone were playing very well and contributing to our 3-0 win, as we were excited to have options for each positions with Lucas had a few rotations as our setter since Michael will be unavailable for the Semi-final game. We finish the round robin with 7 wins and in 3rd rank/position to make it into the semi-final berth against BHV K. I would like to thank everyone for their commitment and punctuality. Special thanks to George who’s been our team captain, reporter and nominated 1st badge Ref throughout the tournament; George is also the only player who played in all of our 10 games, and he played superbly in every single one of them, he also helped me manage the team with dedication. As a last note, after watching Artem played with UTS Honours team to defeat Vostok in similar fashion to the Russian team defeated Brazil in the London Olympic, we all look forward to the finals weeks and to end the 2012 SVL season on a high.

Womens Div 1 (to come)

Womens Div 1 UTSSS (to come)