UTS volleyball teams made the trek north to the Newcastle State Cup for the weekend of 14/15 May.
Some updates are provided below.
Div 1 Men (from Sucky)
Making the trek up Friday night, left some feeling very fresh and ready for the first Saturday game against a junior State team (which did include a UTS young gun). A solid start to the tournament saw the team take the first game in a rather intense affair. Game 2 left the team feeling a little flat. The 2:1 loss was not our best performance and probably a game we could have won. Needing to win our third game to get to quarterfinals, the pressure was on. Unfortunately the pressure (it was a pretty big sheep station we were playing for) was too much and we crumbled. We won our consolation game against the other state junior team to finish off the weekend.
A fun time away. Now for State League!
Div 2 Women (from Verena)
Last weekend, the state cup tournament #3 (Newcastle) took place and over 50 teams from around NSW were making their way to Hamilton. Amongst these teams were also the UTS Div 2 girls together with head coach Yoshi and co-coach Jali. The late start (3 pm) on Saturday allowed even the people coming up on Saturday from Sydney to have a sleep in and even Susannah who suffered some heavy traffic made it in time for the first game.
The first game was against Blue Bees 1, who were not able to withstand the strong serves of the UTS girls. Especially Lyndel seemed to have a very good lunch as she was smashing the balls around the ears of the Bees. The game ended in a clear 3:0 (75:30) victory of the UTS girls. It was a great opportunity for the Div 2 team to concentrate on some of the weaker things such as passing and middle hitting.
After a short break and great game analysis by coach Yoshi (we really love the analysis Yoshi!), the second game followed against the CC Stingrays. Still fresh and energetic, the serves of the UTS girls were again so strong, that the stingrays could not return many. Lyndel was again serving one after the other and – to the best of my knowledge she served once around 13-15 times in a row. However, unfortunately the UTS Div 2 girls struggled from time to time especially with unexpected returns. Overall, the second game was also a clear win with 3:0 (66:32). It was great to see that although Yoshi took the opportunity and shuffled the positions of some players to try different combinations, the team did not get confused (at least not a lot :-)).
The last game of the day was late in the evening (7 pm start) against the Pittwater girls, a very young and new team. Everyone could feel the tiredness and it was a bit a struggle at times for the UTS girls. The girls finally saved a 3:0 win although not as smooth as expected. After the last duty was over (and we finally found Lyndel hiding on the physio bench), the team was running to a restaurant to get some deserved food and rest. Sadly, we had to say good bye to Josie who was unfortunately not able to play with us on Sunday.
The second day also had a comfortable late start with the first game at 12 pm. Unfortunately Amy suffered from returning back problems and received some back strapping from the physio. The game against coffs harbour led the team to their fourth win and into the semi final. Problems were still found in the percentage of good passes and hits that would lead to direct point (so called kill hits).
The semi final against UniSyd was a thriller and I am sure Yoshi aged a few years during that game. The first set was a clear win for the UTS girls with 25:19 playing their hard serves and trying to concentrate on good passes. However, the UTS girls struggled in the second set, not passing well and hitting was, well, I don’t want to go that far, but close to abysmal. Therefore, UTS girls lost the second set 25:17, leaving us 2 points behind. Nonetheless, after a weak start in the third set, the girls pulled it together and Susannah was pretty much winning the third set with her strong serves and nerves, so that UTS won 11:9.
With Lyndel having a look-a-like tennis ball already on her elbow and Amy being limited due to her back, the final game against Blue Bees started very close with both teams head to head. Unfortunately the first set went to Blue Bees with 26:24, so close! Moreover, Lyndel got injured on her arm and was not able to show her full strength. However, the team fought back in the second set and won it 25:15. Finally in the deciding third set, unfortunately UTS could not keep it up anymore and lost the gold medal to the Bees.
Although the girls did not win gold, they won in getting closer as a team and testing out different combinations for the next Sunday’s SVL start.
Thank you to all the players (Amy, Annabel, Lyndel, Susannah, Josie, Alia, Claire, Deb) and a massive thanks to Yoshi for a great weekend and so much fun!!!!