Coaching Applications For Season 2016 Open

January 6, 2016

Do you have what it takes to lead a team?

Do you have the desire to transform it from a loose grouping of individuals in a tight unit?

Do you have the knowledge to help players improve their skills?

Do you have the temperament to keep your cool when your team goes off the boil?

the trials & tribulations of coaching

Coaching applications for UTS Volleyball Club coaches for 2016 are now open.  Applications close Monday 25th January.

Please use this application form and send it to the Secretary of UTS Volleyball Club.


AGM 2016 Date Announced

December 22, 2015

The Annual General Meeting for UTS Volleyball Club for 2016 will be held on Saturday 9th January from 12:30pm.

For location details and to RSVP, please get in contact via Facebook or email the club at

Lets all get together to set our sights on a great 2016!


A Big Day at SVL Finals!

September 20, 2015

The Sydney Volleyball League 2015 senior finals day was held on 20th September and what a great day it was for the club.  The Sunday before that was also really good for the junior teams as well

Coming into the senior day the club was in 5 of the 6 gold medal games, as well as a bronze medal game.

The division 2 men were first up, winning their Bronze medal game against Eagles 3:0.


Zek? Where is the rest of the team?

Next came the womens division 1 Cougars & Cubs team who overcame United to taken the Gold 3:1

The mens division 2 team then stepped up, with the help of some very vocal support, to beat Sydney Uni 3:1 in their gold medal game

Then the womens divison 2 team fought hard in their gold medal game after an early injury, but went down 3:0 to Hills.

UTS WD2 SVL 2015 winners

Still smiling

The womens honours then won their gold medal game 3:1 against Dragons.

And then the mens honours team completed a undefeated season to take their gold medal against UNSW 3:1

On the junior finals day…

UTS Santa Sabina 6 beat UTS Santa Sabina 7 to win the gold & silver medals in the under 16 womens.



and Silver!

and Silver!

Then UTS Santa Sabina 2 beat UNSW in the U19 bronze playoff.

Winners are grinnners

Winners are grinnners

And then UTS Santa Sabina 5 won the silver medal, narrowly losing to Endeavour in 5 sets in the u19 division. These girls are only 14 and 15 in the u19 division!

Silver! And a great future ahead!

Silver! And a great future ahead!

Clearly it was tough on their coach…

UTS Coach Lily

And all these, helped UTS become the SVL club champions for 2015. Fifth time in a row!

I am sure someone has a better photo than this...

I am sure someone has a better photo than this…

UTS players also featured heavily in the All Star selections.

For the women… Lily Borger was selected for outside hitter, Wendy Edwards for middle hitter, and Anna Phillips for setter.

Anna, Wendy & Lilly

Anna, Wendy & Lilly

For the men… Nathan Lovett was selected for middle hitter, Artem Iatyev for universal and best server, Dimitri Sidiropoulos for setter, and Andrew Lyell for all rounder.

Andrew, Artem, Dimi & Nathan

Andrew, Artem, Dimi & Nathan

Great work everyone on an outstanding 2015 SVL season!

A big day of SVL Finals coming up

September 14, 2015

The volleyball club is definitely looking forward to Sunday 20th of September at the moment!  Sydney Olympic Park Sports Halls will certainly be buzzing on the day.

Out of the 6 senior finals on Sunday, UTS teams will compete for 5 gold medals as well as 1 bronze.
– Honours men will look to go for their 4th title in a row, taking on the UNSW team who took them to 5 earlier in the season,
– Honours women will be looking to go one better after their silver medal last year as they take on a determined Dragons team,
– Division 1 Cougars & Cubs will look to defend their title from last year and will take on an Eagles team who have given them many tough games through the year,
– Division 2 women have already bettered their Bronze medal from last year, but can they go all the way?
– Division 2 men gives the team a chance for some redemption on their season, as they go for gold against an equally motivated Sydney Uni team,
– the second division 2 mens team will take on Eagles for Bronze after narrowly missing out in their semi.

Besides the division medals there is also the club championship on the line with UTS looking to go for its 5th straight championship.

See you out there!

SVL finals 2015

A Weekend in Wollongong – 2015 State Cup #3

June 1, 2015

A total of 8 UTS teams headed south to the Illawarra region in May for State Cup #3.

Honours Women – Black (from Lily)

The UTS Black Honours girls came through with a successful win at the State cup in Wollongong. After a shaky start with the consistently late Bruna, and a couple of players falling sick, we almost had to forfeit our first game. But with the help of Amanda and Laura, we managed to find enough people to play the game and win! With quite an inconsistent weekend of games, we still managed to pull through on top. We had games starting up 11 –O, with awesome serving by Irena, good passing and a strong attack [especially from Bruna who was unstoppable in attack]. But, we also had some slow starts and drops throughout the game due to lack of communication and breaking out of system, making us work hard to catch up [we are unfortunately very good at that]. We played against Sydney uni in our semi final who gave us a run for our money, but we fought hard to take the win. We then defeated UNSW in our final game to win the gold. It was a tough game at times, but when we all stuck to our game and started to play aggressive, we scored the points to win. Thank you to Amanda and Laura for helping us out in the first game, and a big thank you to the young guns Bridget and Kateia, who helped lead us to victory. Overall, it was a successful weekend and we are looking forward to the SVL season to start.

Honours Women – White (from Claire)

Honour’s White had a lot of very close games on the weekend! Many slow starts, although we always came back in the end. This led to many one set all games. We saw some really aggressive hitting from Carly! Defence also really great throughout the tournament thanks to our Libero’s Lucy and Gemma! We lost our crossover game, leaving us 6th out of 10 teams. It was a tough tournament, although we are slowly proving that we deserve to be in this division! Well done team!

Div 1 Women – Cougars & Cubs (TBA)


Div 2 Women (from Carmen)


Honours Men (TBA)


Div 1 Men (from Blair)

For the first time since induction, Illawarra met the Division 1 team with an opportunity to play together as a full team. We were greeted with a tough draw, going up against teams we have struggled with in the past as well a few we have previously not met this year.

We started the Saturday on a relatively slow note, with simple errors and missed serves running rampant throughout our usual game. This unfortunately remained a constant throughout the weekend costing us many easy points and a few chances to gain a real foothold within certain sets. A general lack of communication and vigor also went against us causing us to work a lot harder to achieve our intended structured play.

Moving through the weekend we came together much more strongly as a team, netting the majority of points from those we attacked from a much improved passing game in the back line. Once we were able to identify existing errors and points of concern, we were quick to respond and on the positive side, this remained consistent throughout the tournament also.

Blocking positioning and general passing saw further improvement in the latter games as we continued to attack and move with increased intensity. Communication and dedication increased and we were able to play the level of volleyball we know we are capable of and finished up on a more positive note.

The negative elements of our game could be rectified by an increase of communication in key positions as well as dedicated movement and greater awareness being used to alleviate the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves. Starting stronger and with the same energy we ended with would also be effective in capitalizing on points and positions we initially pass up far too early.

Overall, even though the result didn’t show it, we managed to play well and gained valuable experience as a team. We were able to see what we need to improve upon and strengthen as we move closer to the opening of the SVL season.

Div 2 Men (from Gino)

Illawarra state cup marked the last opportunity to grab a podium finish before the long SVL season.The Division 2 men played a great defensive game throughout the whole tournament. On the the back of superb ups , 3 point serve reception and money free ball passes. We topped our pool and headed straight into the semi finals.
We dominated our first set 25:10 against blue bees 2. Having taking the set so convincingly we made the mistake of relaxing our intensity, which reflected in the 2nd set lose 25:17. We played the 3rd set and lost 8:5 ( as the games until the finals are timed and best of 3, the deciding set is first to 15) making the result 2 sets to 1 lose to blue bees 2. We learned that maintaining our intensity throughout a whole match is the key to win a game, no matter how much you win the 1st set by :(.

The silver lining of the lose against BB2 was the fact we got to have a all UTS bronze medal match against the junior boys plus George. It was great to play against the young talented, but inexperienced side. We took home bronze 2:0

Div 2 Junior Boys (TBA)



UTS Cup 2015 Entries Open

May 18, 2015

UTS CUP flyer

UTS Cup makes a return in 2015 and we are looking forward to a great weekend of volleyball!
All players must be registered members of State Volleyball NSW. One-off Tournament Registrations will be available at the venue, but must be completed prior to any player taking the court.
A team will only be accepted into the Tournament upon submission of a below Entry Form (including Team List) and receipt of Team Fees by UTS. The nominated Team Representative will receive email notification upon successful entry into the competition. Priority placement of teams in this year’s event will be given to those teams who submit completed Entry Forms with their Entry Fees.
Entries are capped at a maximum of 16 teams. Team entries after we reach capacity will be wait listed and allocated to the competition where possible.
Entries close at 5pm on Sunday, 31 May, 2015.
Thank you for your support of UTS Cup 2015 and we look forward to seeing you on the court.

The entry form is here:

Further tournament information is here: UTS CUP – Tournament Information


Newcastle State Cup 2015

May 14, 2015

Seven UTS teams travelled north to Newcastle for the State Cup event on 9/10 May.  Some medals and lots of fun had by all.

The Div 2 women look pretty happy with their Gold medals

The Div 2 women look pretty happy with their Gold medals

Womens Honours Black (from Wendy)

UTS Women’s black team had late start to the afternoon for our draw in Newcastle. We had comfortable start to our pool winning both games against Eagles and SNV. Highlight of Saturday, great setting options by Anna, Massive kills by Lily from back court, amazing defence from Ali (who is by far uncoordinated person on court), few six packs by middle hitter Wendy, huge blocks by Bruna , Irina and Yoshi delivering crazy angle hits from outside. Overall good performance by the team.

Sunday we had good team breakfast to prepare for another day. We struggled a bit in serve receive and defence against Manly and Rogue but we managed to top win, which we made through semi-finals. Semi-finals we played against Hills Dragons which had us on our toes, however they were no match for us. We took the win and meet Endeavour in finals. We didn’t have a great start to the set, struggle a lot with serve reception which they took the first set from us. We came back for a fight but it wasn’t to scrap the win. Once we learnt how to move our feet on court we were able to secure the second set to a tie breaker. Not a great start to the third set we were down 5 – 0 as we couldn’t pass the ball from there strong serves. Once we go a few points on the score board we were in rhythm. Great Attack by our team and solid blocking however we just couldn’t adapt to the tips. Which lead UTS Black as silver medallist due to lack of defence. Back to training, hopefully to secure gold medal in the next state cup in Illawarra.

Womens Honours White (from Gemma)

Our draw didn’t start until 3pm, which thankfully gave those of us who travelled up on Friday a chance to have a good (though not quite instagramable) brunch. In the afternoon, our team as well as Joe, Nadia and Jess from Cubs and Cougars gathered for our first game against Hills Dragons. Our aim was to utilise the skills we had practiced at training, however being our first game (and for some players, their first official tournament) we had a bit of a shaky start. We improved our passing in the second set and by being able to utilise our middles, managed to lead for most of the 2nd set. Unfortunately, Dragons managed to win the last couple of points and took out the game 2-0. We learned that to win games in the timed conditions we needed to hold our focus and play consistently.
After a duty, our team took the court again to face UNSW. With the nerves of the first game behind us, we had some excellent rallies, and won some great points. Unfortunately we still struggled to continue our momentum throughout the both sets and lost the game 2-0.
However, we knew that we still had the rest of the evening to play, so used our well-deserved break to eat, refresh and prepare for our next game against Newcastle. Knowing that both of us were yet to win a game, we were determined to work hard. Our efforts paid off and with some great serving, passing, blocking and hitting we were able to stop Newcastle’s attack to comfortably win 2-0.
We then jumped straight back on court to play the undefeated Endeavour, who had somehow managed to gather some ex-Australian players and dominate our pool. We played some strong volleyball, with some good hitting, defence and serving. Nonetheless, Endeavour played more consistently and won 2-0. Whilst we hadn’t won, our team was proud to have played a competitive game and used the first day to improve our communication and skills. At 9pm we finally headed back to our apartments.
The following day our team was joined by our middle Didi, and gathered at 12.30pm for two duties. After discovering that you could do 10000 steps after just a couple of hours of dancing, we eventually played a crossover game against Sydney North. With strong serves, good passing and effective blocks we shut-down Sydney North’s attack and comfortably won the 1st set. Whilst Sydney North stepped up their game in the 2nd set, with a couple of intense rolls and dives (especially from Kate) and utilising all our attacks, we won the 2nd set, and the game.
Overall, the weekend was a great opportunity to play some competitive volleyball. We improved on being able to communicate as a team and use all our attacking options, and learned that with some more consistent focus we can have some great results. Huge thanks to Jess, Nadia and Jo for playing for us!

Womens Divisions 2 (from Wendy)

Div2 women Newcastle 2015


Day 1 – Div 2 ladies started off with a uneventful win and a loss to the Burts bees ladies with a run of serve receives we just could not recover from. However…..Day 2 turned out to be much more exciting and much more successful! We started off with a win however we lost libero Ali Mattick to a reoccurring knee injury and Kim had left for overseas so we were stretched for passers. So incoming was our tall and small middles of Carmen and Debbie, respectively. The semi final came straight after our 8am game much to the delight of our bright eyed bushy tailed Verena. And we were to face the Burts bees girls again! The same girls we had lost to the day before. But with the pocket rocket loud talking Debbie on hand, hard hitting youthful legs Maddie, veterans Carmen and Verena, tip extraordinaire Clare, and Giulana the German; we were up for the match. Down by approx 8 points in the first set we were almost down and out and history was repeating itself, but we scrambled well and fought our way back to within a point. A crucial turning point was when Deb noticing the mistake of the back court setter jumping in front court. Then it became a slog feast, point for point, until we won 29-27. With a second set to play, time was running out (in our favor). Debbie tactfully called two time outs in a row to use up time, that would play dividends as burts bees pulled away to 11- 5 in the second set. With time running out and not wanting the bees to reach 15 points, the relief sound of the buzzer finally went at 11 all. Securing our place in the gold medal match, with a 1-0 result. The final was far less exciting against Newcastle but nevertheless we came away with a 2-0 win and took home the gold. Thanks to the ladies who cheered us on and Debbie for the awesome coaching! Bring on the gong!

Mens Honours Black (from Cillian)

In an unprecedented move, the entire Mens Honours Black team turned up for a state cup. While this may have seemed like a victory in itself there was in-fact a tournament to be played. The first game on Saturday will be remembered for Artem (Hawks) Ipatyev completely forgetting how to play volleyball for half a set.
All 3 games ended in victory with each following a very consistent theme.
1. A zombie like start to each first set.
2. Missing serves at important times.
3. Pulling wins out of our behinds (Ed: Cillian originally had a different word here)

Sunday was all set to continue this theme after a win over Sydney Uni, but Newcastle ruined our consistent weekend by beating us 2-1 in the Final.

A lot of work is needed for the beginning of SVL and it begins Tuesday.

Mens Honours White 


Mens Division 1 (from Gino)

After seeing the fortunate draw, that had us start at midday for Saturday and Sunday. The Division one team planned a full weekend of groovin the moo, team bonding challenges and of course, trying the local late night cuisine.

The first game against SNV, proved that no matter who is on court. Communication is very important for us to play in system. Having such a large roster made it a little difficult to convey multiple messages across to everyone. A perfect example was the SNV setter dumping the ball for several points. On the bright side we had great individual defensive plays throughout the team, also Damien and Alberto worked on the elusive chemistry between setter and middle. We lost 2:0

FZ pistons gave us the opportunity to utilise what we learnt from our previous game. We started strong with a 5 point lead in the first set, we ended things horribly by losing the second set by 5 points. The result of the game was mainly due to the lack of execution of basic skills.

After one lose and drawing another, we headed back to hotel to prepare for a big Sunday game against UNSW. Later that night, Yunjun Lai for whatever reason, tried to impress us with his superior engineering skills by counting to 21. But everytime he tried, a unknown force stopped him. The harder he tried the more disoriented he became, until finally he just passed out due to sheer exhaustion.

Sundays game against UNSW was by far the best we played throughout the whole tournament. Defensively and offensively we worked together as a team to achieve a narrow 1 point victory. Having 1 lose 1 draw and 1 win in our pool we were unable to make it through to the finals.We placed a disappointing 8th.

Overall Newcastle showed us the greatness we can achieve as a team. It gave us the opportunity as a team to bond better on and off the court. The things we need to work on are, clear lines of communication between players and the tenacity to perform our skills under pressure.

Mens Divisions 2 Junior Team (from George & Clara

UTS Junior Boys Div 2 Team Newcastle

UTS Junior Boys Div 2 Team Newcastle

Newcastle was a tale of 2 different days, with two ways to play volleyball. On Day 1 the Young Guns came out on fire against the local team Newcastle and walked away with a solid 2:0 win. They then followed up with a second game win against Freezone. At the end of Day 1, the boys topped their pool and left the stadium on a high. On Day 2 the top spot in their pool meant they went directly into a semi-final, with a re-match agains the Newcastle locals (who just won their elimination final). This time the team struggled to unite and poor communication saw them go down to Newcastle. The boys went on to the Bronze Medal Final against our good friends, the Eagles boys and although there were pockets of good volleyball, the Eagles were much too strong for a very tired and fatigued young team. The weekend was a great lesson in the importance of playing consistently, injury management and knowing how to adjust to different players on court. Awards for the weekend were as follows:

Sam Forsberg – Tournament MVP (a solid performance all weekend!)

Bruce Feng – Best Defence (including some amazing saves in back court!)

Hugh Catchpoole – Best New Hitter (some impressive big kills!)

Raymond Vaamanuu – Most Injured (Shoulder, knee, ankle, little pinky)

Liam Fardell – Loudest Player (on and off court)

Samuel Tifa – Cinderella Award (“I left my shoes behind?”)

Gordon Fu – Best New Rookie Setter (“I don’t think I can set?”)

Ryan Maginnity – Best Local playing against his Local Team (no evidence of match fixing found)

Michael Jones – Best New Middle (great defence on the net)

Willis Choi – Best Guest Libero playing Setter (hmmm, a libero who can set?)

Jon Yaw – Best Guest Libero playing Libero (no confusion here)

Thanks to everyone who came to courtside to watch/support the boys play, and especially to all the senior coaches/players who offered their words of wisdom. Next stop, Illawarra State Cup …Go UTS! Go Junior Boys!


Clara strapping up Ray’s shoulder

Clara strapping up Ray’s shoulder

Clara strapping up Hugh’s ankle

Clara strapping up Hugh’s ankle

UTS Juniors Boys Represent NSW in AJBVC Adelaide 2015

April 28, 2015

One year ago, Lynus Wong & Dion Thompson were a new developing beach pair selected to represent NSW in the u17 Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Championships (AJBVC). They decided to join our 2014 UTS Junior Indoor Program and by attending weekly training at RMSH, quickly adapted their beach skills to the indoor game. Lynus & Dion travelled to Adelaide in January 2014 for their first appearance at a national championship in blistering heat conditions. They were part of the UTS Junior squad for the remainder of 2014 and played in SVL and numerous tournaments including Canberra Good Neighbour. Over the 2014/2015 Summer, Lynus & Dion focused on their beach training and played in various local beach tournaments. Their hard work paid off in early 2015, when they were selected to again represent NSW in the u19 Beach Squad. After months of preparations on the sand, they returned to Adelaide in April 2015 for their 2nd appearance at the AJBVC. Here is their story…


Lynus & Dion in action on the sand in Adelaide at AJBVC 2015 (Photo by Owen Hammond)

Lynus & Dion in action on the sand in Adelaide at AJBVC 2015 (Photo by Owen Hammond)

AJBVC Adelaide 2015 (by Lynus & Dion)

DAY ONE: After we had all settled in and had a hit at the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) the day before, we were well rested and mentally prepared for the exciting day ahead of us. There was no more time to prepare; all we could do is play our very best and hope that the efforts of our training would show. 06:30 was the planned breakfast time for everyone; we ended up being awoken early because Marcos still had his watch on Sydney time (half an hour later than Adelaide time). Begrudgingly, we all awoke to eat so we would have our strength for the big day. We left in three separate vans and made our way to the beach for an 08:30 start for some teams. Once our feet had begun to warm up to the cold, soft sand of Glenelg beach we were already getting our serving arms ready on empty courts. Unfortunately, Lynus and I were getting prepared and getting in the zone for our games ahead so we did not get to spend a lot of time seeing what the other teams were getting up to. Our first game was at 09:50 and we wanted to start out strong as it would be the first game for our opponents, so we planned to bring to the court what they wouldn’t have: intensity. Our excitement was soon dampened however as the WA team we were going to play against forfeited due to one of them feeling sick. With one ‘win’ under our belts we reluctantly did the duty we were scheduled for and decided to keep our thoughts on ‘bringing the fire’ to the next game. We were then up against another WA team, this one however, was familiar from last year. Lewington and Hunt were our opponents and were played hard but in the end it was a win for WA. After some much needed lunch, we headed out to play our next game against QLD. This was an interesting game as we had never seen this team play up until now. So we had to be on our toes when it came to analysing their game technique. We didn’t have enough time to combat their style and we went home that day with 1 win technically, but we felt a little disheartened. After a cool down session with Roger, we switched off to get ready for our games against SA and VIC, two tough teams.

DAY TWO: As our first game was at 11:10 we got to have a slight sleep in and have breakfast at 07:00. After we filled our stomachs our morning was spent scouting the strengths and weaknesses of the teams we would be up against later and supporting the other NSW teams. Our game came around soon enough and we played our hardest but SA took the win due to their experience and height. But Lynus and I came away with a lot of great tips from our dedicated coach; Roger Jones. We knew what small things we needed to tweak and what things were just out of our control. We took these tips to our next game, and although we felt a little disheartened as we prepared to play against our hardest team yet. This VIC team had one thing that we didn’t and that was height. Lynus still valiantly did the best blocking he could on such as a big team. He managed to read that they liked rolling line and peeled off to pick-up some great balls. Even though we lost, we felt that we played well. We then had another cool down session with Roger and that was it for day 2.

DAY THREE & FOUR: The pool play was over and gladly all the NSW teams had made it to the next round. However there was still a challenge to go as the first game we were to face Queensland’s top seed Ferguson and Poland which eventually won the U19 category. The first game on day 3 ended with a loss to Queensland 21-15, 21-10. Game 2 of day 3 was unfortunately also a loss to WA’s Chamberlain and Haddress in a tight match of 21-15, 22-20. Coming an overall equal 13th out of 18, we worked hard and played well although we didn’t achieve the result we wanted however it was a magnificent experience to return to Adelaide for a national tournament. The return was like a test to find out how much we improved in a years’ time and the results were very satisfying to find the improvement was quite drastic. A year before me and Dion had only played beach volleyball and we began to play at UTS last season and through many weekly trainings our skills became more evident. A lot of things we learn in indoor we cannot learn as fast in beach. Just a lot a variables we can control in indoor that we can’t in beach like wind, sets, sun, and most importantly rain. Having the best court to train (RMSH) and coaches in UTS (and the fact that it was the closest access to school and home) meant that we had the best possible and efficient trainings.

Thankyou to the UTS Volleyball Club, our Beach Coaches, Roger Jones and our NSW Head Coach Nam Pham.

Manly Cup 2015

April 16, 2015

A smaller group of 4 teams headed over to Warriewood for the 2015 Manly State Cup on 11/12 April.

In the honours competition we were represented by a combined Honours & Div 1 team, and in the Division competition we were represented by a mens Div1/2 team, and a junior boys team.  In the womens division 1 competition we had a womens Div 1/2 team.

Mens Honours (from Morky)

In what looked like the team of the century, UTS entered an honours team into Manly cup with a combined 340 years of volleyball experience – 75% of that in Andrew Lyell and Myself! Somehow the team of 10 had shrunk to 8, then to 6 and finally to 4 by the start of the first game. Having retired from volleyball over 5 years ago to take up coaching, I found myself on the wrong side of the lines, and on the court virtually all weekend. Half way through warm-up for our first game, it became evident that no one else was showing up and I quickly roped in an amazing middle in George Jigalin, defensive specialist Alberto Flamigni, current best female player in the country in Yoshi Ueda as well as donning the black jersey myself. The beautiful hands of Douglas Skinner did the majority of the setting, all the left handed hitting and majority of net touches was left to Yujun Lai. The best finger passing this decade and some solid outside hitting was performed by Josh Moll (fresh out of juniors), and Fillipe Ramos added some south American flair and solid all round game. Andrew Lyell joined the team late on Saturday, adding more than double the volleyball experience as the rest of the team combined, and Yoshi Ueda dream of being a boy and playing men’s volleyball came true (apart from the being a boy bit). The other teams competing had virtually their full honours teams playing, meaning the competition was going to be tough for the undermanned UTS team. Boasting just two honours players in Doug Skinner (setting) and Andrew Lyell (usually libero, but playing middle, setter or opposite) the odds were stacked against us. Fillipe, Josh and Yujun were all playing their first honours games and I had to play middle for most of the weekend – something I hadn’t done since 1995 when I still had body parts that worked and I could jump about 60 cm higher. Yoshi passed well and played some great defence and also increased the attractiveness of the team ten fold. The UTS team gave everyone a run for their money and came very close to causing several upsets, but unfortunately couldn’t hold on to their lead in any of the games and finished the tournament with a respectable fourth place finish. “We knew coming into the tournament we were undermanned, but we always believed we were good enough for a top four finish” said captain Doug Skinner in his post match interview. “Anything outside of the top 4 would have been unacceptable for us and also for our fans. Top 4 was our goal and we were pleased to have been able to achieve this.”

Yoshi keeping the guys in the game

Yoshi keeping the guys in the game

Mens Division 1 (from Sucky)

Team: Haidang, Alberto, Pickles, Zach, Kel, Phil, Blair, Kris, Lee, Gino.
Giving some playing upwards opportunities to a few of the Div 1 team meant that our ranks were bolstered by a few of the Div 2 team. Which was good.  Having a late start of the Saturday also mean a few players who were initially missing Sunday could make our first game. Also good.  We started our first game against the ASIMS very positively and with some good play, took the first set.   That was very good.  Then we proceeded to play with a bit of complacency in the second set and ended up turning what looked like a good win, into a draw.  That was bad.   Our second game against Illawarra was as assistant coach Iggy put it “the team we wish we had all the time”.  One guy shanks a pass upward and backwards and 5 people chase it off court. That sort of thing.  That was very good.  We won the game 2-nil and nearly added the third set.  That was good.  That was our Saturday.  We then came back for an 8am game on Sunday against the Dragons. That was ok.  They only had 4 players and forfeited the game.  That was bad.  With a couple of fill ins we made a fun game of it and got to work on a few things.  That was good.  Alberto did too much passing though.  That was bad.  This left us with 2 wins and a draw, but with one of the wins being a forfeit we were well set up to finish top of our pool.  That was good.  That was at 9am.  Unfortunately we had to wait until 3pm for our next game.  That was bad.
Our semi final was against a UNSW team that has previously won SVL so we knew we would be up against it.  We played well and made it into the 20s in both sets.  That was good.  Blair was also not feeling well by now (and not suffering after effects from his birthday the night before) which put a dent in our offense.  That was bad.  Our Bronze medal game against Kaiata was a tough game with a slightly re-jigged line up.  We had our moments during the game but couldn’t maintain a high enough level of play, eventually going down 2:0 and finishing fourth for the tournament.  That was good.
Making the medal games among a big field was a great effort, and we had good contributions from everyone across the weekend.  It was good.

Junior Boys (from Joseph)

This was the second major opportunity for the UTS Junior Boys to showcase their skill, this time in a much more demanding Division 1 Men competition. Once again we had some of our boys representing NSW at the beach volleyball nationals in Adelaide and others unavailable due to other school holiday commitments.

Day one had the team meet up at Northern Beaches Indoor Sports centre at 8:15am. This meant at least an hour travel for most players and even 5am wake-ups for some travelling from Regional NSW! The day began with a quick team meeting to establish a goal for the tournament, and to ready up the boys for what was certainly going to be an eventful tournament. Game 1 began at 9am against the USYD Yellow, this game was the first amongst a different UTS junior roster. Although there was much enthusiasm and some great hitting and defence from players Bruce Feng and Raymond Vaamaanuu, the junior boys ended up going down to the much bigger and older USYD Yellow. At the end of this first game, Mark Munter (UTS Mentor Coach) gave the boys some great feedback and tips for improving their game. Game 2 had the boys up against the BHV Colts, again an older team with a lot more experience playing in division 1. The game saw some great setting from Mathew Jigalin and exceptional passing from liberos Matt Rennie and Laymond Chu. It was clear in this game the difficulties of playing in division 1 men after the inevitable change up of the roster. Despite this, the boys were playing much better than the first game and were really beginning to play as a unit. Day 1 came to an end after duty at about 1pm.
Day 2 saw an even earlier start for the boys, this time at 7:30am! Having lost their coach and setter (George & Matt) due to Orthodox Easter, Laymond who was a libero the first day, bravely took to the setter position. Game 3 began at 8am against the Legends. This game saw exceptional service receive from players Joseph Phu and Hugh Catchpoole, resulting in some huge hits and some great setting by Laymond! Unfortunately for the boys, game 3 ended with a close loss to the Legends. Game 4 was the final game of the Manly Tournament for the boys. Going up against the Manly Bloom it was clear in this game the progress through the tournament truly had an effect on how the boys were becoming a team. Thanks to coaches Clara Loth and Alberto Flamigni, the boys rallied up for a great Placing Final. Throughout this last match, we had many huge blocks from middles Samuel Tifa and Sam Forbes, and even a complete shutout of the manly middle by player Joseph Phu! Although the boys were not as successful as their first tournament in Central Coast, it was clear that despite player changes the boys were definitely becoming more comfortable playing with each other. The division 1 experience will truly be helpful in the assembly of the Junior squad in preparation for SVL.
Special thanks go out to Coach Clara Loth for filling in the position of Main Coach. Thank you to George Jigalin and Mark Munter for their coaching on day 1 and thanks to Alberto Flamigni for helping the boys throughout day 2. Its great to see all the senior coaches helping the boys in the Junior Program, Thankyou!
Next Junior Tour …Newcastle State Cup #2!

Womens Division 1 (from Jali)

Still to come…

Central Coast State Cup 2015

March 31, 2015

28th & 29th March saw seven UTS teams travel a short distance north to the Central Coast.  Most of the teams were using the chance to get some game time together having only started training together a couple of weeks ago.  A great return from the event with UTS coming away with one gold, two silvers and one bronze, plus 2 4th places from the weekend.

Mens Honours – White (report from Morky)

UTS White Mens Honours made the trek to the Central Coast for the first tourney of the year. The seven games played were used as an extended training session to work on a new style of play and to incorporate new players.
Pretty boy Steve Lee was showing off his skills as setter and spent a lot less time over the
weekend with his shirt off than usual. He may nave been overshadowed (in more ways than
one) by newcomer, Matt Leete, who kept the female (and odd male) spectators entertained
with some big hits and with the removal of his shirt at the end of each game! The number of
(in particular) female spectators has increased dramatically since his inclusion into the team.
FWOAR! was a common expression used around the stadium, on the court and especially
after the game and in the boys change rooms.
Gregor Salvin, (sporting a new sculptured body that of a very white play dough, rolled
roughly into human form by a three year old) played a steady role as a passer hitter and
captained the team in the absence of Rob Fleury on Sunday. Rob, who captained the team on
Saturday, returned back to Sydney that night in preparation for watching New Zealand please 22 million Australians by being flogged in the World Cup cricket final. Libee, smashed lots of winners, overpassed lots of free balls, occasionally served the ball into court and constantly lit up the stadium with his infectious smile. Willis Choi, showed some awesome talent both in passing and in defence and proved why a libero should be on in backcourt, rather than a middle. James McRae looked like he may make it through a tournament without getting injured or breaking down but alas, it wasn’t to be. It only took three games before he was laying in the fetal position, with tears in his eyes, crying for his mamma. He did manage to play again though as well as a managing in to play at universal for a game and not looking like a complete spaz! Doug Skinner, played some of his best volleyball as setter, except for the games against the team he was coaching, where mysteriously they seemed to know every play he was running. Dan Gauci filled in for the team when needed and added some awesome firepower with both his serving and Spiking. In the course of 3 sets of volleyball played over the weekend, he amassed an amazing 612 points, beating the previous record by almost 600 points. Standin libero (for 1 game) and assistant coach, Morky, passed so many 3 point passes in his 1 game, that the statisticians awarded him amazing average of 4.0, to go with his 72 amazing ups. The 1 all scoreline at the end of the game did not reflect the amazingness of this performance, but coach Alberto Flamigni was heard to have said “it has to be one of the best performances ever ……. outside of Italy”. Coach Flamigni also managed the team well and gave a lot of valuable insight to the players. Unfortunately, without the aid a translator, none of this filtered down to the players, who were often seen nodding and shrugging their shoulders at the same time.
The team only lost one game in the double round Robin, having gone down to the experience of the Newcastle team. The same team went on to beat UTS in a closely contested final.

Silver Medals!

Silver Medals!

Womens Honours (Nam’s Team) – (report from Nam)

How to win a tournament…
-Stop touching the net Anna! Gosh.
-Buy a watch Bruna Polegato.
-Learn English Irina… or I need to learn Russian.
-Use the correct footwork to hit a pipe ball Alli (5,6,7,8…)
-Know the difference between a free ball, easy ball and down ball play Wendy
-For the 1000th time, get off the net Carrie… Are you awake?
-Use a 12 year old Libero.
-Most importantly… Set Lily at ball! Bam!

Awesome start to the year girls… It took us a little bit of time to get our rhythm but by the end of the tournament you played some awesome volleyball. Undefeated Champions! Well done everyone.

Cranky Panda.

Winners are Grinners!

Winners are Grinners!

Womens Honours (Dan’s Team) – (report from Daniel)

Team: Sophie, Dede, Nat, missy, Louise, Gemma, Claire, Carly and Jo.

With a couple of new players and variations with the line ups, it was great to see the girls never give up and support each other throughout the weekend of State Cup Central Coast. It was different for these girls to play in the honours division as most of them were used to division 1 and others have not played in a state cup before, but they have proven they can be competitive and achieve results at that level. We started off strong beating UNSW in our first game which put the girls in a good state of mind. With being on a high from the first game we started to loose concentration easier and fell into a hole in the middle Saturday too loose both of our next 2 games against UTS Black and United. After a break and a little discussion with the girls we picked up our game to finish Saturday with a good win against UNSW for the second time. Sunday started slower with 2 quick losses again UTS Black and United again, but the fight was still in there eyes and the hunger for the win grew. To finish the day the girls made the bronze medal match and fought all the way till the end to win in the final set 15-9. It was an awesome finish to a good and long weekend. The progress was good and potential for these talented woman shows. Well done girls and let’s keep the fight going.

Listening to Coach Dan

Listening to Coach Dan

Mens Division 1 – (report from Sucky)

Team: Haiding, Yujun, Blair, Phil, Fellipe, Pickles, Kel & Cillian, with guest appearances from Alberto, Darren & myself.
Our brand new team went to Central Coast hopeful but cautious.  With so many new players in the team, the start (against a good Central Coast team) was always going to be a bit strange…and it was.  After getting over that initial quiet though, we picked ourselves up and made a bit more of a game of it.  Some big swings and some big blocks certainly helped.  We stepped up for our second pool game and got away with the win against SW Khalsa.  Our Sunday semi final was a close game.  We won the first set, but then dropped the second.  An incomplete third set left us a single point behind overall and relegated to the bronze playoff, but still a good game.  Our Bronze medal playoff was against the Central Coast team who had beaten us on Saturday.   We were much more aggressive and made a much better account of ourselves, but still went down 2:0.
A fourth place finish and a great start for 2015!

Big swing past a big block!

Big swing past a big block!

Womens Division 1 Cougars & Cubs – (report from Jenny)

A Tale of Two Days

A keen bunch of youthful volleyballers ventured to Gosford to take part in the first round of State Cup. Following a succesfull 2014, all things were looking good for a great start to the 2015 season.
Saturday saw the much anticipated return of Jess Ng to the team after a number of false starts the previous year. She joined Deb, Jo, Nardia, Haley, Jess, Cat and Jenny.
The three Saturday pool games saw the team make light work of the opposition winning against the Belles, UNSW and Central Coast. The first game of the year saw the team take the opportunity to put in a training run for the first 15 points or so, ensuring they ironed out as many shanks, dives and missed opportunities before pulling away convincingly. The second game was more consistent throughout with Jo even deciding she would throw in some head passes as things were going so well. The third game for the day saw Cat dominate the net with block after block keeping the game in our favour.
Following an early finish the team was in high spirits for the semis the following day.
And then came Sunday….
After watching the Honours teams do their stuff, the team commenced the semi against Manly with high expectations. Unfortunately the success of the day before didn’t transfer to the Sunday with strong serving and great defence from the opposition putting an end to the dominance of our middle attack and leading to a close but eventual defeat. The bronze playoff was a great deal closer going to 3 sets however with the same outcome as the previous match.
Despite the loses you would never have known as spirits remained high throughout and fun was had (as always) by all. Medal or no medal, the outcome for all playing was exactly the same! I guess the only way now is up…well not exactly but lets hope.

Cougars & Cubs waiting for the serve

Cougars & Cubs waiting for the serve

Womens Division 2 (report from Ali)

This weekend was a great start for the div 2 women. We went on strong after having an early and the long drive Winning both games on Saturday which comfortably landed us first place in our pool and meant we finished at 12 on Saturday and didn’t start till 12 on Sunday (CHEERING)!
Maybe it was the late start on Sunday or we were tired from all the winning on Saturday but our semi against SNV went a tad sour after loosing on count back by 4 points, super annoying! However we were not going home empty handed so as our bronze medal match rolled around so did our energy and enthusiasm. Coach-less and support-less as the draws clashed we were our own cheer team ( the way it should be ) and we bought home the bronze comfortably taking down those blue bee stingers! We had great blocks from Guilana, Claire gave middle a go, Maddie and Katie’s defence was brilliant and Jali had some great plays through the middle. Wendy set the whole way round and made sure nothing hit the floor and the entire teams serving was on point. Well done girls A bronze for our first state cup – not a bad start at all!
Thanks Jali, Maddie, Katie, Wendy, Guilana and Claire for a brilliant weekend and bring on the rest of the season and thank you to Deb and Jess for being amazing coaches!

Enjoying the spoils of the weekend

Enjoying the spoils of the weekend

Junior Boys (report from George & Clara)

This was our first opportunity to play with the new roster following the departure of several key players to the senior ranks and our recent selections trials. Some of our players had commitments to the NSW Beach Squad so we invited some of our new development players. We boarded the UTS Mini-Bus at RMSH Ultimo and met up with 3 of our regional players at the stadium in Terrigal. First up, the whole team (100%) attended a scoring clinic run by George Chalhoub from NSWVRA. George also went thru general tips for doing duty as well as what is expected from players on court and the behaviours/attitude to officials. A good start for our first time players 🙂 At this stage there is no Junior competition at our State Cups, so we entered our team into the Div 2 Open Mens Division. At the end of Day 1, we managed 2 wins against the Bumble Bees and 1 loss against the new look (big-hitting) Freezone team. A great result for our first day of volleyball as a new team and all players seemed to gel very quickly. In the evening at our team meeting I asked what was each players highlight and I was amazed by some of their responses: “Being part of such a tight/friendly team”, “We all supported each other”, “This is my first real tournament ever!”, “This was my first volleyball game in Australia!”, “This is my first time I am sleeping away from my family!” …OMG!!! On Day 2 we played our Semi Final and came out on fire, with a solid win. The Semi would end up being our best oncourt performance of the tournament, with lots of amazing plays, great defense/dives in back court, and some very aggressive/solid offence from both front and back court. The team were on a real high after the Semi, and went into the Gold Medal Final pumped. Although we played with a great attitude, the combination of the physical toll on everyone after a weekend of volleyball and a very solid performance by our opposition, meant we were outclassed overall and went down 0:2 to take out the Silver Medal. There were many highlights for our new team, including: running a solid back row attack consistently, some brilliant roof blocks and some amazing saves in defence, but the highlight was in the Gold Final, the opposition put up a 3 man block on our Opposite player, what the?… 3-man block in Div 2? Before I knew it, our own players  started blocking them with our own 3 man block, much to my surprise because we had never trained for this, so full credit to the boys for giving it a go. The sense of team spirit and camaraderie was amazing all weekend and we look forward to working with a bunch of great juniors, willing to learn and be part of the UTS family. A big thank you to the Board of UTS-VC for supporting the Junior Program again this year and to all of the senior coaches who have provided assistance during the lead-up training sessions and to Jon Yaw for helping out when needed. We look forward to an exciting year of the Junior Program in 2015.

Central Coast Tournament Team Awards:
5 – Raymond Vaamanuu (Opposite) – ‘MVP: Most Valuable Player of the Tournament’ and ‘Best Abs’
7 – Samuel Tifa – ‘Off-court Hoodie Intimidator’ Award
9 – Joseph Phu (Universal) – ‘Best all-rounder’
10 – Dom Leo -‘Best Libero of the Tournament!’ Award
13 – Matthew Jigalin (Setter) – ‘Cool under pressure’ Award
15 – Noah Soderlund – ‘Quickest Middle’ Award
16 – Liam Fardell – ‘Team Energiser & Most Enthusiastic’ Award
17 – Bruce Feng (Passer/Hitter) – Best New Import’ and ‘Best Defense’
18 – Ryan Maginnity (Setter) – ‘Fish out of water’ Award, for playing as a passer/defender in the final
19 – Samuel Forsberg – ‘Best Rookie’ Award
20 – Michael Jones (Hitter) – ‘Best Development Player’ Award
Coaches: George Jigalin & Clara Loth

Enjoying the spoils, and they got a poster to stand with

Enjoying the spoils, and they got a poster to stand with

3.UTS Junior Boys bench in full support of the oncourt players for every point… great teamwork Boys!

3. UTS Junior Boys bench in full support of the oncourt players for every point… great teamwork Boys!

The State Volleyball NSW wrap up of the event can be found here.