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 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