Another great tournament was hosted at the Warriewood Indoor Sports Centre on the 16th and 17th April with two Freezone teams competing and numerous other members competing in other teams for the Manly Cup 2016. As usual the competition was of a high level with only Honours and Division 1 level on offer. The tournament had the largest amount of teams possible in the 4 court venue and play started at 8am on both days to complete the games. 35 teams with 86 games – and only 4 winners!
FZ Pistons and iTeam were on selection in Division 1, with both teams competing across different pools. The days play opened with tough games for both sides playing early, mid afternoon and late games. Both teams finished 2nd in their respective pools and had early games the next day with iTeam leaping out of the box to make it into the top group and moving onto finals progressions. iTeam found their straps on the 2nd day finding cohesion between front and back court play and putting together penetrating, offensive hitting. Making it through to the top tier and then winning their early morning matches to go into the bronze medal playoff.
FZ Pistons were down to only 6 players due to illness and thus were able to try new and different combinations of play. It was a great way for the team to give people a chance to play in different positions and try new things. The team managed to rally really well in their matches though they did come to the conclusion that they weren’t an ‘early start team’. That being said, they came back on the sunday with the determination to ‘play hard and aggressive’ for the first 10points of the first game and it seemed to work, coming out ahead in the first game. It’s amazing what a mindset change can do for your skill at 8am on a Sunday morning! That and lots of coffee.
After a very convincing 2nd day in the pools for iTeam they were through tot the medal finals playoffs for the afternoon session. They were easily dispatching of their opponenets in the morning matches where everything just ‘came together’ according to Tian Liu captain. The afternoon saw them progress to the bronze medal playoff against the formidable Sydney North side, a team who have played together consistently and were always going to be difficult to beat. The first set was all the Sydney North’s way but the second set was a very different matter with close point for point play and iTeam keeping in touch throughout the set. Ultimately, the boys couldn’t quite get the better of their opponents in the afternoon bronze medal final and they went down to 25-27 in a nailbiting finish.
Many thanks to Chris Proffitt and his team at Manly Warringah Volleyball club, another wonderful and successful tournament and we look forward to competing in the new venue next year with more courts on offer at the newly renovated Warringah Indoor Sports Centre.