Newcastle State Cup

The Newcastle State Cup was played over the weekend of the 19th/20th May 2018 with 3 teams from Freezone competing across the Div 1 and Div 2 pools.
Freezone Purple Reign travelled to Newcastle to compete in the competitive Division 2 – consisting of  Freezone members Mark Bennett (C), Louis Eudo, Laurent Auclair, Luis Peres (Fernando), Suthee Pakcharoen (Boyd), Chun-Hui Chen (Jim).  This team has been newly formed and have come together as a new group wanting to compete at the State Cup level.
Saturday was a cold and early start, and unfortunately, we lost to SOG9GING, ACERS RED and UNIVERSITY of NEWCASTLE without winning a set. This put us at the bottom of our pool (K) in Division 2 for the games to be played on Sunday.


Sunday starter off really well – a rotation change from Saturday showed us playing a lot better. we defeated MANLY J & S in straight sets and then defeated UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND on points “count back” after finishing at one set-apiece.   It was great to have some more Freezone members out on the courts and making the Freezone Flag fly.

Our State Squad Div 2 team played alongside the Purple Reign in their 4th State Cup for this season.  It was a good first day with some good wins and a good solid start to their campaign.  The team gelled well having yet another different line up for their season with libero super star ‘Zach” Fu Sheng Hsu stepping into the line up alongside Felix, Stuart, JM, Big Willy, Carl.

The 2nd day saw a tougher day and some injury issues forced the Blue’s to reshuffle their line up and substitute a setter to come in for their medal playoff.  It was a hard call with regulations preventing a sub at first but then having the chance to sub in a rogue setter from the Honours Women’s division.  With a new setter it took a little while for everyone to get used to new hands but the team put up a great fight against some other Freezoners playing in the Miss Thailand team.  The bronze medal playoff was a harder affair with Felix Eistrup standing into the setters position after an injured Carl Pahina had to retire.  It was a hard fought affair where the Div 2 team performed admirably but were just edged out by of their 4th medal finish for the State Squad opening term. Not a bad record!

The Div 1 team came into the competition with a new group – again!  With a new recruit in Dan Devine, the core crew of Lucas, Anderson, Robertas, Fernando, Samuel and Peter looked a little like a mini Brazil.  The boys had some tough games but it was a great start out as the crew found form against teams that they had met in earlier competitions.  The scoreboard revealed close games of 25/22, 25/23, 27/25- the Div 1 boys had obviously found their rhythm.  Mdm President Pete filled in the libero position and we had some height in our middles as well as some wonderful slide attacks from our resident Lithuanian Robertas.

The 2nd day saw the crew come in with determination and Coach Marie pushed forward her agenda of early starts, 30min warmups and shuttle runs to make sure the boys were switched on and ready.  A narrow loss to the UTS crew put the boys out of any chance of making medals however, the last game against ASIMS saw the crew bringing a performance that was much needed.  A solid 2 set win against the tought ASIMS boys was a great way for the crew to finish on and a real determination to continue training for the coming interval period between State Squads.

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