Safe Sets Batches – 3rd Place  Mens B Division SVNSW State Cup

BHV Colts def SSB  2-0  (28-26 25-20)

SSB def BHV Brumbies  2-0  (25-20  26-24)

SSB def Albury  2-0  (25-14  26-24)

SSB def Roadtrip  2-0  (25-13  25-18)

Deadships def SSB 2-0  (25-23  28-26)

SSB def Sydney North  2-0  (25-16  25-23)

SVNSW State Cup was contested on the 6th-7th Nov at the Sports Halls, Olympic Stadium Homebush with teams from all over NSW converging for 2 days of competition. A quickly formed Safe Sets ‘Batches’ saw members from both Freezone and Kaiata Volleyball Club fire up for the Men’s B Division.

The team of Rata Joseph, Dominic Niumata, Jeffrey So, Andre Nunes, Peter Furness, Colin Chan and Warrick Chan had never really played together as a team before, so it was a quick method of finding which rotation worked correctly and where to put our attack/defence line up. A late addition of Gus Wong to the line up allowed a libero specialist and we were ready to take on challengers!

Our first game was against BHV Colts, straight after a duty, so we were required to settle in and play straight away!  It was a tight first match and it was due to some impressive centre attack work from Dom and Andre (our big scary Brazilian Machine) that saw us peg back an early lead from Colts. We took the challenge to them after the briefest of warmups and worked out our cobwebs.  We were unable to peg them all the way back and went down 0-2, but we had our first hit out and were ready to re-arrange and re-group.

Our next match against BHV Brumbies saw us settle into our rotation and begin to consolidate defensive work with good covering from most of our players. There was talk of one or two of us being ‘dobbed’ in to Coach Albert for not moving our feet quickly enough!!! But we couldn’t blame Jeffrey for everything! And no Jeffrey, being ‘old’ is no excuse. Just ask our President!!!!

We started our post lunch matches strongly (certain members needed a coffee) and came out with strong attacking play which saw early points on the board. Jeffrey did get his tipping down pat and started getting some good points from the outside. Colin and Rata led the way with sensible setting and of course, our tall attacking mid field (something Freezone doesn’t always possess) kept wreaking damage.

Our run seemed charmed as we took all three consecutive afternoon games in straight sets, defeating BHV Brumbies, Albury and Roadtrip to get into a good position for the top 3 on Sunday.

On Sunday we substituted our ‘ageing’ Jeffrey So for our little jewel, Warrick Chan. We had to win both our games to make it through to the play off for the final. Our first team was Deadships, who were proving the strongest team thus far with no losses. We started well, even without our mid hitter Andre who was somewhere in transit, and gave a strong fight, narrowly missing out on the first set 25-23.

The 2nd set saw us get out to a good lead and take some early points and we were looking in a commanding position. The Deadships adjusted their approach and there was a lot of point for point play with good rallies and of course a lot of damage from our attacking players. Warrick finding some very ‘pretty’ killer shots inside the 3 meter line! WIth a time limit, the 2nd set went right to the last 4 minutes and the point for point serving meant that pressure was on. Deadships proved the more resilient and took the final set 28-26.

Our last game was against the Sydney North team, who were very young and very talented! The Batches took early leads and made dents in their back court to streak away to a good 2-0 victory.

At the end of the day, the Safe Sets Banner flowed proudly in position No.3 for B Grade Mens Division and a great time was had by all players.  Bob Konakoff presented us with 3rd place prizes and Freezone made their presence felt in a State level competition.

The next State Cup will be in March 2011 and takes place in Orange in the Central Tablelands of NSW. The first time the State Cup will travel to Orange.

Its a great opportunity for Freezone players to play competitive volleyball and the level of skill we have within the club is well suited to the tournament. Its a great opportunity for our club to fly the banner as a competitive club within the SVNSW ranks.

Keep your eyes ready for advice on upcoming tournaments.

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