UTSSU Announce Partnership with Healthfix

The UTSSU Shield mens & womens Australian Volleyball League teams need to stay in shape, plus deal with niggles, throughout the season if they expect to be able to compete at the top level.  And to help them do this, the Shield have partnered with Healthfix in 2017.

Healthfix‘s newest clinic in the UTS precinct, combined with their two clinics in North Sydney gives our players and supporters options on where to attend a clinic, but it is the experience dealing with elite sportspeople that UTSSU really values.

Make sure you say hi when you see them courtside at an UTSSU game. Or to get in contact, call (02) 8065 0446, email getfixed@healthfix.com.au or book online or via the Healthfix app.

Sam getting some advice

Healthfix partnership with UTSSU AVL intro article

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2017 Squads Announced

Following a couple of very intense open trials, the 2017 UTSSU Shield training squad was finalised through the week. Thanks to everyone who trialed.  Looking forward to a very successful 2017 AVL!

Womens 2017 Squad:

Barbara Burba (Manly)
Britney Carlson (UNSW)
Emily Stirk (DRAG)
Kateia Barenaba (UTS)
Dede Stewart (UTS)
Kelly McLeod (UNSW)
Lacey Bruce (DRAG)
Emily Devine  (UTS)
Alex Rieckhoff (UNSW)
Alice De Innocentiis (Manly)
Brigitte Vanderham (UTS)
Harriet Gillson (Manly)
Laura Reeks (SNV)
Kristina Knezovic (USYD)
Monica Jones (UTS)
Gemma Kerrison (SNV)

Mens 2017 Squad:

Shane Alexander (UTS)
Dimi Sidiropoulos (UTS)
Brian Cho (USYD)
Nathan Lovett (UTS)
Mick Werner (USYD)
Tangifetau lelenoa (USYD)
Adam Penman (UTS)
Seth Chen (SNV)
Artem Ipatyev (UTS)
Craig Lowe (UTS)
Iosefatu Lafaele (Westside)
Sam Hansen (UTS)
Nathan Healey (UNSW)
Matt Reeks (DRAG)
Angus Webster (na)
Sam Halley (UTS)
Hayden James (DRAG)

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2017 Coaches & Expression of Interest for Players

Mark “Morky” Munter & Deb Chung are a pretty common sight around the courts in NSW and this looks set to continue in 2017. Morky will take back over the head coach of the men’s team in 2017 and Deb will be the Head Coach of the women’s team.

A number of assistant coaches are also on board so both coaches will have assistants who have previous AVL playing & coaching experience.

Now they just need players!

EDIT:  Trail dates have now been confirmed!!!
Both mens & womens trials will be held at the same times and venues.
Saturday 17/6/2017  7pm-9pm, Courts 2 & 3, Netball Central, Sydney Olympic Park
Saturday 24/6/17 7pm-9pm, Courts 2 & 3, Netball Central, Sydney Olympic Park

For further details about likely player commitments and costs please see 2017 UTSSU AVL Player Expression of Interest v2.

We are asking for all players, previous and new, to complete an expression of interest. You can fill in the form at the link or use the form below.

We look forward to hearing from interested players and to a successful year ahead!

Link to the expression of interest form



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Coaching Applications Open for UTSSU 2017 Season

Do you have what it takes to to coach a high performance team?  Do you have the required knowledge, organisation, motivational skills, and strategy. Do you have what it takes?

The UTSSU organising committee is currently calling for applications for coaches to be involved in the 2017 Australian Volleyball League program.  We are looking for applications for both head and assistant coaches for our mens and womens programs.

The position description and selection criteria can be found in this document. utssu-coaches-position-description-2017

The application form can be found here: http://goo.gl/forms/Kg3czQ8v0Z5g10Pm2

UTSSU looks forward to receiving applications from all interested and suitable candidates.

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Shield men finish their AVL 2016 campaign

On the 26/27th November the Shield men travelled to Canberra to take on the AIS Centre of Excellence team in the final round of Australian Volleyball League 2016.

Both teams were out of finals so it was pride that on the line, as well as third position in the male side of the strong eastern conference.

Game 1 saw the COE take a close first set 25:21.  The second set saw the Shield men strike back strongly, taking the second set 25:11.  The next two sets were both hard fought and close but the COE ended up on top 25:23 in the third and the fourth, taking the match 3:1.

The COE coach was pleased with the game from his young team.
“Today we need to be proud of the effort made by our athletes. We have been able to secure an important win that rewards the efforts we have made over the last months in our every-day training environment.”

Shield mens coach Nam Pham was disappointed that the performance wasn’t quite good enough.
“We were obviously a little short-handed today against a good young side. We had a great performance today from our two setters hitting in the front row, but it wasn’t enough. We didn’t have the consistency required, particularly with our serving, and came up short.”

Game 1 was covered by Echo Sports Network and the video can be watched here.


Game 2 on the Sunday was nearly a copy of the Saturday.  A close first set saw the COE take the first set 27:25.  The Shield men fought back to take the second 25:21.  The third set was taken by the COE 25:19, and the fourth 25:20 and the match 3:1.

Shield mens coach Nam Pham was disappointed but reflected on the performance of the year.
“A bit of a disappointing end to our 2016 season. We had good performances in a few places today but there wasn’t enough consistency to see us through. The COE team is obviously very young, and we are a young team ourselves. Hopefully we can use this experience to grow and return stronger next year.”

The game 2 video, as covered by Echo Sports Network can be watched here.


That completes the 2016 AVL season for the Shield mens and womens teams.  Finals will be played in Melbourne on the coming weekend

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Shield men go 2:0 against COE

The Friday night game in Sydney on 18th November for round 8 of the 2016 Australian Volleyball League saw the UTSSU Shield men and the AIS Centre of Excellence team look to settle third place in the eastern conference.  Both teams were now out of finals contention and were playing for pride and bragging rights.

The teams started out relatively evenly in the first set with some errors coming from both sides. It eventually finished with the Shield men taking it 26-24. The Shield started to hit their straps in the second and pulled away to take the second 25-19. The third set saw the Shield show a little more dominance against the young COE team and it finished 25-11.

Coach Nam was happy with the way the game was closed out by the young Shield men.
“We have been working hard to build consistency and after we got going today we were able to execute very well”.

After a quick trip down to Canberra the next day, Saturday 19th November saw the Shield men take on the COE at the Australian Institute of Sport. With many volleyballers in town for the Good Neighbour competition as well as the VA AGM, the small crowd was both knowledgeable and distinguished.

The Shield men started out a little flat, possibly suffering from their road trip. The COE started strongly though, and with some undisciplined play from the Shield men, the COE took the first set 25-20. The second set was a similar story and was won by the COE 25-21. The third set was tightly fought and saw plenty of hard spiking and good defence, though sometimes this was just about being where the ball was hit. It finished with the Shield men just getting over the line 27-25. Buoyed by the third set, the Shield men started to play with consistency and took the fourth 25-21. At 2 sets all, the Shield men looked most confident and took the fifth relatively comfortably 15-7 and the match 3:2.

Coach Nam was pleased with the fight put up by his team.
“With some injuries in the team we had to rely on a number of players to take on different roles and that worked for us today. Our 2 setters taking on front court hitting roles really gave us an edge. Was great to see our young team fight for the match when it could easily have finished 3:0 against us.”

The Shield and COE teams will rematch in Canberra this coming weekend.  Games will be streamed by the Echo Sports Network so if you aren’t travelling down you can catch them at 6pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday.

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Shield men lack consistency against strong Pirates side

The second last home round of the season, saw the Queensland Pirates travel to Sydney to take on the UTSSU Shield at Netball Central. This 12/13 November matchup was for week 7 of Australian Volleyball League 2016.

A close first set saw UTSSU make 3 service errors in a row heading into the 20’s. The young UTSSU team rallied to draw level at 23 all, only to be denied any further points by the experienced Queenslanders. A slow start and some strong hitting from Shane Alexander, saw the Pirates take the second comfortably 25-15. The third again saw a slow start by the home team, down 8-3 at the first technical. The boys managed to regroup and claw their way back to 12 all, but ultimately made too many unforced errors and lacked consistency, with the Pirates taking the set 25-20 and the game 3-0.

Zac shows he has the height

Zac shows he has the height

Coach Nam was “disappointed that once again we were able to match it with the best, but not able to take a set. The difference between our young group and the experienced Pirates is that they don’t make 2, 3 or 4 errors in a row. We have the skill, but not the consistency. Once we get that consistency, we will be a hard team to beat”.

Game 2 started very slowly for the Shield, with Will Mercer bombing down 11 unanswered jump serves, leaving UTSSU down 16:2 at the second technical. to their credit, the young team fought back from there to finish the set at 12-25 and taking some momentum into the second. The Shield came out fighting in the second matching it with the Pirates to 22 all. Unfortunately, that is where the scoring ended for the Shield. going down 22-25. The third followed a similar script with the Shield down 24-22, when a questionable hit inside the antenna call (that ball must have curved at least 2 meters! ) gave UTSSU some momentum. The Shield then leveled at 24 all before taking the set 27-25 and the game into a fourth set. The Shield got off to a slow start, but found their straps heading into the mid teens. A calf injury to Nathan Healy, and recurring ankle problems for captain Artem Ipatyev, slowed the team down and the experienced Pirates rolled over the top of the Shield 25-17, taking the game 3-1.

Nathan tries to break through the strong Pirates block

Nathan tries to break through the strong Pirates block

Coach Nam was pleased that his young players could at least take a set from the Pirates. “We still played inconsistently and had to continually remind our players of the game plan and how to execute their skills. When we did those thing right, we showed that we could match it with the best team in the competition. At the moment many of our players lack the discipline and the emotional buy in to get over the top of the quality teams. They are slowly beginning to understand that they need to step up their game from what they are used to at juniors and SVL – thus is a whole new level of competition”.

Next weekend sees the UTSSU Shield take on the ever improving Centre of Excellence in Sydney on Friday evening and on Saturday evening in Canberra.


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