151 University of Melbourne students hit the Hume Highway last Sunday to take on the 2014 Southern University Games in Albury/Wodonga, they joined a total of 1,950 students from other Universities at the annual regional event.
Teams in Mens and Womens Basketball, Mixed and Womens Netball, Mixed Touch, Ultimate Frisbee, Womens Volleyball, Cheerleading and Tennis took to the fields and courts to represent Winged Victory.
Following Sunday Night’s Opening Ceremony at Wodonga’s ‘Cube’, cool and overcast conditions met outdoor teams throughout the week, with only a brief respite of golden sun warming teams on Tuesday afternoon. Mother Nature then turned on the biblical weather on Wednesday as late afternoon hail, thunder and lightning, forced the postponement of games.
On the field and court, there were some excellent showings from Winged Victory teams.
The Women’s Basketball team surprised themselves with some fantastic results in the pool games defeating Adelaide University by 1 point and Deakin 2 by 4 points, only losing one game to eventual Gold Medallists La Trobe University to finish second in the pool. A key out in their repechage game consigned them to a playoff, eventually finishing 6th. Coach Sam Fileccia was excited by the performance of the team saying “The girls have performed admirably all week”
After a disappointing result at Australian University Games (AUG) on the Gold Coast last year, Womens Volleyball had the goal of qualifying for Sydney’s AUG this year by finishing top two at SUG. Some good early performances saw them come through the round-robin games in fourth place, playing off for Bronze against RMIT who they lost to 3-1 in the pool matches. With AU finishing second, a team which had already qualified for AUG, meant this match was for a spot in Sydney. A good start from the team who took the first set with Tatyana Procack hitting some strong spikes before RMIT struck back to even the ledger at a set a piece. Great inter-team play with Theresa Vu outstanding whilst playing through the pain of a wrist injury saw, Melbourne win the next two sets and come away with the Bronze medal.
Ultimate 1 was looking to one-better their Silver medal from 2013 SUG and with the team looking the goods remaining undefeated throughout the pool matches. However, they came up against a strong Monash outfit in the semi-final, losing a close one in challenging conditions 5-8. The team went on to win the Bronze medal defeating FED 12-9 with Brendan Ashcroft and Glenn de Jong both strong contributors.
With 2 repeating players, Sarah Yule and Ben Doddridge from the Gold Medal team at the 2013 SUG in Ballarat, as well as a number of players with Unigames experience stepping up, the Mixed Netball 1 team’s challenge was to back up their previous performance as they started their assault on back-to-back Gold medals.
Some one-sided matches in the pool games, with an average winning margin of 57 goals, and no one coming within 20 goals in the elimination matches had the team primed for the Gold Medal match against Deakin. Sarah Yule’s big game experience shone through, shooting at over 90% in the final helping secure the 15 goal win and Melbourne’s only pennant for the games. The boisterous courtside cheering, singing and support of the other Melbourne University Netball teams helping spur the team to victory.
The attention of University Sport now turns to two events; the AUS Snow Sports Championships, taking place at Mt. Buller from 3 to 6 September, and Australian University Games in Sydney from 28 September to 3 October where The University of Melbourne will go for 3 Overall National Championships in a row.
If you would like to take on the challenge, you can find more details on the UniGames website, by liking Melbourne Uni Winged Victory
on facebook and keeping an eye on the MU Sport Unigames
Pictures Day 1 Day 2 Day 3