Team Newcastle is the new Volleyball Student Cup Women’s champion after a straight-set win in the final.
Sixteen women’s and 16 men’s teams contested the title over two days at the University of East Anglia. The Women’s 1s cruised to the title after beating University of Essex in 25-16 and 25-10, while the Men’s Team finished fourth, following a narrow defeat in the semi-final to Essex, who went on to win the Cup.
Team Newcastle Head of Volleyball, Attila Berndt, said: “Winning the Student Cup was incredible. We were hoping to finish in the top four, the fact that we were able to top last year’s performance, when we came second, is beyond expectations. The girls executed the game plan perfectly, with their performance leaving no doubt that we were the best team in the tournament.
2nd place for Newcastle in the tournament last year
“The team’s performance is a credit to all players for effectively managing their time and balancing academic work and training. We are thankful for the help from Newcastle University Sports Centre and the Student Union, who are very accommodating and provide outstanding support behind the scenes year on year. This goes a long way towards helping students give their best effort on the court and in the classroom, and contributed immensely to the Club’s success over the last few years.”
The three-time Student Cup winner as a player added: “Winning the Cup as a coach is an entirely different experience to winning as a player, it’s like you are 12 times as happy for every one of your players. I am proud of the ladies who richly deserved it.”
Petra Jeřábková from Team Newcastle was named MVP in the women’s tournament. She said: “The fact that we won the Student Cup is incredible. Going into the finals weekend, we knew that we were one of the favourites, but I don’t think that we actually expected to win the whole tournament.
“We never doubted our ability to win”
“The whole weekend, topped with the victory against Essex, made the team very proud and excited about what we are actually capable of. The Newcastle University team came a long way during last couple years, and we even made so much progress during this season. The main key to our success was definitely great teamwork and energy on the court throughout the weekend.
“We never doubted our ability to win, even when we were 10 points down in the first set in the semi-finals against Oxford and that was very important. We played for each other and we played our best when it mattered most - in the semi-finals and the finals.
“I am very proud of this accomplishment and of this team as well as every single one of my teammates individually and our coach! They all continue to surprise me every single day.”
Attila added: “The Men’s Team also had great success over the weekend, they defied the odds finishing in the top four as a 3rd division team, led by the Men’s coaches, Callum Currie and Michal Feterlich. Their strong leadership empowered the team to make their way past some very strong opponents, top division teams such as Oxford or Cambridge.
“This proves that their successful season is well deserved, remaining unbeaten in the University league to date, and gaining promotion to the 2nd division. Attila added “Huge credit to the coaches, and all the players for their continued commitment, Newcastle Men’s Volleyball team are steadily growing, a force to be reckoned with at the highest level of University volleyball.”
Run by Volleyball England, the Student Cup is one of the biggest indoor student volleyball competitions in the UK. All affiliated universities and colleges offering credited rated courses are eligible for entry.
MVP: Petra Jeřábková