Student Cup Finals Preview
1st February 2018
This weekend will see the University of East Anglia become the home of noise, excitement and the pride of playing for the shirt. With over 300 students all looking to take home the prize, this can only mean one thing: Volleyball England’s Student Cup Finals is going back to Norwich and it’ll be bigger and better than ever!
This Saturday and Sunday (February 3 and 4) why not enjoy a weekend of high-octane, great quality volleyball involving the best university teams in England and Ireland? If you choose student volleyball this weekend, it’s guaranteed to be one of the best decisions you’ve made this year.
It’s an epic weekend of volleyball with 96 matches played out over eight courts – but there can only be two champions.
Sixteen men’s and sixteen women’s teams will battle it out to take home the silverware in each of their competitions. Each team must make it out of a pool stage of four teams to advance to the quarter finals and on to the business end of the tournament where the champions will be crowned.
The 2016-17 Student Cup winners were the University of Essex in the men’s competition and Newcastle University in the women’s competition. As reigning champions, both qualified directly for the Finals this year and are determined to keep a firm grip on their title. The line-up of teams in the men's draw also features the Irish Varisty winners who are invited to the Finals every year. This year that is UCC Cork. The full list of contenders are:
Men's Student Cup: Essex, Bournemouth, Anglia Ruskin, Bristol A, University of East Anglia, Warwick, Loughborough, Manchester, Sheffield A, Teeside, Liverpool, Oxford A, Durham, Staffordshire, UCC (Cork), City Uni. London
Women's Student Cup: Newcastle, Essex, Bournemouth, Southampton, Cambridge A, University of East Anglia, Bristol A, Warwick, Sheffield A, York, Oxford A, Imperial College London, Durham, UCD Women, Sussex, City Uni. London
The Finals are also set to feature an Olympian! Jesus Alberto Perales Gonzalez represented Mexico at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and has since come to England to study at the University of Liverpool. Naturally, he made the volleyball team! He is part of their squad for this weekend's Finals.
The Competition each season begins in November with three Qualifying weekends held up and down the country. Now the best teams will head to the University of East Anglia’s Sportspark for the Finals where Jonathan Moore, Volleyball England’s Competition and Events Coordinator, thinks the competition will be fiercer than ever.
“The Student Cup is one of my favourite events of the year as the atmosphere is electric and always produces superb volleyball,” says Jonathan. “The competition began over 25 years ago and has seen over 60 different Universities enter. Over time, there has been over 15 different winners in both genders, highlighting the quality and competition of the Finals.
“It’s always nice to see a new name on the trophy but I’m sure Essex and Newcastle will have plenty to say about that! Good luck to all the teams at the Finals.”
Over the course of the weekend, there will be social media updates using the #SCFinals2018. If you’re at the event, whether you are watching, playing or are one of the fantastic referees or volunteers helping to deliver the event, use the hashtag to help showcase the Student Cup to the wider volleyball community. Be sure tag @VolleyballEngland in your posts so we can share!