Student Cup Champions 2017-18 are crowned!
4th February 2018
University of East Anglia, SportsPark played host to two-days of enthralling competition that saw Essex (Men) and Bournemouth (Women) take home the crown on 2017-18 Student Cup Champions.
The Men's Final between Essex and Liverpool was a real battle with both teams looking to get their name on the trophy. The first breakthrough was made by Essex who took the first set 25-17. The second set proved to be a test of mental strength as both teams traded points as neither team could hold onto a lead. In the end though, it was Essex who held their nerve and took the second set and the title 25-23.
The Women's Final was arguably the game of the weekend with both Essex and Bournemouth showcasing phenominal hitting and impressive defensive displays with plenty of long rallies for the crowd to enjoy. Bournemouth held their nerve when it mattered with a succession of strong serves and eventually took control of the match by winning the first set 29-27. The second set became make or break for Essex as they had to win it to have any chance of becoming champions. Ultimately though, their effort were fruitless as Bournemouth were determined to write their name of the trophy and that was exactly what they did due to some strong serving early on creating a lead that they never let go of. Bournemouth claimed the win with a 25-18 second set victory.
After a very competitive first day of competition Essex qualified as group winners without dropping a set. The other Pool winners were Sheffield, Loughborough and Bournemouth. Following the Pool winners into the Quarter-Finals were Liverpool, UEA, Warwick and Anglia Ruskin.
In the women's competition Newcastle, Essex, Bournemouth and Oxford eased their ways through to the Quarter-Finals as Pools winners. Making up the Quarter-Finals were Warwick, Cambridge, UEA and UCD.
Day 2 started where day 1 left off; with the battle for the highest possible placing ensuring a high level of intensity was maintained. As the Quarter-Finals progressed it was soon clear that we were going to be in for a fascinating day with at least four teams in both genders looking like they could win the whole competition. After some rapid 2 set victories the Semi-Finals line up was confirmed as being Essex VS Sheffield & Liverpool VS UEA in the men, and Newcaslte VS Bournemouth & Oxford VS Essex in the Women's competition.
All 4 Semi-Finals produced some utterly brilliant volleyball with games often going point for point with few mistakes by any teams. In the Men's Semi-Finals the first team to confirm their place in the Final was Essex Men who in the end eased their way past Sheffield. Essex's experience and quality shone through and they never looked in danger of missing out on a place in the Final. Their opposition turned out to be outsiders Liverpool who silenced a fiesty and vocal home crowd with a come back victory of UEA who were distraught at not being in the Final.
In the Women’s semi finals, Essex had to dig deep and pull out all their tricks against a stubborn and motivated Oxford team. Oxford took the first set but after some intricate passing and cross court hitting, Essex were able to win the second set and finished the job in style in the third. Essex's opponents were Bournemouth. Bournemouth throghout the weekend had looked in a competitive and determined mood, desperate to win the trophy. They faced the current holders Newcastle who after a strong start began to fade which allowed Bournemouth to steal a march in the game and taked the first set 25-18. The second set was a tight affair with Newcastle desperate to take the match into a deciding set and defend their trophy. Ultimately though, Bournemouth remained resolute and claimed their place in the Final with a 25-23 second set victory.
In the 3rd / 4th playoff's it was Sheffield (Men) and Newcastle (Women) who proved too strong for their opponents and finished the competition in 3rd place.
The Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards went to Taylor Treacy (Bournemouth) and Haydn Mowson (Liverpool).
The congratulations should go to all the Teams who competed during the two day event. They all demonstrated that volleyball is an incredible team sport, and that student volleyball is going from strength to strength. The Final word however should be to congratulate the Champions from both the Women's and Men's Competition, who retained their titles once again. Congratulations Bournemouth and Essex University on their victories.
For a full list of all this weekend's results click here