2013 Australian University Games Melbourne University Women's Team
The Australian University Games is the pinnacle of any university student’s athletic career, surpassing the likes of the World University Games thanks to the six days of fun loving turmoil, team bonding and character building that makes up the Australian University Games that was held in the Gold Coast this year.
Defined by its spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, forests, waterways and vibrant communities, the Gold Coast is apparently an outstanding global city. Our players however didn’t experience any of these attractions during their stay, instead choosing to proudly represent the University of Melbourne in a week long water polo tournament.
Men’s Team Report
The men’s team were given a tough task from day one, with a rematch of last year’s Bronze medal game against the University of New South Wales (“UNSW”) to open their week of competition. Melbourne University held a strong lead for most of the game; however UNSW had a number of strong attacks which narrowed the margin late in the game. Despite these attempts by UNSW, the Melbourne University Men’s team stayed strong and defeated UNSW 10 goals to 7.
The following Men’s Division 1 Tournament game for the Melbourne University Men’s Team was held in the afternoon of the first day and presented the Melbourne University Team with yet another strong opponent – Sydney University. Last years AUG Men’s Water Polo Champions, and a constant force within the AUG Division 1 Men’s Competition, Sydney University came well prepared, however thanks to a number of quick goals being scored in the first half by Melbourne University, we were able to hold the lead until the final siren winning 8 goals to 5. A special mention must go out to Daniel Zanin who scored 3 superb goals, assisted by his team mates including Victorian Tigers National League Captain James Woods.
Day two of the Men’s Division 1 Tournament saw the men face off against a stacked team of World University Games team members in the University of Western Australia’s (“UWA”) Men’s Team. When we had thought we’d defeated two of the top teams in the competition, the men were in for a tough game. UWA’s outside shooters penetrated the cage repeatedly and we were defeated 11 goals to 6. UWA would go on to be 2013’s AUG Men’s Water Polo Champions.
The struggles continued in the afternoon against the University of Technology Sydney (“UTS”) Division 1 Men’s Team which came into the competition with a number of National League players. Solid defence held Melbourne University to just 3 goals for the game, leading to Melbourne University going down to UTS 8 goals to 3.
Day three of the Men’s Division 1 Tournament saw Melbourne University victorious once again in both their round games against the University of Newcastle (“NCLE”) and fellow Victorian’s Monash University. Given the results, Melbourne University were to have a rematch against UWA in the semi finals. This match was closer than the first; however UWA showed that they were here for the Gold medal, going through to the Gold Medal Final by defeating Melbourne University 8 goals to 5.
An upset in the other semi final saw Sydney University defeat UTS, leaving Melbourne with a tough task against UTS to win Bronze. Despite outside shots and outstanding individual efforts from Josh Barrington, Melbourne University went down 11 goals to 5.
With higher competition standards than last year, Melbourne deservedly finished 4th and higher than any other Victorian Universities. Congratulations to James Woods for being named in the Tournament’s Green and Gold Team, with special mention to Josh Barrington whose performance was outstanding all week.
Women’s Team Report
The opening game of the 2013 Australian University Games Division 1 Women’s Water Polo Tournament saw our Melbourne University Women’s team face fellow Victorians Monash University. In what is always a hard fought encounter, Ellie Stott proved that she would be a force to reckon with for the tournament and helping lead the Melbourne University Women’s Team to their first victory of the tournament in their first game defeating Monash University 6 goals to 2 in a stellar start to the competition.
In their second game of the Women’s Division 1 Tournament, Melbourne University came head to head with last year’s National Champions, Sydney University. Leading into half time Melbourne University were playing well until Sydney University decided to take their best player out of the goals and put her in the field. Once again Ellie Stott showed the Sydney University girls how to play water polo and American recruit goalkeeper Jessie “OJ” Sinkula snapped up the attempts at goal from the Sydney University Australian representative players. After a strong second half by Sydney University, Melbourne University went down 9 goals to 4 in one of the closest fought games against Sydney in many years.
Day two of the Women’s Division 1 Tournament saw Melbourne University narrowly defeat University of Western Australia’s (“UWA”) Women’s Team 4 goals to 2. Jessie “OJ” Sinkula was again outstanding in the goals, keeping the opposition to only 2 goals for the entire game, aided by a strong team defence.
The games to follow put our Women’s team up against two strong teams from Macquarie University and the University of Technology Sydney (“UTS”). Unfortunately our women’s team were defeated in both games with a margin no greater than four goals – a real testimony to the teams strong press defence and continuously threatening offence.
Melbourne University finished the Women’s Division 1 Tournament games on a high, comfortably defeating the University of Newcastle (“NCLE”) and putting the Melbourne University Women’s Team in the position to defeat the University of New South Wales (“UNSW”) and grab a spot in the semi-finals. UNSW however, with their four National League players, decided they belonged in the semi finals, pulling away to secure the win and their spot in the semi’s 11 goals to 6. Ellie Stott was once again the shining light for Melbourne University Women’s team scoring all six goals.
The 5th and 6th play off was a battle against UWA. The tight game earlier in the week was repeated with neither team wanting to fall further down the ladder for the final placing. Melbourne fought hard the entire game, but were fatigued from the weeks on and off field performances and UWA were victorious 5 goals to 4.
Congratulations go to Ellie “Dream Girl” Stott who was named in the Tournament’s Green and Gold team. Each player in the women’s team stepped up to create a fantastic team who no one could underestimate. The girls also improved on last year’s 9th place with their 6th place final standing.
Special thanks to Team Manager Matthew Keen for organising another flawless Uni Games. Without Matt’s many hours put in to the organisation of both teams these games would not have been such a success.
Furthermore, The University of Melbourne won the Overall National Champions title to top off a fantastic week of water polo and the continuation of MUPolo games traditions.