On Friday 24 August, six year 12 students from St Norbert College participated in the Volleyball WA Schools Cup. The team consisted of the following students: Samuel Rowlands, Cyrus Tadena, Edwin Ceng, Allen Villanos, Ryan Tarmizi and Lennon Butler. There were four schools in the competition, those being Sevenoaks Senior School, Greenwood College, Esperance Anglican Community School and the mighty St Norbert College. The first game was a bye for SNC so we had the opportunity to check out the skills of the other three schools in the competition. Our initial assessment: THEY WERE GOOD…REALLY GOOD. We spent the first bye warming up on an adjacent court getting ready to play our first match against Greenwood. The results below speak for themselves.
One game and one win under our belts was a great way to start the day. Full of confidence the boys went onto play the second game against Esperance. Below are the results.
Esperance proved too good for the boys on this occasion but they fought mighty hard in the second set and were able to score 23 points to their 25 which gave us the knowledge that Esperance was not invincible.
During the warm-up for the third and final game of the day Edwin Ceng and Ryan Tarmizi had a collision which left Edwin with a sprained ankle. The boys had to play the final game against Sevenoaks College with five players to their six. Being one down and exhausted from hours of volleyball the boys were defeated in the third game. The results are below.
At the end of the first day the St Norbert College Canons finished third out of four teams. The good news was that all four teams would meet again on Saturday 25 August at 5pm to play in the finals.
Saturday 25 August – Finals
The finals structure was simple: four teams, one semi-final, 1st vs 4th and 2nd vs 3rd, with the winner of each game playing in the Grand Final. Our first game was against Sevenoaks, who we had lost convincingly to the day before. To replace the injured Edwin Ceng the mighty Canons called upon Noel Mancuveni to take the position. Sam Rowlands (Captain) had informed Coach Nuske the day before that he would likely not make the first game due to Rowing that day.
During the warm-up and five minutes before the start of the semi-final, the referee informed the team that we would have to forfeit the first set due to the team only consisting of five players. It was a harsh blow to the team but we were willing to fight back from the forfeited set to play it out and win at all costs. Just as Ryan Tarmizi was about to serve the first serve of the game, Sam Rowlands ran onto the court, throwing a singlet on to complete the mighty Canons team and narrowly avoiding the loss of the first set.
With the scary combination of Cyrus Tadena setting for the spiker Lennon Butler and Sam Rowlands digging every challenging spike, our team played the best we ever have. The boys ended up winning the semi-final by a close margin that had all spectators on the edge of their seats. The bamboozling serves of Allen Villanos combined with the all-round capabilities of Ryan Tarmizi and the athleticism of Noel Mancuveni was going to make for a mighty match for the Esperance team we were about to face in the Grand Final. Results of the semi-finals below.
The Grand Final
The boys were up against the undefeated Esperance team who were polished, skilful, organised and down-right intimidating. The Canons were ready for the challenge!
The first set was neck-and-neck with both coaches calling multiple time outs to stop a run of points from both sides. Our number one spiker Lennon Butler was beginning to learn the art of spiking from the side of the court and won the first set for us with an intimidating spike from a beautiful set by Cyrus Tadena. Ryan Tarmizi had proved volleyball was in his genetics once again with his flawless digging capabilities. Allen Villanos yet again had opponents confused and stumped by his stealthy serves.
As captain, Sam Rowlands led by example and passionately encouraged the team every point by giving positive feedback and high fives all round. Noel Mancuveni had many chances to serve in the first set but with only one of the serves going over the net, he was reminded to “hit the ball” during the break between sets.
Score after first set:
The second set was just as close as the first with scores level for most of the set. Lennon Butler continued to dominate with his spikes, although the Esperance team had learned to place three blockers against 'Spiker Butler' and often stop his attack. The Canons lost the second set with a serve from Lennon Butler that just missed the back line of the court.
Score after second set:
With the first third set of the whole competition, the Esperance team looked nervous. They had shown that they were capable of being beaten and had found a way to hold 'Spiker Butler' back. It was now time for the Canons to come up with a plan to avoid the 'Esperance block'.
Rules for the third set: first to 15 and win by at least two points.
In the third set, Cyrus Tadena rose to the challenge and had the Esperance team stumped with his overhead 'false sets' that led to a point for the Canons every time. Lennon Butler also had the Esperance team guessing when he stopped spiking but instead lightly tapped the ball over the fingers of the blockers, again winning points. Noel Mancuveni had now perfected his lightly hit serves that rolled over the net to win point after point. Allen Villanos and Ryan Tarmizi were flawless in their skills and Sam Rowlands seemed to be everywhere and anywhere. Despite that, the Esperance team had managed to win just as many points to make it 14-14. With the prospective win only two points away both teams were full of adrenalin.
It was up to Noel Mancuveni and his serve to lead the way for the Canons, and that he did by winning the next point to make SNC 15 and Esperance 14.
With another Mancuveni serve the Esperance team dug, set and spiked the ball back over to our side. It was no match for the prowess of Sam Rowlands who dug the ball to Cyrus Tadena who then set it to no other than 'Spiker Butler'. Lennon spiked the ball over to the Esperance team who managed to somehow dig it up on their side of the court. Lennon’s spike was so fierce that the Esperance dig went 15 metres outside of the court leaving the Esperance team running to save it and set it back inside the court. It was not to be for the Esperance team as despite their best efforts they failed to return it granting the Canons a Grand Final victory!
The Canons team not only played an amazing game to win the final but were gracious in their win and demonstrated true sportsmanship. Both teams shook hands and took photos together and thanked each other for the outstanding and entertaining game of volleyball. Special mention to Sam Rowlands who was not only the captain but awarded MVP for the final.
WELL DONE CANONS!!
Mr L Nuske (Coach)