European University Championships 2003
Maribor, Slovenia 


Day 6 - Blues vs Slovenia
Day 7 - Blues vs Netherlands
Day 8 - Blues vs Greece
Day 9 - Blues vs Cyprus

Day 1

The Blues have arrived in Maribor, Slovenia, for the European University Volleyball Championships. The team were treated to pizza and pivo by the generous hosts, and spent the evening at the Lent Festival on the riverside.

Day 2

Cambridge were rudely awakened at 5am by the sun pouring in through their east-facing windows. After a hearty breakfast or warm cornflakes, cheese and boloney sandwiches and mysteriously flavoured fruit tea, the team were shown the sights of Maribor with a 4-hour hike in the midday sunshine. After a stop off at the bank, the team finally settled down to lunch at Akademija. The local media had been alerted to the Blues' presence, and turned up at training to interview captain Andrew Lynn about the team's hopes for the tournament - "We're here to win".

Day 3

The team has now settled into the routine of training hard, drinking warm beer and eating platefuls of calamari. Ming Dog has been threatened with repatriation after stealing kebab meat from a local vendor confused by his sign-language, and throwing beer cans at local rapper 6paK.

Day 4

The team spent the day at the local outdoor swimming pool and taking in the Slovenian sights. Dan Escott's elegant swan diving caused a stir ("more graceful in water than on land"), although it was Senthil's ability to enter the water exactly horizontally that made the biggest impact.

Full Blue Jean Jacquet reached the big three-O today, and the Blues celebrated in style with an evening in Bongos night club. Senthil proved a particular favourite with the French women as the team drank Sangria and Tequila until daylight in preparation for their rest day on Thursday.

Day 5

A lethargic Blues team skipped breakfast on their way to watch the first round of competitions. In Group A the hosts were soundly thrashed by an impressive looking Dutch team, marshalled by ex-National coach Wim Koch. The opening ceremony took place in the evening, with all the teams processing through the town, down to the Lent Festival for the official speeches. After a sneaky kebab and a couple of pivos, the Blues retired early for their first match against Maribor next morning.

Day 6 

Blues 0-3 University of Maribor, Slovenia (19-25, 21-25, 15-25)

The Blues faced the hosts, Maribor, in the first of their two pool matches. The home side home side were clearly concerned that Cambridge may be dark horses as they had reinforced their side with the introduction of what was easily their best player, and the removal of the Blues' intended serving target to the bench. Although the match was close for the first two sets, the visitors' lack of match practice told as they were unable to maintain the pressure and went down a disappointing 3-0.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marvin Braun M 3 9 3 33 0 0 3
Pierre Briguet-Lamarre U 3 28 12 43 1 1 14
Dan Escott M 3 4 2 50 0 4 6
Nate Foster L 3 0 0 0 0 0
Jean Jacquet M 3 8 3 38 1 0 4
John Lin S 2 0 0 0 0 0
Andrew Lynn O 3 20 8 40 2 3 13
Quentin Ramasse Serve 2 0 0 0 0 0
Denis Zuev S 3 0 0 1 1 2
Team Total 69 28 41 5 9 42

Day 7 

Blues 0-3 University of Eindhoven, Netherlands (21-25, 25-27, 23-25)

The team took to the court for their final pool game knowing that only a 3-0 win better than 75-55 would be enough for them to avoid bottom place. Eindhoven had looked very impressive in their first game against Maribor, but the Blues were able to neutralise their dangerous middle attackers by pressurising their Libero with tough float serves. Although they lost game one, Cambridge played up to their opponents' level, they reached 23-23 in game two before their opponents were finally able to get the upper hand. Game three seemed to be going even more the way of the Blues as they had a commanding lead and forced coach Koch to use both Dutch time-outs. Eindhoven rallied well, however, to fight back and, once again, level the scores at 23-23 before eventually sealing the match 3-0. The result leaves the Blues with a 9th-12th place play-off against Athens, Greece.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marvin Braun M 3 5 2 40 0 2 4
Pierre Briguet-Lamarre U 3 24 12 50 1 0 13
Dan Escott M 3 13 7 54 0 1 8
Nate Foster L 3 0 0 0 0 0
Jean Jacquet M 3 5 2 40 0 0 2
John Lin S 2 0 0 0 0 0
Andrew Lynn O 3 13 5 38 1 1 7
Senthil Kumar Natesan Serve 1 0 0 0 0 0
Quentin Ramasse Serve 1 0 0 0 0 0
Denis Zuev S 3 0 0 4 0 4
Team Total 60 28 47 6 4 38

Day 8 

Blues 1-3 University of Athens, Greece (16-25, 25-23, 19-25, 17-25)

Having lost both pool matches to tough opposition, the Blues felt confident that this would be their game, against an Athens side that had, so far, looked less than impressive. This optimism quickly vanished, however, as the team went down an embarrassing 25-16 in the first set having taken 7 attempts to side out from one rotation. Game two saw a similar level of performance to the first, but this time the Blues didn't get stuck, and were able to carry a mid-set lead through to 25-17 to record their first set win of the tournament. Alas it was all downhill after that as a discombobulated Cambridge side once again got stuck in a troublesome rotation. Coach John Lin lightened the mood by bringing himself on to set, and promptly double-touched the second ball before captain Lynn subbed him off, but every player was out of sorts as the Blues shelled sets three and four in what was comfortably their worst showing of the tournament.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marvin Braun M 4 10 7 70 0 2 9
Pierre Briguet-Lamarre U 4 26 10 38 2 1 13
Dan Escott M 4 17 5 29 0 2 7
Nate Foster L 4 0 0 0 0 0
Felix Ho M 1 0 0 0 0 0
Jean Jacquet O 4 8 2 25 0 1 3
John Lin S 3 0 0 0 0 0
Andrew Lynn O 4 12 4 33 1 1 6
Senthil Kumar Natesan Serve 1 0 0 0 0 0
Quentin Ramasse O 2 0 0 0 0 0
Denis Zuev S 4 0 0 1 0 1
Team Total 73 28 38 4 7 39

Day 9 

Blues 3-2 University of Cyprus (18-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-9)

It was deja vu for the Blues as their final game of the tournament saw them paired against Nicosia, Cyprus. Cambridge had beaten them 3-2 in their last outing and were confident that it would be easier than that this time around. Unfortunately, the Blues started the match in the form they had shown against Athens a day earlier, and quickly lost games one and two without really being in contention. At 3-0 down in the third set, it looked like Great Britain would be crowned the ass of Europe, but it was then that the Blues finally began to start playing as a team, as they were suddenly able to defend Cyprus' variety of attacks and tips with ease, and Dan Escott recorded two huge stuff blocks on their key outside hitter. A comfortable 25-19 win was the result. Set four saw more of the same as pocket-sized outside Jean Jacquet recorded a trademark line hammer that pinged off the hapless defender and somehow reached the generous ceiling - the only ball of the day to do so. And so on to set five, where there was only one team that looked like winning and, for once, it was Cambridge. A 15-9 result was a fair reflection of the Blues' class after a shakey start and placed Great Britain 11th in Europe.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marvin Braun M 5 9 3 33 1 2 6
Pierre Briguet-Lamarre U 5 43 19 44 0 1 20
Dan Escott M 5 11 5 45 1 4 10
Nate Foster L 5 0 0 0 0 0
Felix Ho O 1 0 0 0 0 0
Jean Jacquet O 5 15 6 40 0 2 8
John Lin S 2 0 0 0 1 1
Andrew Lynn O 5 37 18 49 0 0 18
Quentin Ramasse Serve 1 0 0 0 0 0
Denis Zuev S 5 0 0 1 1 2
Team Total 115 51 44 3 11 65



After an extended lunch to allow for extra Pivos, the team returned to the sports hall to watch the finals. In the women's tournament, Poland were roundly whipped by a far superiour Italy side, but the highlight of the day for many would be France vs Netherlands in the men's final. While Quentin and Pierre had, understandably, sided with the French, the rest of the team's support was firmly behind the far more likeable Dutch side. Alas the French outclassed the Dutch and, to add insult to injury, the French women failed to repeat their popular semi-final celebration routine.

That evening the Blues' entertainment was provided outside of Stuk nightclub whilst enjoying their evening burgers. A drunk teenager first urinated on the chairs, then scattered a table of drinks before yelling at the team and gently pushing poor Felix in the face. Luckily the police had been waiting for an excuse to arrest the child and promptly did so. The mood was lightened when the police car failed to start and one officer was forced to push the car in an attempt to bump-start it.

Day 10

Cambridge took the scenic train ride across Slolvenia to spend their last two days in the capital, Ljubljana. A trip up the hill to the city's castle, much of which dated from as far back as the late 20th century, gave some members of the team chance to experience the live porn shoot that taking place at the top of the castle's tower. Later that night a memorable day was completed for Jean Jacquet when he bumped into Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall in the toilets at club Backos. Meanwhile Marv Braun was mistaken for their sax player, and benefitted from free beer.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marvin Braun M 15 33 15 45 1 6 22
Pierre Briguet-Lamarre U 15 121 53 44 4 3 60
Dan Escott M 15 45 19 42 1 11 31
Nate Foster L 15 0 0 0 0 0
Felix Ho M 2 0 0 0 0 0
Jean Jacquet O 15 36 13 36 1 3 17
John Lin S 9 0 0 0 1 1
Andrew Lynn O 15 82 35 43 4 5 44
Senthil Kumar Natesan Serve 2 0 0 0 0 0
Quentin Ramasse O 6 0 0 0 0 0
Denis Zuev S 15 0 0 7 2 9
Team Total 317 135 43 18 31 184