BUCS Championship Finals Tournament 


Pool Match - Blues vs L'boro
Pool Match - Blues vs Hallam
Pool Match - Blues vs Ulster
Semi-Final - Blues vs London
3rd - 4th Place Match - Blues vs Oxford

Pool Match 

Blues 2-1 Loughborough University (17-25, 25-19, 15-13)

Cambridge would begin the BUSA finals against home team Loughborough, who were quite confident, despite splitting their season games against the Light Blues. Lining up with Sarkozy opposite setter, Li, Willis and Chalupnik outside, Finely libero, and Zubko and Meeder in the middle, Cambridge looked to oblige the Loughborough thought process. Abysmal passing never allowed the Cambridge middles into the game, and Loughborough sided out well, taking the first set without much contention.

Cambridge would rally in the secon, Meeder replacing Willis on the outside with Neher entering the middle, and strong serving and wing attacking scoring points and developing a strong lead. Some rearrangement on Loughborough’s part brought them somewhat back into the game, but it was too little too late, and Cambridge levelled the scored at a set apiece.

The decider was heavily contested, but by now Cambridge was playing with a certainty and confidence that had thus far eluded them this season, and despite by some tense moments, kills by Chalupnik and Sarkozy ended the match in favour of the Blues.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marek Chalupnik O 3 24 11 46 2 1 14
Mike Finley L 3 0 0 0 0 0
Tjonnie Li S 3 2 1 50 2 0 3
Sven Meeder M/O 3 18 7 39 0 2 9
Jonas Neher M 2 4 1 25 0 1 2
Stephen Sarkozy U 3 17 9 53 2 1 12
Jack Willis O 1 5 1 20 0 0 1
Pavel Zubko M 3 6 1 17 0 1 2
Team Total 76 31 41 6 6 43


Pool Match 

Blues 0-2 Sheffield Hallam University (20-25, 18-25)

Cambridge would continue their tradition of downright awful play against Sheffield Hallam, and the unity and confidence found against Loughborough would dissipate against the Northerners. Despite jumping out to an early lead, Cambridge would suffer from fundamental errors, with poor passing, along hitting and defense errors, would ensure that Hallam could easily level the score before taking a lead. They would not look back, and took the first set fairly easily, to 20 points.

The second set, despite the slightly less attractive score line, would seeing quality volleyball by the Blues, and the set remained level until an unlikely service run from Hallam developed a late lead. A simple side out game remained, and would set up a must win game from the Blues against North Ireland Champions Ulster to advance to the semi-finals.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marek Chalupnik O 2 15 4 27 1 1 6
Mike Finley L 2 0 0 0 0 0
Tjonnie Li S 2 3 1 33 0 0 1
Sven Meeder O 2 12 2 17 0 0 2
Jonas Neher M 2 3 0 0 2 0 2
Stephen Sarkozy U 2 15 5 33 1 0 6
Pavel Zubko M 2 1 0 0 0 1 1
Team Total 49 12 24 4 2 18


Pool Match 

Blues 2-1 University of Ulster (25-19, 20-25, 15-10)

Cambridge on paper was favoured against Ulster, the latter team being defeated 2-0 by both Hallam and Loughborough, although the Irish squad had nothing to loose, and thus did not face the same pressure as the Blues. Nonetheless, the now familiar line-up looked confident in the first set, service pressure not allowing the Ulster star hitters to get into the game. Cambridge wing hitters continued the dominance they had shown all season, and the set ended 25-19, despite a late push by Ulster.

Overconfidence and a lack of focus would not serve the Blues well in the second set, with several service errors and jump a drop of level allowed Ulster back into the mix. Loughborough aided the upset push with some selective line judging, and a quick set ended 20-25 to Ulster. Cambridge enjoys making things hard on itself.

Coach Jacquet calmed the side down somewhat before the decider, and pointed out several tactical points. Playing with slightly more intelligence, the Blues cut out their errors. Despite their, the set was close, until at 11-10 up, four straight kills from Chalupnik and Sarkozy sent the Blues to the semi-finals.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marek Chalupnik O 3 19 10 53 1 0 11
Mike Finley L 3 0 0 0 0 0
Tjonnie Li S 3 0 0 0 0 0
Sven Meeder O 3 25 11 44 1 2 14
Jonas Neher M 3 2 0 0 0 1 1
Stephen Sarkozy U 3 16 6 38 2 1 9
Pavel Zubko M 3 2 1 50 0 3 4
Team Total 64 28 44 4 7 39


Semi-Final 

Blues 1-2 London (26-24, 21-25, 9-15)

The semi-final against ULU was the highlight of the season for the Light Blues. Casting away forever their self-doubt, fear, Cambridge raised their game to a level never before seen against a very strong (albeit slightly weakened) London side. Executing their game plan to perfection, Cambridge held on throughout the entire first set, until a service run from Meeder combined with an inspired Chalupnik took the set for Cambridge, 26-24.

The second set began with a dream start for Cambridge, with London being completely at being able to deal with Chalupnik’s serve, the Blues going up 7-0 before a momentum shifting call would shatter their run. It was London’s turn to employ selective serving techniques, and by the time Cambridge called in their opposite to pass, the game was somehow knotted at 11. A lack of match play (the Blues playing around 10% of the number of competitive matches as most of London’s players) caused several unforced errors, which were capitalized on, and the set ended, 21-25.

The third set would see a renewed Cambridge push, and the score remained close until 7-7, at which another service run would see the Blues hopes slip away. Again, the passing rotation was shifted slightly too late, and London clinched the spot in the Finals (which they would win rather easily). Nonetheless, the Blues could be proud of their performance, which was greatly cheered on by their female counterparts.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marek Chalupnik O 3 35 18 51 2 1 21
Mike Finley L 3 0 0 0 0 0
Tjonnie Li S 3 3 1 33 1 0 2
Sven Meeder O 3 26 13 50 0 3 16
Jonas Neher M 3 3 0 0 1 2 3
Stephen Sarkozy U 3 10 4 40 2 2 8
Pavel Zubko M 3 3 0 0 0 2 2
Team Total 80 36 45 6 10 52


3rd - 4th Place Match 

Blues 0-2 Oxford University (18-25, 18-25)

The third-fourth place game would see a different Cambridge line-up, with Chalupnik (strained high) being replaced by Kirks, and Meeder (broken finger) giving way for Willis. Koksma would play one set for both Zubko and Neher, with stalwarts Li, Finely, and Sarkozy also taking the floor.

The emotional high of the London game was reversed against Oxford, the friendly relationship between the teams taking perhaps too much of the competitive spirit out of the match. Unfamiliar combinations caused bits of confusion on the Cambridge court, and Oxford took both sets, 18-25. Despite this score, the Cambridge substitutes played well, showing the depth of the squad, John Kirks leading the Blues with 10 points.

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Mike Finley L 2 0 0 0 0 0
John Kirks O 2 22 8 36 1 1 10
Jurjen Koksma M 2 6 0 0 0 1 1
Jonas Neher M 1 3 1 33 0 0 1
Stephen Sarkozy U 2 9 5 56 0 1 6
Jack Willis O 2 14 6 43 2 1 9
Pavel Zubko M 1 4 1 25 0 0 1
Team Total 58 21 36 3 4 28




The road to the BUSA finals was a long one, the first place league position narrowly slipping away from Cambridge, giving them a tough draw in Manchester in order to qualify. In retrospect, this trial perhaps was the best preparation the Blues could have, bonding both on and off the court, and developing a confidence which resulted in a terrific semi-final against London, perhaps the best game of the tournament.

Perhaps most impressive was the response of each player to his role on the squad, with Coach Jacquet feeling confident that his game plans would be followed. With most of the squad staying on, 2006/7 will be a good season for the Blues.

Tournament MVP is awarded to Marek Chalupnik.


Report by Stephen Sarkozy

NamePositionSets PlayedAttacksKillsKill PercentAcesBlocks Total Points
Marek Chalupnik O 11 93 43 46 6 3 52
Mike Finley L 13 0 0 0 0 0
John Kirks O 2 22 8 36 1 1 10
Jurjen Koksma M 2 6 0 0 0 1 1
Tjonnie Li S 11 8 3 38 3 0 6
Sven Meeder O 11 81 33 41 1 7 41
Jonas Neher M 11 15 2 13 3 4 9
Stephen Sarkozy U 13 67 29 43 7 5 41
Jack Willis O 3 19 7 37 2 1 10
Pavel Zubko M 12 16 3 19 0 7 10
Team Total 327 128 39 23 29 180