Indoor Cuppers Finals

This years College Cuppers Finals was fiercely competitive, with the eventual winners being St. John's, with Johnian Lindsey Mehrer taking home the MVP award.

The finals of Indoor Cuppers took place the day after the infamous Ides of March, with eight teams striving to take home the coveted Cup. Pool A opened up with a strong Churchill side taking 3 points off of a combined Trinity/Churchill II team, 25-14, 9-7. A strong Trinity Hall side made short work of an exuberant Caius unit, clinically dispatching it 25-7, 17-6. Through good work from a host of Blues/ex-Blues/Blue trainees, Tit Hall then effectively secured group A by leaving Churchill in the dust 25-12, 11-9. Attempting to fight for the second spot, Trinity, lead by Blue Jack Willis grabbed a much needed 3 points from a still scoreless Caius. Tit Hall continued its 3-spree by taking Trinity down in straight sets, 25-23, 9-3. Churchill, lead by David Cottingham, took two points from Caius, winning the first set easily, 25-13. However, not to leave the tournament scoreless, Caius rallied in set two behind the energy of UCCW court captain Becki Daly, taking the set, and a point, 9-7.

Final Standings for pool A:
1. Trinity Hall (9)
2. Churchill (5)
3. Trinity/Churchill 2 (3)
4. Caius (1)

Pool B opened up with drama, with late arriving Robinson causing reschedules all around. St. Johnís, looking unstoppable in the qualifying rounds, was slightly weakened by the loss of Andreas Poulos, who suffered a foot injury on Friday. However, Bex Walton filled in, and the first match saw Johnís play Darwin. It appeared as though Johnís would run away with the match, before a service run from Christoph Sele brought them quite close. Johnís edged out at the end of the set, however, taking it 25-21. The long match left little time for set 2, which Johnís won based on its gender advantage, 5-3. The second set saw 2003 Cup holders Robinson field a team of boaties against Catz, who also took 3 points it the form of 25-21 and 14-11 victories. Robinson would spiral further down in their next match against Darwin, although they must be said to have had sufficient laughs and cheering to make up for any lack of points. Nonetheless, Darwin began its push with 3 points, easily winning 25-16 and 15-10. Injury would further strike John's in its match vs. Catz, with Salmon Taherian suffering a mild groin pull, and exiting the competition. Fiona Danks, also injured, played regardless, showing the toughness of Blues players versus that of normal mortals. At this point, Johnís switched to a 5-2 format, which was rather confusing for everyone, but completed a victory against a Catz side rather easily, 25-15, 17-2. Johnís scrambled to find Andy Lynnís number, in order to return to full strength, but failed in this and was forced immediately to play against a Robinson team desperate for points. Good serving from UCC players Gabriel Brostow and Bex Walton was complimented by clinical hitting from Blues Fiona Danks and Stephen Sarkozy, which resulted the only maximum point group win, with Johnís cementing their first place seed by taking 4 points 25-12, 25-5. Second place was decided in a close match between Darwin and Catz, though Cristoph proved to be too much, and despite efforts to rally from Catzís William Joseph, Darwin went through, 25-21, 16-6.

Final Standings for pool B:
1. St Johnís (10)
2. Darwin (6)
3. St. Catherineís (3)
4. Robinson (0)

The semifinals saw Trinity Hall match up against Darwin and Johnís take on Churchill.

Trinity Hall rolled through the match, with powerful block from middle Stephan Diestelhorst and support from Blue Ellen van Baak. Darwin, led again by Christoph, mounted what resistance they could, eventually fell 25-19, 7-1.

Johnís opened up an early lead against Churchill, before a run of blocks by David Cottingham brought the sides close. Churchill then took the lead briefly, on a 4 point service run, 18-17. A change of tactics by Johnís confused everyone (most notably Fiona) as setting moved to the 4 spot with Lindsey Mehrer. This confusing play allowed for Sarkozy to smash a pipe down past a poorly formed block, bring both the score level and momentum back to Johnís, who would close out the set 25-21. A rather long second set was also won by Johnís, though at a very close 18-17.

The third place match saw exciting action, with splendid hits and pick-ups from both Darwin and Churchill. Eventually though, a disappointed Churchill side, after coming quite close to beating Johnís, was defeated, 25-23, 25-21.

The finals saw a struggling Johnís side face a strong Trinity Hall team, the former still with only five players. With a decent sized crowd gathered to watch, the Blues and UCC players would not disappoint. An early lead by Johnís was quickly overtaken, and the score was knotted at 16. Stephan proved too much for Sarkozy in the middle, recording quite a few blocks before eventually being tooled. Fiona Danks provided terrific serving and much need variety into the Johnís attack, and setter Lindsey Mehrer changed the point of attack to give Sarkozy a open net to kill a perfect reverse set, opening up a 23-22 Johnís lead. Fiona would not look back, serving an ace to give Johnís set point. An awkward dig by the Fiona would land amidst a sprawling group of Trinity Hall defenders, sealing the victory 25-22. Johnís opened up a lead in the second set and a despondent Trinity Hall team never really answered the challenge, giving Johnís the victory, and the cup, 17-11.

Notably, Lindsey Mehrer from St. Johnís was awarded Tournament MVP, for terrific setting, digging, and strong hitting.