SVL 2016 Season Wrap

The 2016 SVL season has come to end! The Representative Program has been a growing part of the volleyball SNV offers in recent years and we were thrilled to have 10 teams representing us this year, including a Men’s Honours team for the first time in recent history. Below you can read the season wrap written by each coach and get a taste of SVL 2016!


Each year we ask our coaches to make the difficult choice of a Most Valuable Player. Coaches of junior teams also select a Most Improved Player and senior players vote for a Player’s Player. SNV is excited to congratulate the following players on their awards.


Player’s Player

Honours Women Kristen Wood Bec Paff
 Div 1 Women Drop Bears Elam Wong Katrina Giang
Div 1 Women Spiderpigs Patricia Caballero Lauren Ross
Div 2 Women Rhinos Fumi Connolly Amy Man
Honours Men Alec Walker Jason Laffer
Div 1 Men Luiz Fernandes De Oliveira Jnr Alex Lyndon

Most Improved

Under 19 Men Zenith Hui Tommy Lu
Under 19 Diamonds Penelope Chen Maryna Pysarenko
Under 19 Emeralds Eloise Smith Vania Reis
Under 16 Sapphires Winny Li Nicole Magsalin

Under 16’s Women – Sapphires (coached by Kristen Wood)

The 16’s Sapphires started out the season with 2 losses. I quickly identified areas of opportunity which we practiced consistently and then came across our first 2 wins for the season. A highlight and turning point is when we beat Central Coast Stingrays. In this game the girls never gave up, played each point to the best of their ability and showed lots of determination as it came down to the final points for the win. Every single girl improved their skills and I’m so proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish this year. We finished the season 5-3 with 1 draw. We kept on a roll of winning until our nail biting semi final match which was back and forth, but came out with a loss, going 5-4 to finish the year. Naming most improved to Nicole and most valuable player to Winny. Great job 16’s Sapphires you should be very proud!

Under 19’s Women – Emeralds & Diamonds (coached by Alex Charles, Assisted by Will Maniti)

The U19’s Emeralds and Diamonds had a great season this year with a lot of new players coming into the fold. It was great to get to know some new faces and see brand new players flourish as the season progressed.

The Emeralds were unfortunately hit with a few injuries throughout the season which put a dent in our playing base but the core 7 girls worked really hard throughout the season and we saw a lot of development from each of them. Two stand out players who applied themselves really well to bettering their skills were Vania and Meg. They were incredibly reliable and dedicated players who came to form the core of the team. Eloise did a fantastic job of leading the team throughout the season and was always a positive and supportive leader for the girls while we were all grateful for the consistency of Jade.

The Diamonds also had a great season as they came together as a really cohesive unit. Unfortunately we were plagued with a series of close losses and unlucky injuries that resulted in us just missing an opportunity to play in the finals. Two new players, Melisa and Maryna, were very new to the sport this year but they both fell in love with the game and improved tremendously. Penny always kept a smile on everyone’s face, and Renee was an amazing role model for all the girls as she finished up her fourth, and last, season with the SNV Junior Girls program.

It was an absolute pleasure to coach this group of girls and I hope they all loved the season as much as I did. Hopefully we see you all again next year.

Division 2 Women – Rhinos (coached by Ivy Hornibrook & Richard Wolken)

We knew from the first few games it would be a tough season, as it became apparent the standard of Div 2 was higher than previous years. Rhinos were an awesome, positive bunch, always gave their best, and were a pleasure to coach.

If we could show them video of the start and end of the season, they would see how far they came. We played with good structure, faced tough servers that we struggled against early on, and learned to step back and get out of trouble quicker. We learned to bring our attack to the net. We cycled a bit through our middle players due to forced leave and injury, but were lucky to always have others come along. The motto was to attack everything, and never hold back. Only way to learn to hit a back court ball in a game situation is to .. DO IT! We took sets off teams, despite their inclusion of Div 1 and Honours players.

Amy was awesome as libero in almost every set, totally committed to getting that damn ball! Fumi and Hilly had a tough task as setters at first, but we came through with better passing and hence better structure in the end. Melisa was an outstanding addition, playing up from 19’s, and really stepped up to help us in middle! All our players improved, stayed positive, and were a joy to coach, so thank you!

Division 1 Women – Drop Bears (coached by Brian Hui)

2016 SVL season has officially come to an end! It has been a great season for Drop Bears, from a complete new team from the beginning to a well bonded team to wrap up the season is all a coach wanted to see and achieve. Improvements were seen throughout the season with an unfortunate loss in the 5th set 13:15 at the Bronze Medal Match coming a commendable 4th place at SVL Div 1! So fellow Drop Bears, you should be proud of yourself and as a team, you have done an amazing effort. Keep on chasing the “HUNNEH!”

Thanks to SNV for giving me this opportunity to allow me to experience such a thrilling season.

Division 1 Women – SpiderPigs (coached by Scott Laffer)

It was a polarising season for the SpiderPigs. After a lengthy pre-season competing in all the State Cups, which included a third place finish in Newcastle, we started SVL very strongly. We were six from six and sitting pretty near the top of the table before facing a couple of severe injures and some tough opposition saw us lose the next seven straight. In the lowest of those lows, the team was able to rally, remembering the fun of playing volleyball, and were able to finish the three final games with wins and smiles. Overall, it was a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable season. Thanks very much to my dedicated team, our excellent manger and the baked-goods master chef who put up with me and made it a pleasure to turn up to volleyball this year.

Honours Women – Squirrels (coached by Scott Nichols)

A Squirrel perspective: At the beginning of the year I would have been really happy if we came 5th seeing we came last in 2015. Our goal was to try and improve and to have a more aggressive attitude. To do that we had to change our mind set from trying to stay in the match and see what happens to attacking at all costs. At times we struggled and it seemed like this new approach was not working out. We persisted anyway and tried to treat each point as a must win. Through some great play and some good fortune we managed to make the finals where once again we saw how much work we need to do. But it was a great experience for all of us and really makes me (and I hope the team) excited about 2017. Special thanks to all the girls for committing to training twice a week and making a really supportive environment for all of us to work in. They are so much fun to be around.

Also thanks to Bec and Nerradene for supporting me, you make coaching so much easier! I really appreciate you guys.

Under 19’s Men (coached by Colin Lai)

The SNV U19’s had a great season coming first in the round games and only dropping a handful of sets to finish with the gold medal around our necks! Special mention to Alexey Douriaguine for being a Libero up against some of the bigger hitters in the junior comp and to Ali Zeybeck for some great hitting through the middle. Congratulations to Zenith Hui, Ethan Garret and Alex Lyndon for making the U19 All Stars team and to Ethan, Lewis Jupp and Tommy Lu for captaining their respective State teams for Junior Nationals at the end of September!

Division 1 & Honours Men (coached by Glen Duncombe)

The re-introduction of the Mens Honours team was a great achievement from Sydney North this year. In an expanding phase, having 2 mens teams this year puts the club in a position to grow further. A solid year was had by the Honours men, with the final result of 5th place out of 8 teams, in Sydney League. Being a new team this year, and incorporating 2 juniors (Alex Lyndon and Lewis Jupp) I feel that we were very competitive against even the top and well established teams. The team has great flexibility with its players and their positions, which gave us a distinct edge over some of our rivals.  4 of the Honours men were selected in to the UTSSU AVL team this year as well.

The Division 1 men had a tough year with an ever changing line up of players. Consistency was the main lacking factor, and having to time share the coach didn’t aid their position. Having said that, there were some good results at the start of the season as the team began to bond and get used to their playing positions. A 6th place finish in SVL was probably fitting considering the bumpy road of the season. Upward though next year, if the team stayed together. The highlight for the team and club was the elevation of 2 juniors Ethan Garrett and Ben Wheen into the team to cover the player carousel. Both of which did extremely well.