On Saturday September 9, Monash Roundnet collaborated with Spikeball Australia to host the inaugural Australian University Spikeball Championships, at Monash University’s Clayton Campus.
With 32 players, 16 teams and 6 different universities represented, the inter-varsity competition was fierce and exciting.
Spikeball is a brand synonymous with Roundnet as they sell the equipment for the sport. Roundnet is played 2v2, with many similarities to beach volleyball as teams have 3 touches each possession. The key difference is in roundnet they ‘spike’ the ball down onto the net to change possession, instead of over a net. Games are usually played to 11 or 21.
The day was split into two segments, the open division and squad division.
The open division pool stage began with each team playing 3 games to decide their seeding for the 16-team elimination bracket. The highest finishing team in the bracket for each university was selected to play for the squad division in a 6 team bracket in the afternoon.
By making the open division Grand Final, The University of Melbourne and Deakin University earned the first and second seed of the squad division bracket.
Monash students Levi Geyer and Hugo Ragg placed third in the open division and were the highest rated Monash team. They made their way through the squad division to face Deakin in the Grand Final.
It began to rain down at the start of the Grand Final in dramatic scenes as Monash came out firing with the momentum from the previous game. However Deakin University steadied the ship and held on in the end, winning in straight sets 21-19, 21-19, as their international experience proved too strong for the young guns from Monash.
Deakin featured two high-level players, Alex Capp and Jonah Wise, who had both represented Australia at the Roundnet World Championships in Belgium last year.
“This was my first tournament playing directly with Jonah, but things just seemed to click!” said Alex, one half of Deakin’s winning team.
“We had some solid serving and were able to convert on a lot of defensive touches, it was probably one of, if not the most fun tournament I’ve played in.
I look forward to seeing more unis join in years to come and further grow the sport of roundnet.”
Event organiser and Monash Business student Hugo Ragg was ecstatic with the inaugural event saying “it was super rewarding to see the roundnet community support the tournament and bring together so many players from different universities.
Such a promising start for the future of roundnet at a varsity level - UniSport here we come!”
Written by Team MONASH.